Feeling Like a Kid: Childhood and Children's Literature / Edition 1

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Overview

In this engaging and reflective essay, Jerry Griswold examines the unique qualities of childhood experience and their reappearance as frequent themes in children’s literature. Surveying dozens of classic and popular works for the young—from Heidi and The Wizard of Oz to Beatrix Potter and Harry Potter—Griswold demonstrates how great children's writers succeed because of their uncanny ability to remember what it feels like to be a kid: playing under tables, shivering in bed on a scary night, arranging miniature worlds with toys, zooming around as caped superheroes, listening to dolls talk.

No softheaded discussion of kids’ "cute" convictions nor a developmentally-focused critique of their "immature" beliefs, Feeling Like a Kid boldly and honestly identifies the ways in which the young think and see the world in a manner different from that of adults. Written by a leading scholar, prize-winning author, and frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times, this extensively illustrated book will fascinate general readers as well as all those who study childhood and children's literature.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
A delight both to read and to hold in one's hand, this is a splendid book with beautiful binding, end papers, paper, cover, and typeface, and 30 illustrations reproduced in lavish color... Essential. All adult lovers and students of children's literature.
Booklist
Insightful and engaging work of original scholarship... so lively and so engagingly written that it will appeal to and engage the imaginations of all readers who have even a passing interest in the literature of childhood.
Rain Taxi
Written in the crisp, bright manner of a yet-to-be-disillusioned graduate student happening upon an exciting new subject for the first time, combined with the sage irony and impeccable background of a full-fledged academic expert.
Baltimore Magazine
Each chapter sheds light on childhood in general; taken as a whole the book effectively contrasts how children and adults experience the world in different ways.
Choice

A delight both to read and to hold in one's hand, this is a splendid book with beautiful binding, end papers, paper, cover, and typeface, and 30 illustrations reproduced in lavish color... Essential. All adult lovers and students of children's literature.

American Book Review
What is striking at first sight... is the beautiful production of the book as an artifact.

— Karin Lesnik-Oberstein

American Book Review - Karin Lesnik-Oberstein
What is striking at first sight... is the beautiful production of the book as an artifact.
Children's Literature - Karen Scialabba
Passionately examining those elusive qualities that give certain works of children's literature timeless endurance, author Jerry Griswold brings superior intellect and an eye for detail to his richly illustrated literary essay entitled, Feeling Like a Kid. Exploring five recurring themes in classic and popular children's literature—Snugness, Scariness, Smallness, Lightness, Aliveness—he reveals that good writers still remember what it feels like to be a child. Intuitively, they know that the intrinsic value of childhood lies in "play[ing] snugly under tables…and believ[ing] in talking animals and living toys." Griswold, a critic in the arts, a public intellectual, and a noted professor of English and comparative literature, assumes a nostalgic, white, middle-class, western philosophical stance in this particular work. Nevertheless, this provocative title offers a reflective study of childhood appealing to general readers and students alike. Reviewer: Karen Scialabba
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801885174
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2006
  • Edition description: 20
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 1,431,223
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.57 (d)

Meet the Author

Jerry Griswold is the director of the National Center for the Study of Children's Literature and a professor of English and comparative literature at San Diego State University. He is the author of several books and more than two hundred published articles.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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