Portal:Children's literature

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The Children's Literature Portal

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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Lad, the rough collie featured in Terhune's stories
Lad, A Dog is a 1919 American novel written by Albert Payson Terhune and published by E. P. Dutton. Composed of twelve short stories first published in magazines, the novel is loosely based on the life of Terhune's real-life rough collie, Lad. Born in 1902, the real-life Lad was an unregistered collie of unknown lineage originally owned by Terhune's father. Lad's death at the age of 18 was mourned by many of the story's fans, particularly children. Through the stories of Lad's adventures, Terhune expresses his views on parenting, obtaining perfect obedience without force, and the nature and rights of the "well-bred". After a slow start, the novel became a best seller in the adult fiction and children's fiction markets, having been repositioned as a young adult novel by Grosset and Dunlap in the 1960s and 1970s. Selling over one million copies, it is Terhune's best-selling work and regarded as the one that propelled him to fame. It has been reprinted over 70 times by Dutton, and republished by a variety of publishers since its original release, including at least six international translations. Contemporaneous critics praised Terhune's writing style and the overall story appeal, while dog breeders criticized his unrealistic canine characters. In retrospective reviews, critics considered that the novel had aged badly, and that Terhune displayed little actual writing skill, but noted that the novel was able to hold long-lasting appeal as it triggered the reader's desire to have such an ideal dog. A series of four children's picture books based on three of the stories from the novel were published by Margo Lundell between 1997 and 1998.

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Hansel and Gretel
Credit: Arthur Rackham

Hansel and Gretel by Arthur Rackham (1909)

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Winnie-the-Pooh

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A Crow having taken a Piece of Cheese out of a Cottage-Window, flew up into a high Tree with it, in order to eat it. Which a Fox observing, came and sate underneath, and began to compliment the Crow upon the Subject of her Beauty. I protest, says he, I never observ'd it before, but your Feathers are of a more delicate White than any that ever I saw in my Life: Ah! what a fine Shape, and graceful turn of Body is there! And I make no question but you have a tolerable Voice? If it were but as fine as your Complexion, as I hope to live, I don't know a Bird that could pretend to stand in Competition with you. The Crow, ticked with this very civil Language, nestled and riggled about, and hardly knew where she was; but thinking the Fox a little in the dark as to the Particular of her Voice, and having a mind to set him right in that Matter, she begun to sing, for his Information; and, in the same Instant, let the cheese drop out of her Mouth. This being what the Fox wanted, he chop'd it up in a Moment; and trotted away, laughing in his Sleeve, at the easie Credulity of the Crow.
Samuel Croxall, "The Fox and the Crow," Aesop's Fables

Selected biography

Terry Pratchett
Terry Pratchett is an English novelist, known for his frequently comical work in the fantasy genre. He is best known for his popular and long-running Discworld series of comic fantasy novels. Pratchett's first novel, The Carpet People, was published in 1971, and since his first Discworld novel (The Colour of Magic) was published in 1983, he has written two books a year on average. Pratchett is also known for close collaboration on adaptations of his books. Pratchett was the UK's best-selling author of the 1990s, and as of December 2007 has sold more than 55 million books worldwide, with translations made into 36 languages. He is currently the second most-read writer in the UK, and seventh most-read non-US author in the US. In 2001 he won the Carnegie Medal for his children's novel The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents.

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Mark Souder

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Featured articles: Anna Laetitia BarbauldAnne FrankBatmanFairy taleThe Hardy BoysJ. K. RowlingJ. R. R. TolkienLessons for ChildrenMake Way for DucklingsMary Martha SherwoodNancy DrewOriginal Stories from Real LifeProserpineSarah TrimmerSome Thoughts Concerning EducationThe Adventures of TintinThe Guardian of EducationThoughts on the Education of DaughtersTo Kill a MockingbirdTom Swift

Featured lists: Aurealis Award for best young-adult novelList of Oz books

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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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