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

Children's Literature and Child Development

(*This part is based on 1) Lynch-Brown, C. & Tomlinson, C. (2005). Essentials of Children’s Literature (5th edition). Chapter 1. Learning about children and their literature; and 2) Russell, D. L. (2009). Literature for children: a short introduction (6th edition). Chapter 2. The study of childhood)

See a chart of children's developmental stages

Ages 0-2

 

sensorimotor

period

- nursery rhymes for reading aloud

- brief, plotless, concept books with brightly colored pictures

- interactive books (e.g. touching and opening little doors)

- often in the form of heavy, nontoxic cardboard or cloth books

 

Ages 2-4

pre-conceptual stage

- simple-plot picture storybooks and folktales for reading aloud

- nursery rhymes for them to memorize

- concept books including numbers, letters, and more complex concepts like opposites (e.g. counting books, word books, and illustrated dictionaries) 

Ages 4-7

Beginning   readers

 

intuitive stage

 

- easy-to-read picture storybooks, folktales, and rhymes for reading aloud, storytelling, and “play-reading”

- informational books for beginning readers that help children find out about the world and how it works

- they begin to understand the notion of stories, letter-sound relationship, left-to-right and top-to-bottom progression of print on the page, and a slight vocabulary

Ages 7-9

Transitional readers

period of concrete operations

(7-11 years)

- longer picture books and short chapter books with simple, straightforward plots and writing styles

- their interest in folktales begin to fall off by age 8; they show more interest in realistic stories and adventures of young characters

Ages 9-12

Competent  readers

 

- sophisticated picture storybooks and novels (chapter books) with more complicated plots, including realistic fiction (survival stories, peer stories, animal stories, mysteries, and romances), historical fiction, and science fiction

- series books containing similar topics, recurring characters, and formulaic patterns of plots