Children's Literature: Engaging Teachers and Children in Good Books

Multimedia (Print)
Not Available on


This innovative book links quality children's books to an effective reading and language arts program. It hinges on the philosophy that teachers who have a passion for literature influence their students to become passionate about reading. An effective combination of current information on children's book titles, interviews with influential authors, and language arts strategies, create a blueprint for establishing a meaningful children's literature methods guidebook for contemporary classrooms. An original cover illustrated by Caldecott-winning David Wisniewski and interior artwork by children's author Steven Kellogg distinguishes this book's design. A three-part organization covers topics under the headings of: engaging readers in good books, the good books themselves, and using good books in the classroom. For elementary school teachers of reading and language arts.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780130917317
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 8/28/2001
  • Pages: 583

Table of Contents

Unit 1 Engaging Readers in Good Books 1
Ch. 1 Why We Read 2
Ch. 2 What Is a Good Book? 28
Unit 2 The Good Books Themselves 71
Ch. 3 Picture Books 72
Ch. 4 Poetry 114
Ch. 5 Traditional Fantasy 152
Ch. 6 Modern Fantasy 192
Ch. 7 Contemporary Realistic Fiction 234
Ch. 8 Historical Fiction 266
Ch. 9 Multicultural and International Children's Books 290
Ch. 10 Informational Books 324
Ch. 11 Biography 368
Unit 3 Using Good Books in the Classroom 401
Ch. 12 Motivating Children to Read 402
Ch. 13 Teaching Reading Using Children's Literature 432
Ch. 14 Evaluation and Assessment 470
Ch. 15 Teaching Across the Curriculum With Children's Literature 494
App. A Book Selection Aids 522
App. B Children's Book Awards 527
App. C: Publisher's Addresses 543
Author, Illustrator, Title Index 547
Subject Index 571
Credits 580
Read More Show Less


Special Thanks

To Caldecott winner David Wisniewski, for the inspirational cover art he created specifically for this text. We have always loved his work and are so thrilled with his contribution! With crisp, clean lines, David has captured both the beauty and excitement we feel every time we open a good book.

We are also grateful to acclaimed children's book writer and illustrator Steven Kellogg for providing original art to accompany many of the text's features. Steven's paintings have graced over 100 books, and we are privileged to have all of his little critters and characters accent our text.

What Makes This Book Different?

We believe a big key to successful reading instruction is bringing children and books so closely together that children respond in much the same way we adults do when we are lost in a great novel. All sense of space, place, and time dissolves and we become one with the book. We call this ratified state "engaged reading" and firmly believe that if we, as parents and teachers, help create the proper "fit" between reader and text, we will see real, purposeful reading like this take place.

Engaging Readers

In this book we describe that state of engaged reading in detail, discuss ways you can nurture it in your classroom, then offer you thousands of books across nine major genres ready to present to your students. Finally, we spend a great deal of time discussing how to teach most effectively using children's literature. Visual Literacy

Visual Literacy

We believe the art involved in children's trade books is fascinating, often breathtaking, and well worth study. That's why the art contributed by DavidWisniewski and Steven Kellogg means so much to us. That's also why we have included numerous full-color book covers and inside art throughout the text, including a special, in-depth look at picture book art in Chapter 2.

Highlighting Exceptional Literature

Because our purpose in writing this text is to engage our readers in the world of children's literature and to pass on our passion for this literature, we feature many trade book covers throughout the chapters. Booksellers and librarians tell us that the sure way to "sell" a book is to have it displayed on the shelf face out. So, we did the same on the pages of this book. We believe that by seeing books presented this way in this text, our readers will develop a real interest in seeking out the books we discuss. We also think we will make it easier for our readers to recognize these books in libraries, in bookstores, or on line.

In keeping with this philosophy, all the children's literature titles we discuss are highlighted in bold and italic for easy access. We think that it makes it easier on your eye as it moves down the page. At a glance you will be able to pick up titles you want to reference as you return to the text on subsequent readings. We have also painstakingly included as many up-to-date titles as possible without forsaking the classics.

Coverage of the best titles from multicultural and international literature is included, not just in its own chapter, but throughout the book. This reflects our belief that multicultural and international literature should not be segregated to its own study, but should be a constant part of a balanced literature program.

Organization of This Book

Unit 1, Engaging Readers in Good Books, begins with a proactive approach to reading. We investigate first what books hold for us and what it means to become an engaged reader. We then look at criteria for judging a book, noting both the text and the pictures as major considerations.

Unit 2, The Good Books Themselves, deals with the specific genres in children's literature. Within each chapter we provide genre-specific criteria for evaluating books. We begin, as a new parent might, by discussing Picture Books and follow it with a chapter on Poetry. Next we look at Traditional Fantasy and its natural companion, Modern Fantasy. We then address the more "real" genres of Contemporary Realistic Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Multicultural and International Books. Finally we detail the important and kid-popular genres of Informational Books and Biography.

Unit 3, Using Good Books in the Classroom, turns our attention to the classroom. We focus first on how to motivate children to read. Then we address how to go about teaching reading using the wide variety of children's literature available to us today. Next we look at ways to assess and evaluate our teaching and the progress of our students. Finally, we concentrate on how we can teach across the curriculum using children's literature.

Special Features Text Sets

A text set, a group of interrelated titles perfect for read aloud and independent reading, begins each chapter. From this list of books, a student has chosen to read and respond to one title. That response, as well as an excerpt from the highlighted title, accompany the text set in the opening pages of each chapter. Alternate Text Sets, interspersed throughout the chapters, could also be used in either the college classroom setting or the elementary classroom with children.

Bookmark: Integrating Technology

This feature in every chapter encourages and guides Internet use to find author information, classroom activities, and resources for further research.

A Conversation With . . .

Appearing throughout the text are original interviews, which not only introduce readers to some of the most interesting personalities in children's literature, but also provide insight into the process, challenges, and goals of creating meaningful literature for young readers.

Featured authors and illustrators include: Lloyd Alexander, Joseph Bruchac, Karen Cushman, Cynthia DeFelice, Russell Freedman, James Cross Giblin, Susan Guevara, Lee Bennett Hopkins, James Howe, Steven Kellogg, Eric Kimmel, Lois Lowry, Bill Martin, Jr., Gary Paulsen, Allen Say, Alice Schertle, David M. Schwartz, Jerry and Eileen Spinelli, David Wiesner, and Paul O. Zelinski.

Teaching Ideas

These teaching examples and recommendations for covering chapter topics in K-8 classrooms help readers put children's literature into action.

Did You Know?

We include interesting facts about children's literature, the inside scoop on what is new and interesting in the field, and even a little gossip from time to time.

Margin Notes
  • Integrate the use of the text's CD-ROM database of children's literature. This database includes over 14,000 children's titles and is searchable across eleven fields.
  • Integrate our Companion Website,, referring readers to a wealth of additional resources, including meaningful links to the World Wide Web, self-assessment opportunities, and activities.
Book Lists

At the end of each chapter we include lists of books not mentioned within the body of the chapter, but which we believe are must-reads.

  • Fifteen More We Like annotates notable books we feel are important to the genre.
  • Others We Like lists, other books we think everyone will want to read.
Supplements CD-ROM

Free with every copy of the text, this database of children's literature titles contains more than 14,000 titles searchable across eleven fields, including an exhaustive list of award winners.

Companion Website

This resource for students and professors, at, contains classroom cases, author interviews, activities, self-assessments, meaningful links, as well as a message board and chat facilities.

Instructor's Manual

This free supplement provides professors with chapter overviews, objectives, and a test bank.

Within the pages of any book is a promise: the promise of a good story-an evocative tale that may touch your heart or make you laugh. It may provide you with a fact or piece of data that you didn't know before. We hope this book is no exception. We'd love to think that you will enjoy reading this book now and return to it often. We also hope that this book will prompt you to delve deeper into the rich literature that is available to children. We hope you will see children's literature with new eyes and a fresh outlook as a consequence of reading these pages. We want you to become "engaged readers" so you can turn children across the nation and the world on to books.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)