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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Nancy Drew is a fictional young amateur detective in various mystery series for children and teens. Created by Edward Stratemeyer, founder of the Stratemeyer Syndicate book packaging firm, the character first appeared in 1930. The books have been ghostwritten by a number of authors and are published under the collective pseudonym Carolyn Keene. Over the decades the character has evolved in response to changes in American culture and tastes. The books were extensively revised, beginning in 1959, largely to eliminate racist stereotypes; many scholars claim that in the process the heroine's original, outspoken character was toned down and made more docile, conventional, and demure. Illustrations of the character have also evolved over time, from portrayals of a fearless, active young woman to a fearful or passive one. Through all these changes, the character has proved continuously popular world-wide: at least 80 million copies of the books have been sold, and the books have been translated into over two dozen languages. Nancy Drew has featured in five films, two television shows, and a number of popular computer games; she also appears in a variety of merchandise sold over the world.

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Cynthia Mc Leod
Credit: Monique Pool

Cynthia Mc Leod signing a novel for an interested reader in Miami, Florida, in 2005.

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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

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Georges Prosper Remi, better known by the pen name Hergé, was a Belgian comics writer and artist. His best known and most substantial work is The Adventures of Tintin, which he wrote and illustrated from 1929 until his death in 1983. His work remains a strong influence on comics, particularly in Europe. He was inducted into the Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2003. The notable qualities of the Tintin stories include their vivid humanism, a realistic feel produced by meticulous and wide ranging research, and Hergé's ligne claire drawing style. Adult readers enjoy the many satirical references to the history and politics of the 20th century. The Blue Lotus, for example, was inspired by the Mukden incident that led to the Chinese-Japanese War of 1934. King Ottokar's Sceptre can be read against the background of Hitler's Anschluss; whilst later albums such as The Calculus Affair depict the Cold War. Hergé has become one of the most famous Belgians worldwide and Tintin is still an international success. Hergé's work was heavily influenced by his involvement since his youth with Scouting.

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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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