Children's Literature

Instructor: Chi-Fen Emily Chen, Ph.D. 陳其芬

Department of English, National Kaohsiung First University of Science and Technology, Taiwan


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Introduction to Children's Literature

Before Starting Definition Values Child Development Trends

  Before we start...

  Read the following questions and be prepared to give your own answers.

  1. Why do we need to have literature specifically written for children?

  2. What differences and similarities do you see between children's literature and adult literature?

  3. What kinds of literary experience did you enjoy as a child? What kinds of literary experience do you enjoy now as an adult?

  4. What are the purposes for children to read literature?

  5. What makes a good children's book? Please list all the important elements. 

  6. Read the poem "The Owl and the Pussy-Cat" written by Edward Lear. Then decide whether or not you think it is a good poem for children to read. Try to figure out the reasons that led you to your judgment. (*You can also read this poem along with its pictures from Bedtime-Story Classic).

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat went to sea
   In a beautiful pea-green boat:
They took some honey, and plenty of money
   Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
   And sang to a small guitar,
"O lovely Pussy, O Pussy, my love,
   What a beautiful Pussy you are,
      You are,
      You are!
   What a beautiful Pussy you are!"

Pussy said to the Owl, "You elegant fowl,
   How charmingly sweet you sing!
Oh! let us be married; too long we have tarried:
   But what shall we do for a ring?"
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
   To the land where the bong-tree grows;
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood,
   With a ring at the end of his nose,
      His nose,
      His nose,
   With a ring at the end of his nose.

 

"Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
   Your ring?" Said the Piggy, "I will."
So they took it away, and were married next day
   By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince and slices of quince,
   Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand on the edge of the sand
   They danced by the light of the moon,
      The moon,
      The moon,
   They danced by the light of the moon.