Portal:Children's literature

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The Children's Literature Portal

Portrait by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Porträt von Jean und Geneviève Caillebotte, by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Children's literature is literature written for and/or marketed towards a primarily juvenile audience. While some books are authored for a youthful audience, others become associated with children through marketing or tradition. Still others are "crossover" books, read by children and adults alike. Literature addressed directly to children arose in Western Europe in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, becoming a very profitable industry in the 19th century. It includes picture books, fairy tales, animal stories, school stories, science fiction, fantasy, series fiction, chapter books, children's poetry, and other genres. Throughout its 300-year history, children's stories have reflected the values of the societies that produced them.

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Orson Scott Card
Ender's Game (1985) is a science fiction novel by American author Orson Scott Card. Set in Earth's future, the novel presents an imperiled humankind who have barely survived two conflicts with the Formics (an insectoid alien race also known as the "Buggers"). In preparation for an anticipated third invasion, an international fleet maintains a school to find and train future fleet commanders. The world's most talented children, including the novel's protagonist, Ender Wiggin, are taken at a very young age to a training center known as the Battle School. There, teachers train them in the arts of war through increasingly difficult games where Ender's tactical genius is revealed. Reception to the book was generally positive, though some critics have denounced Card's perceived justification of his main character's violent actions. Ender's Game won the 1985 Nebula Award for best novel. Its sequels, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, Children of the Mind, and Ender in Exile, follow Ender's subsequent travels to many different worlds in the galaxy.

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Raggedy Ann and Andy
Credit: Johnny Gruelle

Raggedy Ann and Andy (1919), illustrated by Johnny Gruelle, meet for the first time.

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Dr. Seuss

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She had no money, so the only thing to do was to make a pair of shoes herself! At first the difficulty of the task discouraged her. She had never really considered how shoes were made.... Her respect for shoemakers increased.... When night fell, she was still hard at work. But she longer had any doubt of her success. If the first attempt did not bring it, she would try again. Even if the second or third trial did not prove successful, she would keep on trying — until the tenth time if necessary!

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Anna Laetitia Barbauld
Anna Laetitia Barbauld (/bɑrˈbld/, by herself possibly /bɑrˈboʊ/, as in French) (née Aikin) (20 June 1743 – 9 March 1825) was a prominent 18th-century English poet, essayist, and children's author. A "woman of letters" who published in multiple genres, Barbauld had a successful writing career at a time when female professional writers were rare. She was a noted teacher at the celebrated Palgrave Academy and an innovative children's writer; her famous primers provided a model for pedagogy for more than a century. Her essays demonstrated that it was possible for a woman to be publicly engaged in politics, and other women authors emulated her. Even more importantly, her poetry was foundational to the development of Romanticism in England. Barbauld was also a literary critic, and her anthology of 18th-century British novels helped establish the canon as we know it today. Barbauld's literary career ended abruptly in 1812 with the publication of her poem Eighteen Hundred and Eleven, which criticized Britain's participation in the Napoleonic Wars. The vicious reviews shocked Barbauld and she published nothing else within her lifetime. Her reputation was further damaged when many of the Romantic poets she had inspired in the heyday of the French Revolution turned against her in their later, more conservative, years. Barbauld was remembered only as a pedantic children's writer during the 19th century, and largely forgotten during the 20th century, but the rise of feminist literary criticism in the 1980s renewed interest in her works and restored her place in literary history.

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Mark Souder

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Children's literature and Young adult literature

Children's literature: Book talkChildren's literature criticismChildren's literature periodicalsInternational Children's Digital LibraryNative Americans in children's literature

Children and Young Adult Literature topics

Young adult literature: Gay teen fictionLesbian teen fictionList of young adult authorsYoung Adult Library Services Association

Associations and awards: Children's Book Council of AustraliaCBCA book awardsGovernor General's Literary Award for Children's Literature and IllustrationIBBY CanadaAmerican Library AssociationAssociation for Library Service to ChildrenNewbery MedalCaldecott MedalGolden Kite AwardSCBWISibert MedalLaura Ingalls Wilder MedalBatchelder AwardCoretta Scott King AwardBelpre MedalCarnegie MedalKate Greenaway MedalNestlé Smarties Book PrizeGuardian AwardHans Christian Andersen AwardAstrid Lindgren Memorial AwardSociety of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators

Lists: List of children's classic booksList of children's literature authorsList of children's non-fiction writersList of fairy talesList of illustratorsList of publishers of children's books

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