Portal:Children's literature

The Children's Literature Portal


Children's literature or juvenile literature includes stories, books, magazines, and poems that are made for children. Modern children's literature is classified in two different ways: genre or the intended age of the reader.

Children's literature can be traced to stories such as fairy tales that have only been identified as children’s literature in the eighteenth century, and songs, part of a wider oral tradition, that adults shared with children before publishing existed. The development of early children's literature, before printing was invented, is difficult to trace. Even after printing became widespread, many classic "children's" tales were originally created for adults and later adapted for a younger audience. Since the fifteenth century much literature has been aimed specifically at children, often with a moral or religious message. Children's literature has been shaped by religious sources, like Puritan traditions, or by more philosophical and scientific standpoints with the influences of Charles Darwin and John Locke. The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries are known as the "Golden Age of Children's Literature" because many classic children's books were published then. Read more...


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Woodcut for faith illustrating Abraham and Isaac
Hymns for the Amusement of Children (1771) was the final work completed by Christopher Smart. It was completed while Smart was imprisoned for outstanding debt at the King's Bench Prison, and the work is his final exploration of religion. Smart's Hymns are one of the first works of hymns dedicated to children, and they are intended to teach Christian virtues. Unlike some of the other works produced by Smart after his release from a mental asylum, such as A Song to David orHymns and Spiritual Songs, this work was a success and went into many immediate editions. Part of the success of this work lies in the simplicity and accessibility of the text. However, Smart died before he ever saw the proceeds of the work and never learned of the book's success.

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Janusz Korczak memorial

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"Well, of course, there's lamb broth —"
"I've got it!" crowed Pollyanna.
"But that's what I
didn't want," sighed the sick woman, sure now of what her stomach craved. "It was chicken I wanted."
"Oh, I've got that too," chuckled Pollyanna.
The woman turned in amazement. "Both of them?" she demanded.
"Yes — and calves' foot jelly," triumphed Pollyanna. "I was just bound you should have what you wanted for once, so Nancy and I fixed it."

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J. R. R. Tolkien in 1916
J. R. R. Tolkien was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion. He was Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford from 1925 to 1945, and Merton Professor of English Language and Literature from 1945 to 1959. He was a close friend of C. S. Lewis—they were both members of the informal literary discussion group known as the Inklings. While many other authors had published works of fantasy before Tolkien, the great success of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings when they were published in paperback in the United States led directly to a popular resurgence of the genre. This has caused Tolkien to be popularly identified as the "father" of modern fantasy literature.

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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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