Children's Literature, Briefly / Edition 3

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This compact and conversationally-written book focuses on children's literature genres. Excellent for those encouraging young readers, it includes four highly personal booklists for each genre chapter. An accompanying CD-ROM with user-friendly programming lists more than 15,000 titles searchable by author, title, illustrator, publisher, copyright, grade level, genre, topics, description, awards, or user comments. This exceptional resource for choosing children's literature allows readers to create their own library of children's book titles. The 4-color illustration guide gives readers a variety of illustrative styles, and helpful appendices provide additional resources for exploring magazines and audiovisuals.

This book highlights the authors' “best picks,” letting readers know what literature children particularly enjoy. It comprehensively covers books and their content, describing the meaning of a “good” book, categories of children's literature, fantasy, fiction, biography, informational books, picture books, poetry, multicultural and international books, and controversial books. In section three, the classroom is explored; it shows the best ways to build a children's library.

An excellent resource for educators of young children, this book can also serve as a personal guide for parents who wish to build a child-friendly collection of books.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780130499240
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 7/11/2003
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.08 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Read an Excerpt


The subtitle for this text should be "A children's literature textbook for people who don't like children's literature textbooks." In a combined 41 years of teaching children's literature at the university level, neither of us had used a text because the ones available were too expensive and too extensive for an introductory course. We own and regularly consult the available texts, but they seem more like reference books. Our biggest concern, though, was neither the cost nor the length but the hours stolen from students when they could be reading actual children's books. The focus of a children's literature course should be on those terrific children's tides. They are more important than any text, including this one, and we wrote this book on that assumption.

Children's Literature, Briefly is an overview written to shed light on children's literature and its use with young readers. Our job as teachers, whether university or elementary, is to introduce and illuminate children's books for our students. These books can offer insight and pleasure without having to be explained, analyzed, or used as objects of study. Yet some comment, if it is secondary to the books and does not become too self-important, can help teachers and children alike find their own ways to rewarding reading.

The goal of this text, then, is to provide a practical overview of children's books, offering a framework and background information while keeping the spotlight on the books themselves. That's why we kept the textbook itself and each chapter short.

And that's why we limited the book lists. The world of children's literature offers only one completely dependable booklist—your own. Throughout the following chapters, we present ours, absolutely trustworthy in every way-to us. You are allowed to harbor serious doubts about our choices, but their value is that our titles may save you time wandering up and down library aisles. We organized our book lists at the end of the chapters under four different headings and offer a fifth on CD-ROM.

  1. Ten of our favorites. The 10 books listed after each chapter in Part 2 (15 in the case of picture books) are terrific reading. These lists are very short, the result of much negotiating, often emotional but largely friendly. The purpose of the 10 is to provide solid suggestions for those who wonder where to find a good book. Each title is annotated to give a brief idea of the content.
  2. Others we like. These titles (generally around 20) are not annotated. Although they are the second level of recommendations, each is a book we like very much. Don't be surprised if you find some of them more appealing than the 10 of our favorites.
  3. Easier to read. Next we have added 10 titles of shorter, generally popular books. These help the teacher find nonthreatening titles for children struggling to make reading a rewarding pastime.
  4. Picture books. In most genre chapters, we have included 10 picture books we consider representative and outstanding. Not all of these titles are for use exclusively in the lower grades; many are appropriate for the upper grades as well.
  5. The CD-ROM. The biggest list is on CD-ROM—over 15,000 titles. The database is programmed to allow you to:
    • Find books quickly by searching for key words in any of the 11 information fields for each book (author, tide, illustrator, publisher, year of publication, grade level, genre, topics, description, awards, or user comment).
    • View complete records of information for any book on the database.
    • Add your own titles to the database, as many as allowed by space on your hard drive.
    • Add your own comments, notes, or codes to any title, whether part of the original collection or added by the user. This feature allows you to make completely individualized lists.
    • Make and save book lists according to your own interests or needs.
    • Print your lists—either an author-title list or a complete record (all 11 fields) for all books in any list you generate.
    • Access HELP screens for assistance in using the program, such as instructions for more sophisticated searching techniques.

More about the CD-ROM. Menus and buttons allow you to proceed with just a few mouse clicks or keyboard strokes. All of the frequently used commands have shortcut keys that are displayed in the menus for easy reference. On-line HELP guides you through the more complex commands. And an Undo command allows you to undo your more recent action.

To access instructions for use of your database, insert the CD-ROM into your computer and display the document entitled "Read Me."

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Why Read? 3
Ch. 2 What Is a Good Book? 13
Ch. 3 What Is a Good Book? The Words 21
Ch. 4 What Is a Good Book? The Pictures 33
Ch. 5 Children's Books: History and Trends 45
Ch. 6 Categories of Children's Literature 59
Ch. 7 Traditional Fantasy 65
Ch. 8 Modern Fantasy 79
Ch. 9 Contemporary Realistic Fiction 89
Ch. 10 Historical Fiction 101
Ch. 11 Biography 113
Ch. 12 Informational Books 123
Ch. 13 Picture Books 145
Ch. 14 Poetry 159
Ch. 15 Multicultural and International Books 177
Ch. 16 Controversial Books 189
Ch. 17 The Teacher as Reader 201
Ch. 18 Motivating Students to Read 209
Ch. 19 Building a Classroom Library 221
Ch. 20 Teaching Reading with Children's Literature 233
Ch. 21 Evaluating Children's Reading 247
Ch. 22 Teaching the Curriculum with Children's Literature 263
Appendix A: Book Selection Aids 275
Appendix B: Magazines for Children 283
Appendix C: Publishing Children's Books 289
Appendix D: Audiovisual Media and Children's Books 295
Appendix E: Author and Illustrator Visits 299
Appendix F: Children's Book Awards 303
Appendix G: Publisher's Addresses 337
Name Index 343
Subject Index 361
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