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Enchanted Hunters: The Power of Stories in Childhood

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Enchanted Hunters: The Power of Stories in Childhood Cover

ISBN13: 9780393066012
ISBN10: 0393066010
Condition:
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Ever wondered why little children love listening to stories, why older ones get lost in certain books? In this enthralling work, Maria Tatar challenges many of our assumptions about childhood reading. Much as our culture pays lip service to the importance of literature, we rarely examine the creative and cognitive benefits of reading from infancy through adolescence. By exploring how beauty and horror Chronicles of Narnia, Philip Materials, Potternovels, and many other narratives, Tatar provides a delightful work for parents, teachers, and general readers, not just examining how and what children read but also showing through vivid examples how literature transports and transforms children with its intoxicating, captivating, and occasionally terrifying energy. In the tradition of Bruno is not only a compelling journey into the world of childhood but a trip back for adult readers as well.

Review:

Maria Tatar is the John L. Loeb Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University. Many of us would expect the holder of such an august title to be an authority on, say, "The Nibelungenlied" or Goethe or the novels of Thomas Mann. In fact, Tatar may be our leading scholar of children's literature and of the fairy tale in particular. Two of her more recent books include "The Annotated... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Synopsis:

Highly illuminating for parents, vital for students and book lovers alike, transforms our understanding of why children should read.

Synopsis:

Highly illuminating for parents, vital for students and book lovers alike, Enchanted Hunterstransforms our understanding of why children should read.

Synopsis:

Ever wondered why little children love listening to stories, why older ones get lost in certain books? In this enthralling work, Maria Tatar challenges many of our assumptions about childhood reading. Much as our culture pays lip service to the importance of literature, we rarely examine the creative and cognitive benefits of reading from infancy through adolescence. By exploring how beauty and horror operated in C.S. Lewis's , Philip Pullman's , J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels, and many other narratives, Tatar provides a delightful work for parents, teachers, and general readers, not just examining how and what children read but also showing through vivid examples how literature transports and transforms children with its intoxicating, captivating, and occasionally terrifying energy. In the tradition of Bruno Bettelheim's landmark , Tatar's book is not only a compelling journey into the world of childhood but a trip back for adult readers as well.

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About the Author

Maria Tatar chairs the Program in Folklore and Mythology at Harvard University. She is the author of Enchanted Hunters: The Power of Stories in Childhood, Off with Their Heads! Fairy Tales and the Culture of Childhood and many other books on folklore and fairy stories. She is also the editor and translator of The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen, The Annotated Brothers Grimm, The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales, The Annotated Peter Pan, The Classic Fairy Tales: A Norton Critical Edition and The Grimm Reader. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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crowyhead, June 1, 2010 (view all comments by crowyhead)
This is an interesting, albeit flawed, work on the power that reading has for children. In particular, Tatar explores the mixed feelings adults have about children reading -- we all want them to do it, but then we worry that they're turning into "bookworms" and not socializing enough, or we worry about what they're reading, or whether they're reading at their age level, or whether they are reading too much of one type of book. Tatar also discusses the history of the concept of the "bedtime story" and the role of horror and death in children's literature.

I enjoyed this book, but it ultimately didn't leave much of an impact, and it's hard for me to say why; there is a lingering sense that all of the different ideas don't hang together as a book-length manuscript. The other issue is that Tatar has an interest in exploring the mechanics and psychology of why reading grips some of us so completely in childhood, and yet she also seems very much loathe to dispel too much of the enchantment we feel about writing, reading, and the books we loved as children. I think I wanted her to be either more ruthless, or simply more specific about what, exactly, she was trying to accomplish.

In all, I would still read other things Tatar has written, but I tend to prefer Marina Warner when it comes to discussions of topics like the place of fear in children's literature.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780393066012
Author:
Tatar, Maria
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company
Subject:
Children's Literature - General
Subject:
Children's Literature
Subject:
Books & Reading
Subject:
Children
Subject:
Children's stories
Subject:
Children -- Books and reading.
Subject:
Literature and morals
Subject:
Literary Criticism : General
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20090431
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
30 illustrations
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Children's » Action and Adventure » Adventure Stories
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Science and Mathematics » Mathematics » General

Enchanted Hunters: The Power of Stories in Childhood Sale Hardcover
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Product details 304 pages W. W. Norton & Company - English 9780393066012 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Highly illuminating for parents, vital for students and book lovers alike, transforms our understanding of why children should read.
"Synopsis" by , Highly illuminating for parents, vital for students and book lovers alike, Enchanted Hunterstransforms our understanding of why children should read.
"Synopsis" by , Ever wondered why little children love listening to stories, why older ones get lost in certain books? In this enthralling work, Maria Tatar challenges many of our assumptions about childhood reading. Much as our culture pays lip service to the importance of literature, we rarely examine the creative and cognitive benefits of reading from infancy through adolescence. By exploring how beauty and horror operated in C.S. Lewis's , Philip Pullman's , J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels, and many other narratives, Tatar provides a delightful work for parents, teachers, and general readers, not just examining how and what children read but also showing through vivid examples how literature transports and transforms children with its intoxicating, captivating, and occasionally terrifying energy. In the tradition of Bruno Bettelheim's landmark , Tatar's book is not only a compelling journey into the world of childhood but a trip back for adult readers as well.
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