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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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Gustave Dore le chat botte.jpg
"Puss in Boots" is a French literary fairy tale about a cat who uses trickery and deceit to gain power, wealth, and the hand of a princess in marriage for his penniless and low-born master. The tale was written at the close of the seventeenth century by Charles Perrault, a retired civil servant and member of the Académie française. The book was an instant success and remains popular today. The tale's immorality has provoked some concern about its influence on young minds, but Perrault composed "Le Maistre Chat" and the other tales of Histoires to reinforce standards of civilized conduct in the upper-class French society of the seventeenth century rather than to provide amusement and instruction for the young. Indeed, Puss has been described by one commentator as "the epitome of the educated bourgeois secretary who serves his master with complete devotion and diligence." Perrault's Histoires has had considerable impact on world culture. The frontispiece to the earliest English editions depicts an old woman telling tales to a group of children beneath a placard inscribed 'MOTHER GOOSE'S TALES' and is credited with launching the Mother Goose legend in the English-speaking world.

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In this month

German refugee child, a devotee of Superman reading a Superman comic book, October 1942

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In Adam's Fall
We sinned all.

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Sarah Trimmer
Sarah Trimmer (née Kirby) (6 January 1741 – 15 December 1810) was a noted writer and critic of British children's literature in the 18th century. Her periodical, The Guardian of Education, helped to define the emerging genre by seriously reviewing children's literature for the first time; it also provided the first history of children's literature, establishing a canon of the early landmarks of the genre that scholars still use today. Trimmer's most popular children's book, Fabulous Histories, inspired numerous children's animal stories and remained in print for over a century. Trimmer was an active philanthropist as well as author; she founded several Sunday schools and charity schools in her parish. To further these educational projects, she not only wrote textbooks but she also penned manuals for other women interested in starting their own schools. Trimmer's efforts inspired other women, such as Hannah More, to establish Sunday school programs and to write for children and the poor. Trimmer was in many ways dedicated to maintaining the social and political status quo in her works. As a high church Anglican, she was intent on promoting the Established Church of Britain and on teaching young children and the poor the doctrines of Christianity. Her writings outlined the benefits of social hierarchies, arguing that each class should remain in its God-given position. Yet, while supporting many of the traditional political and social ideologies of her time, Trimmer questioned others, such as those surrounding gender and the family.

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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 AwardEzra Jack Keats Book 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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