Edited by Peter Hunt, a leading figure in the field, this book introduces the study of children’s literature, addressing theoretical questions as well as the most relevant critical approaches to the discipline.
The fourteen chapters draw on insights from academic disciplines ranging from cultural and literary studies to education and psychology, and include an essay on what writers for children think about their craft. The result is a fascinating array of perspectives on key topics in children’s literature as well as an introduction to such diverse concerns as literacy, ideology, stylistics, feminism, history, culture and bibliotherapy.
An extensive general bibliography is complemented by lists of further reading for each chapter and a glossary defines critical and technical terms, making the book accessible for those coming to the field or to a particular approach for the first time.
In this second edition there are four entirely new chapters; contributors have revisited and revised or rewritten seven of the chapters to reflect new thinking, while the remaining three are classic essays, widely acknowledged to be definitive.
Understanding Children’s Literature will not only be an invaluable guide for students of literature or education, but it will also inform and enrich the practice of teachers and librarians.
1. Introduction: The Expanding World of Children’s Literature Studies Peter Hunt, Cardiff University 2. Theorising and Theories: How Does Children’s Literature Exist? David Rudd, Bolton Institute 3. Critical Tradition and Ideological Positioning Charles Sarland, Liverpool John Moores University 4. The Setting of Children’s Literature: History and Culture Tony Watkins, University of Reading 5. Analysing Texts: Linguistics and Stylistics John Stephens, Macquarie University 6. Readers, Texts, Contexts: Reader-Response Criticism Michael Benton, Professor Emeritus, University of Southampton 7. Reading the Unconscious: Psychoanalytical Criticism Hamida Bosmajian, Seattle University 8. Feminism Revisited Lissa Paul, University of New Brunswick 9. Decoding the Images: how Picture Books Work Perry Nodelman, University of Winnipeg 10. Bibliography: the Resources of Children’s Literature Matthew Grenby, University of Newcastle upon Tyne 11. Understanding Reading and Literacy Sally Yates, Literacy Consultant UK 12. Intertextuality and the Child Reader Christine Wilkie-Stibbs, University of Warwick 13. Healing Texts: Bibliotherapy and Psychology Hugh Crago, Co-Editor Australia and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy 13. Theory into Practice: the Views of the Authors Peter Hunt, Cardiff University General Bibliography Glossary Index