Wild Things: Children's Culture and Ecocriticism

Overview

Today's young children are occupied with numerous activities taking place in settings that are isolated from nature or merely simulations of the earth's natural environment. As a result, unless they receive appropriate nature education, many children may never develop a familiarity with and positive attitudes toward the natural world that are so crucial to its preservation. Wild Things: Children's Culture, Ecocriticism examines the ways in which literature, media, and other cultural forms for young people address...

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Overview

Today's young children are occupied with numerous activities taking place in settings that are isolated from nature or merely simulations of the earth's natural environment. As a result, unless they receive appropriate nature education, many children may never develop a familiarity with and positive attitudes toward the natural world that are so crucial to its preservation. Wild Things: Children's Culture, Ecocriticism examines the ways in which literature, media, and other cultural forms for young people address nature, place, and ecology.

Studies in children's culture and ecocriticism have been largely separate enterprises; Wild Things is the first book to conjoin the two fields. The book provides scholars and teachers with in-depth discussion of particular texts as well as larger historical patterns and theoretical paradigms. Essays focus on classic literary works such as Charlotte's Web and The Lorax as well as series fiction, nature magazines, environmental music and videos, the Muppets and other Jim Henson productions, and Disney's latest theme park, Animal Kingdom. Affording the reader a return to the wild places of childhood—both real and imagined—Wild Things is a first-class exploration of the dimensions used to teach children about ecological systems and the natural world that surrounds them.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814330289
  • Publisher: Wayne State University Press
  • Publication date: 5/11/2004
  • Series: Landscapes of Childhood Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

Sidney I. Dobrin is associate professor of English and Director of Writing Programs at University of Florida.

Kenneth B. Kidd is Assistant Professor of English and associate director of the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at the University of Florida. He is the author of Making American Boys: Boyology and the Feral Tale (University of Minnesota Press, 2004).

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Table of Contents

Introduction : into the wild 1
1 "He made us very much like the flowers" : human/nature in nineteenth-century Anglo-American children's literature 16
2 "Foundation-stones" : natural history for children in St. Nicholas magazine 31
3 Somewhere outside the forest : ecological ambivalence in neverland from The little white bird to Hook 48
4 The wild and wild animal characters in the ecofeminist novels of Beatrix Potter and Gene Stratton-Porter 71
5 Arthur Ransome and the conservation of the English lakes 82
6 E. B. White's paean to life : the environmental imagination of Charlotte's web 101
7 ecoLewis : conservationism and anticolonialism in The chronicles of Narnia 115
8 Playing seriously with Dr. Seuss : a pedagogical response to The lorax 128
9 "The world around them" : the changing depiction of nature in Owl magazine 149
10 Still putting out "fires" : Ranger Rick and animal/human stewardship 168
11 Environmental justice children's literature : depicting, defending, and celebrating trees and birds, colors and people 183
12 (Em)bracing icy mothers : ideology, identity, and environment in children's fantasy 198
13 Eco-edu-tainment : the construction of the child in contemporary environmental children's music 215
14 "It's not easy being green" : Jim Henson, the muppets, and ecological literacy 232
15 Cartoons and contamination : how the multinational kids help Captain Planet save Gaia 254
16 Disney of Orlando's animal kingdom 267
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