Subject Area: Literature - Children's

Annotated Bibliography of Multi-Cultural Literature and Related Activities for Children Three to Ten Years
Gayle-Evans, Guda
2004 0-7734-6474-3 204 pages
Today’s schools are very diverse. As a result, many teachers and parents are faced with the challenge of helping children understand and accept differences. Multicultural literature provides an ideal way to expose children to how much we are alike even if we are different.

This annotated list of over three hundred multicultural children’s books is a comprehensive list of books from diverse cultures. Children from different cultures as well as children for whom English is not their first language will see themselves represented in authentic ways. Children from mainstream America will also have the opportunity to learn about different cultures.

While there is a plethora of multicultural literature for children, there is an absence of tools to connect the literature to activities. In this book there are several activities which are connected to and support the stories discussed. These activities, along with the "A Suggestion to Broaden Cultural Awareness” section, allow adults and children to view literature and cultural diversity from different perspectives. Children considered different will feel validated as they begin to learn that being different is not a deficit.

Early childhood and elementary teachers will find this annotated list of books a good resource for connecting children to books. The variety of books will also help children to understand and appreciate the positive aspects of diversity.

Fictional Role of Childhood in Victorian and Early Twentieth Century Children’s Literature
McCulloch, Fiona
2004 0-7734-6451-4 233 pages
This book studies canonical children’s literature during what is perceived to be the first Golden Age of this genre. Building upon critical studies, such as Jacqueline Rose’s The Case of Peter Pan, the instability at the heart of children’s literature is examined. The notion that children’s fiction promotes a discursive innocence is resisted by analyzing texts written specifically for a child readership. Textual tensions and desires inscribed from adult culture’s penmanship, and the subversion of childhood’s mythopoeic status are unveiled through critical analysis, highlighting the complex imbalance between adult narrator and child character.

Just as childhood and its connotations of innocence are a cultural adult production, so must children’s fiction incorporate an element of adult masquerade, where the child character embodies a performative dimension of the adult narrator’s psyche. A critical metaphor, ‘textual pedophilia’ encapsulates the literary and discursive desire for innocence ruptured by the adult palimpsest of a postlapsarian authorial presence. The title refers to the imaginative preoccupations of childhood as transfixed by a performative adult creativity hiding behind a fraudulent mask of pristine innocence. Ultimately, it is a playful genre that, far from promoting idealized innocence, often questions such discourses and subverts them.

Gender Instruction in the Tales for Children by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
Terryberry, Karl
2002 0-7734-7309-2 164 pages
Mary E. Wilkins Freeman’s tales for and about children arose out of cultural constrictions formulated by a strict adherence and obedience to the Puritan values embedded in New England history. At the time she wrote these stories, New England was experiencing a population decline fueled by massive changes in industry and farming, and the effects of war. With young, industrious men pouring out of rural New England, Freeman concentrated on the women and the weak men who were left behind. Role models for boys were hard to find, and respectable mates for girls were few. Consequently, the lines dividing gender roles got blurred in Freeman’s world, and she set out to redraw the lines by redefining the roles of men and women for children. This text not only discusses the impact of such cultural and historical forces on gender in her writing, but it also categorizes both collected and uncollected tales by grouping together the products of Freeman’s gender instruction.

House as Setting, Symbol, and Structural Motif in Children’s Literature
Dewan, Pauline
2004 0-7734-6462-X 312 pages
This study examines the function and significance of houses in children’s literature, concentrating on a close reading of a large number of representative texts. The houses that children live in, move to or visit in these novels are especially striking and unforgettable. Throughout the fiction the house is a dominant setting, occupying a prominent place and producing a powerful imaginative impact upon the reader. This book addresses the need for a comprehensive examination of the symbolic and structural patterns of domestic settings in children’s literature. It was written especially for those who would like to see children’s literature placed in the same context and judged by the same criteria as its adult counterpart.

How Folk and Fairy Tales Aid Children’s Growth and Maturity: An Analysis of Their Need Fulfillment Imagery
Ali. Munir Muztaba
2009 0-7734-4706-7 212 pages
This work investigates folk tales and their significance to childhood development. The author examines how the folk tale addresses basic needs of children, their depiction of life, and what their resolutions reveal about the problems children encounter as they mature. This book contains five color photographs.

How Shakespeare is Presented to Children: A Review of Methods Used to Incorporate the Bard into the Canon of Children’s Literature
Sugarman, Sally
2016 1-4955-0490-5 272 pages
Examines children’s books about Shakespeare, his time and his characters in the light of changing ideas about childhood as well as changes in the experiences of the children who read the various versions of Shakespeare available to them in adaptations, fiction and non-fiction.

Letters From Nineteenth Century American Children to Robert Merry’s Museum Magazine
Pflieger, Pat
2001 0-7734-7505-2 692 pages
Published from 1841 to 1872, Robert Merry’s Museum was the premiere American children’s magazine of its time (its editors included Samuel Goodrich, S. T. Allen, John N. Stearns, and Louisa May Alcott), and the first American periodical for children to publish letters from its subscribers. They often told ‘Uncle Robert’ all about themselves, their families, and their activities: the result is a record of the lives of ordinary people in nineteenth-century America. Here is the growing pre-War sectionalism, the Civil War and its aftermath, attitudes toward minorities and public figures, women’s rights, and major events. The collection of over 600 letters will appeal to those interested in American social history, women’s studies, media history, and popular culture.

Political Philosophy Behind Dr. Seuss’s Cartoons and Poetry. Decoding the Adult Meaning of a Children’s Text
Bracey, Earnest N.
2015 1-4955-0309-7 256 pages
This collection of essays is an exceptional introduction to the political philosophy of Dr. Seuss through analysis of some of his most beloved work. This inquiry presents a way of understanding our society, our government, its policies and how we have evolved and progressed as a nation as seen through the eyes of one of America’s most superb cartoonists and one of its greatest writers of contemporary children’s literature.

Portrayal of Southeast Asian Refugees in Recent American Children’s Books
Levy, Michael
2000 0-7734-7753-5 116 pages
Little has been published on this subject to date, so this work provides scholars and teachers of children’s literature with useful information on the children’s books that discuss Southeast Asians, including Vietnamese, Cambodian, Thai, Lao, Hmong, and Mien. The works fall into three categories with most overlapping to some extent: historical fiction or non-fiction portraying the lives of a specific ethnic group before the advent of the war that is to disrupt the culture; the transition from traditional life to refugee status, usually told from the child’s perspective; life as a refugee in the US (or elsewhere), concentrating on the need to adjust to a strange culture, various forms of post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, and the often bittersweet nostalgia for home.

Readings in American Juvenile Literature
Dizer, John T.
2006 0-7734-5601-5 320 pages
This book is a study of popular children’s series books of the past century. It examines many facets of the field including prominent authors, sociological attitudes in popular children’s literature and recent research into the publishing patterns of early series books. It looks at two early story papers edited and published by Edward Stratemeyer, the publishing history of his early books and his attitude towards youthful heroism and villainy. It also includes recent research on such writers as Annie Fellows Johnston, Howard Garis and Percy Keese Fitzhugh. The study also explores the true origins of Boys Life, official magazine of the Boy Scouts of America. The research is a culmination of over forty years’ investigation into popular juvenile literature.

Social Influences on the Writing of Marion Dane Bauer and Katherine Paterson
Fisher, Bonnie E.
2001 0-7734-7441-2 220 pages
Examines books and papers these well-known authors of children’s books have donated to the University of Minnesota’s Kerlan Collection. They include correspondence with friends, editors and readers, and notes and drafts of essays and lectures. It examines the social influences, and describes the paradigm shift from a model of writing as a solo process to one that sees writing as highly social in nature. Its description of the social nature of Bauer’s and Paterson’s writing provides a timely model and important and well-documented implications for the teaching of writing.

Spiritual and Ethical Dimensions of Children’s Literature
Milner, Joseph
2001 0-7734-7354-8 180 pages
This study argues that children’s literature has a pronounced rhetoric which can be perceived as forming dichotomies within each of the eight classic genres of the field. Each chapter explores central dichotomies within a genre found in several important texts of that genre. Genres are: Science Fiction; Historical Fiction; Survival Fiction; Ethnic Fiction; Fantasy; Mystery; Contemporary Realism; Animal Stories. “. . . contributes significantly to theory and scholarship in the field of children’s and young adult literature. . . . Milner’s construct is thoughtfully and precisely developed. . . . it is undeniably a most valuable resource for academics and teachers alike.” – Wendy K. Sutton

Study of Film Adaptations of James Barrie’s Storypeter Pan
Hermansson, Casie
2016 1-4955-0473-5 156 pages
Since its earliest incarnation in the writing of James Barrie, the story of Peter Pan has been continuously adapted. Barrie himself adapted the story numerous times, across a plethora of different media. He was also the first to draft a film Scenario of it. However, Barrie's Scenario was not used for the first film adaptation of Peter Pan in 1924. This study argues that Peter's unique qualities serve as both the engine of adaptation and the source of each adaptation's provisional nature. The analysis moves from historical texts to include Barrie's film Scenario and then major twentieth and twenty-first century screen adaptations of Peter Pan.

Teaching Multicultural Literature to Help Children Understand Ethnic Diversity: Essays and Experiences
Taylor, Gail Singleton, KaaVonia Hinton, and Lisa Moore
2008 0-7734-5011-4 184 pages
Addresses the challenges of multicultural teaching by presenting instructional strategies.

Understanding Children’s Animal Stories
Johnson, Kathleen
2000 0-7734-7735-7 188 pages
This study examines the content and structure of 59 children’s realistic animal stories for ideological expressions of anthropocentrism. It concludes that the texts send ambivalent and contradictory messages: while children’s stories may serve to inform the reader about actual and potential connections to other animals, they also contain elements that continue to privilege the dominant view.