The Oxford Handbook of Children's Literature

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The Oxford Handbook of Children's Literature is an ambitious new resource that provides a thorough grounding in the field through a selection of original interdisciplinary essays on canonical and popular works in the Anglo American tradition. Twenty-six essays by top scholars from varied disciplines address theoretical, historical, sociological, and critical issues through analyses of classic novels such as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Anne of Green Gables , and The Swiss Family Robinson ; early educational and religious works such as The New England Primer and Froggy's Little Brother ; picture books, comics and graphic novels such as Millions of Cats, Peanuts and American Born Chinese ; early readers, including The Cat in the Hat and the Frog and Toad books; newer children's classics such as Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry and Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret , the Harry Potter series and His Dark Materials trilogy; and works of poetry and drama, including The Dream Keeper and Peter Pan . Other media such as the classic album Free to Be . . . You and Me and the generation-defining cartoon film Dumbo are also addressed. An editors' introduction sets the stage by reviewing the field's history, foundational scholarship, and current critical trends. The handbook is geared toward graduate students, advanced undergraduates, and scholars new to the study of children's literature, as well as teachers, librarians and others wishing to immerse themselves in the most vital new research in this vibrant and growing field.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Any institution with children's literature classes will definitely want a copy, but given the resonant approaches and wide applicability, there's much here for people teaching any of these texts or for those looking for new ways to enrich a literary syllabus." --Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"This rich compendium both instructs and delights...Remarkably researched...This collection pushes boundaries of genre, notions of childhood, and critical scaffolding more forcefully than does Cambridge Companion to Literature...Essential. All readers." --Choice

"This handbook is in the best tradition of vitality and clarity...The qualtiy of the scholarship is high, the editing sure, presentation appealing and the referencing full and unfussy...A sophisticated collection that passes both the dip-test and the long haul...It can be wholly recommended." --Times Literary Supplement

Library Journal
Mickenberg (American studies, Univ. of Texas, Austin) and Vallone (childhood studies, Rutgers Univ.) bring together essays by 26 scholars, including M.O. Grenby, coeditor of The Cambridge Companion to Children's Literature (2010). And while the Cambridge Companion offers academic articles exploring the concepts of audience and theme, this book presents original and often complicated subject examinations, involving race and class, worldly knowledge, even image-driven stories. Organized into four thematic segments, all of the 26 essays are highly accessible and engaging, even for curious lay readers. A three-page bibliography and further reading list follows each one. An absorbing reference, valuable to literary and cultural studies collections.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199938551
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/2012
  • Series: Oxford Handbooks Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 608
  • Sales rank: 1,183,424
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 5.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Julia Mickenberg is Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of the award-winning Learning from the Left: Children's Literature, the Cold War, and Radical Politics in the United States and coeditor of Tales for Little Rebels: A Collection of Radical Children's Literature.

Lynne Vallone is Professor and Chair of Childhood Studies at Rutgers University, the first Ph.D.-granting department of Childhood Studies in the United States. She is the author of Becoming Victoria and Disciplines of Virtue: Girls' Culture in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries as well as co-associate general editor of the Norton Anthology of Children's Literature.

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Table of Contents

Introduction-Julia Mickenberg and Lynne Vallone

I. Adults and Children

1. The Fundamentals of Children's Literature Criticism: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking Glass (1871). Peter Hunt

2. Randall Jarrell's The Bat Poet (1964): Poets, Children, and Readers in an Age of Prose. Richard Flynn

3. Arnold Lobel's Frog and Toad Together (1979) as a Primer for Critical Literacy. Teya Rosenberg

4. Blending Genres and Crossing Audiences: Harry Potter (1997-2007) and the Future of Literary Fiction. Karin Westman

II. Pictures and Poetics

5. Wanda's Wonderland: Wanda Gág and Her Millions of Cats (1928). Nathalie op de Beeck

6. A Cross-Written Harlem Renaissance: Langston Hughes' The Dreamkeeper (1932). Katharine Capshaw Smith

7. Dumbo (1941), Disney, and Difference: Walt Disney Productions and Film as Children's Literature. Nicholas Sammond

8. Redrawing the Comic Strip Child: Charles M. Schulz's Peanuts (1950-52, 1959-60) as Cross-Writing. Charles Hatfield

9. The Cat in the Hippie: Dr. Seuss, Nonsense, the Carnivalesque, and the Sixties Rebel (The Cat in the Hat [1957]). Kevin Shortsleeve

10. Wild Things and Wolf Dreams: Maurice Sendak, Picturebook Psychologist (Where the Wild Things Are [1963]). Kenneth Kidd

11. Re-imagining the Monkey King in Comics: Gene Luen Yang's American Born Chinese (2006). Lan Dong

III. Reading History/Learning Race and Class

12. Froggy's Little Brother (1875): Nineteenth-Century Evangelical Writing for Children and the Politics of Poverty. Kimberley Reynolds

13. History in Fiction: Contextualization as Interpretation in Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped (1886). M.O. Grenby

14. Tom Sawyer (1876), Audience and American Indians. Beverly Lyon Clark

15. Living with the Kings: Class, Taste, and Family Formation in Five Little Peppers and How They Grew (1881). Kelly Hager

16. A Daughter of the House: Discourses of Adoption in L. M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables, (1908). Mavis Reimer

17. Where in America Are You, God? Judy Blume, Margaret Simon and American National Identity (Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret [1970]). June Cummins

18. Let Freedom Ring: Land, Liberty, Literacy and Lore in Mildred Taylor's Logan Family Novels (1975-2001). Michelle Martin

19. 'What are Young People to Think'?: The Subject of Immigration and the Immigrant Subject in Francisco Jiménez's The Circuit (1997). Philip Serrato

IV. Innocence and Agency

20. 'My Book and Heart Shall Never Part': Reading, Printing, and Circulation in the New England Primer (1688-90). Courtney Weikle-Mills

21. Castaways: Swiss Family Robinson (1812, 1814), Child Book-Makers, and the Possibilities of Literary Flotsam. Karen Sánchez-Eppler

22. Tom Brown and the Schoolboy Crush: Boyhood Desire, Hero-worship, and the Boys' School Story (Tom Brown's Schooldays [1857]). Eric Tribunella

23. Peter Pan (1904) as Children's Theater: The Issue of Audience. Marah Gubar. Peter Pan (1904) as Children's Theater: The Issue of Audience.

24. Jade (1969) and the Tomboy Tradition. Claudia Nelson

25. Happily Ever After: Free to Be EL You and Me (1972), Second-Wave Feminism, and 1970s American Children's Culture. Leslie Paris

26. Paradise Refigured: Innocence and Experience in His Dark Materials (1995-2000). Naomi Wood

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