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Children's Literature, Briefly / Edition 5

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Are you looking for a brief introduction to children's literature genres that leaves time to read actual works of children's literature? This new, significantly revised, and streamlined edition of Children's Literature, Briefly introduces the reader to the essential foundations of each children's literature genre, supported by practical features and tools to suggest quality books and activities to advance literacy in the classroom. As new teachers build their classroom libraries, the brevity of this affordable new edition ensures that readers have the resources to purchase and time to read actual children's literature. New! Briefer chapters provide essential information on genres, text quality, and censorship, ensuring that new teachers are prepared to teach and read children's literature. Learn to address issues of children's motivation through the use of children's literature in the classroom in Chapter 17. Read descriptions of how children's literature can be used to advance literacy in the classroom in Chapter 18. A unique, colorful illustration guide identifies the visual elements children's literature illustrators use and explains how to evaluate a book by its pictures. Top 10 Favorites as end-of-chapter features provide new teachers with the latest in quick-reference booklists that name the best of the best in children's literature. Notable authors and illustrators features help new teachers get a head start on choosing quality literature. New! Searchable database of 20,000 children's literature titles has been reprogrammed for faster search capabilities, including: Searching for a specific book, Customized searching for award winners or for books by grade level, Tailoring abooklist for a specific child or classroom activity. New! A CD tutorial supports readers in the use of the CD database for the first time. Tech Notes throughout the text suggest where and when to engage the use of the searchable database in coursework and in the classroom.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Several students over the years have told me it was one of the few texts they took with them to their first year of teaching. It contained the criteria for making good judgments. They could quickly apply the principles outlined to other books. l find this one of the primary strengths of the text and it is one reason why I keep using it.

Jean Stringam, Missouri State University

This text provides a clear and concise overview of children’s literature. It does not overwhelm the students with too much information. The strengths are clear and concise information and the reading lists.

Rhonda L. Truitt, Catawba College

The concise and clever writing style works so well with the students taking this course.

Marianne Baker, James Madison University

I love the first chapter and how it positions the reader in seeing the value of reading. I also love the color insert that makes illustrations come alive.

Diane Barone, University of Nevada, Reno

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780132480567
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 3/15/2011
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 72,341
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael O. Tunnell teaches children's literature at Brigham Young University. He has published several professional books, including Children’s Literature, Briefly (with Jim Jacobs) and The Story of Ourselves: Teaching History Through Children’s Literature (with Richard Ammon)–as well as a variety of journal articles about children’s books and reading. He also writes for young readers. Some of his titles include The Children of Topaz (Holiday House, 1996), Mailing May (Greenwillow, 1997), Wishing Moon (Dutton, 2004), and Candy Bomber: The Story of the Berlin Airlift’s “Chocolate Pilot” (Charlesbridge, 2010).

James S. Jacobs began his career happily teaching English, all grades 7-12 and next at a junior college where he surprisingly, and unhappily, was assigned to teach a children¹s literature course. Discovering a new love and life path, he returned to graduate school for a degree in children¹s literature and has since taught it at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He interrupted his university life to gain experience in an elementary classroom, teaching fourth grade for two years at a U.S. Army school in Germany. He has produced enough academic writing, specializing in Lloyd Alexander, to keep his job plus one picture book for children.

Terrell A. Young teaches courses in children’s literature and reading at Washington State University and serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the International Reading Association. He has served on numerous book award committees. Terry has published many articles and books about reading and children’s literature. His most recent books are Creating Lifelong Readers through Independent Reading (with Barbara Moss) and Matching Books and Readers: Helping English Learners in Grades K-6 (with Nancy Hadaway). He was the 2006 recipient of the International Reading Association Outstanding Teacher Educator in Reading Award.

Gregory Bryan is a member of the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada). His duties include teaching children’s literature and early and middle years literacy courses. Greg’s research interests revolve around notions of reading engagement. In 2009, he completed his PhD from the University of British Columbia, having previously completed his undergraduate and Master's degrees at Brigham Young University in Utah. Greg was born and raised in Australia and returns home as often as possible.

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Table of Contents

part one: The Magic of Books

Chapter one: Why Read?

The Rewards of Reading

Unengaged and Engaged Reading

Why Do So Few People Read?

Reading Is Personally Motivating

Engaged and Unengaged Reading

Chapter two: What Is a Good Book?

Choosing Children’s Books

Judging a Book: Literary Quality Versus Personal Taste



Chapter three: How to Recognize a Well-Written Book

Choosing the Right Words

Precise Vocabulary

Figurative Language


Music in Language


Unexpected Insights

Elements of Weak Writing

Chapter four: How to Recognize a Well-Illustrated Book

Visual Literacy: Developing the Ability to “See”

Functions of Illustrations in Picture Books

Style and Media in Picture Book Illustrations

Visual Elements

Additional Illustration Criteria: Action and Detail

Depicting Action

Creating Depth with Detail

Care Given to Bookmaking

part two: The Books Themselves

Chapter five: Children’s Books: History and Trends

Early Books for Children

Children’s Books Come of Age

The 1800s



New Realism

Minority Books

The Changing Trends in Genres and Formats of Children’s Books

A Changing Marketplace

The 21st Century

Chapter six: Organizing Children’s Literature by Genre

The Genres

The Book Lists

Chapter seven: Picture Books

Categories of Picture Books

ABC Books

Counting Books

Concept Books

Participation Books

Wordless Picture Books

Predictable Books

Beginning Reader Picture Books

Picture Storybooks

Engineered Books

Baby/Board Books

Picture Books Available in Audiovisual Formats

Chapter eight: Poetry

Why Children May Learn to Dislike Poetry

Building Appreciation for Poetry

The NCTE Poetry Award

Forms of Poetry

Building a Poetry Collection

Chapter nine: Traditional Fantasy

Traditional Fantasy: A Part of Every Culture

Peculiarities of Traditional Fantasy

The Universal Nature of Traditional Fantasy

The Values of Fantasy

Types of Traditional Fantasy

In Defense of Traditional Fantasy

Psychological Fantasy


Frightening for Young Children

Waste of Time

Chapter ten: Modern Fantasy

A Definition of Modern Fantasy

Categories of Modern Fantasy

Six Basic Fantasy Motifs

Science Fiction

The Truth in Fantasy

Chapter eleven: Contemporary Realistic Fiction

Importance of Story

Identifying with Contemporary Realistic Fiction

Contemporary Realistic Fiction and Society

Common Categories of Contemporary Realistic Fiction

Chapter twelve: Historical Fiction

History Textbooks Versus History Trade Books

History Textbooks Cover Too Much

The People Are Missing!

Historical Fiction: Presenting Multiple Perspectives

What Makes Good Historical Fiction?

History Should Not Be Sugarcoated

Historical Accuracy Is Required

The Historical Period Should Come to Life

The History Usually Is Revealed through the Eyes of a Young Protagonist

Avoid Too Much Attention to Historical Detail

Types of Historical Fiction

Reviewing the Values of Historical Fiction

Chapter Thirteen: Biography

Typical Personalities in Biographies

Types of Biographies

Judging Biographies for Young Readers

Chapter Fourteen: Informational Books

The Purpose of Informational Books

Finding Good Informational Books

Attractive Design

Compelling Details

Fascinating Comparisons

Unusual Subjects or Viewpoints

Personalized Content


Types of Informational Books

Chapter Fifteen: Multicultural and International Books

Multicultural Literature

The Need for Multicultural Books

Judging Multicultural Literature

The Growth of Multicultural Literature

International Books

part three: Books in the Classroom

Chapter Sixteen: Controversial Books

The First Amendment

Predictable and Unpredictable Controversy

Intellectual Freedom and Individual Choice

Handling Book Challenges

Materials Selection Policy

Grievance Procedure

Steps to Reduce Emotional Tension

Chapter Seventeen: Motivating Students to Read

Helping Students Find the Books They Like

Learning from Motivated Readers

Getting Students Quickly into Books

Reading Incentive Programs

Organizing the Classroom to Get Children into Books

First: Set an Example

Second: Provide Books

Third: Make Time for Books

Fourth: Create a Reading Atmosphere

Fifth: Work with Parents

Sixth: Choose Meaningful Activities and Assignments

Chapter Eighteen: Teaching with Children’s Books

Opening Doors with Books

The Strengths of Trade Books

Research Support for Using Trade Books to Teach Reading

Using Trade Books in the Reading Curriculum

Talking about Books

Written and Creative Responses

Using Trade Books in the Other Subject Areas

The Individual Reading Approach

The Large-Group Reading Approach

The Small-Group Reading Approach

Three Principles of Using Trade Books to Teach Subject Matter

The Last Word

Appendix A

Guidelines for Building a Classroom Library

Appendix B

Book Selection Aids

Appendix C

Magazines for Children

Appendix d

Children’s Book Awards

Appendix E

Publishing Children’s Books


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