Synopses & Reviews
Some of the most innovative and spell-binding literature has been written for young people, but only recently has academic study embraced its range and complexity. This Companion offers a state-of-the-subject survey of English-language children's literature from the seventeenth century to the present. With discussions ranging from eighteenth-century moral tales to modern fantasies by J. K. Rowling and Philip Pullman, the Companion illuminates acknowledged classics and many more neglected works. Its unique structure means that equal consideration can be given to both texts and contexts. Some chapters analyse key themes and major genres, including humour, poetry, school stories, and picture books. Others explore the sociological dimensions of children's literature and the impact of publishing practices. Written by leading scholars from around the world, this Companion will be essential reading for all students and scholars of children's literature, offering original readings and new research that reflects the latest developments in the field.
"[T]here are some critical works with a scope that reaches out to anyone who has questions to ask of children's literature as a whole...The Cambridge Companion to Children's Literature is one of those books....this Companion is both stimulating and illuminating. Such critical insights sharpen our abilities assess what's hot off the presses."
"The variety of informative contributions contained within this volume-from focused analyzes of themes such as the animal figure or the body, to passionate arguments for form such as in Richard Flynn's excellent 'The fear of poetry' (76-90)-and its elegance of structure ensures that The Cambridge Companion to Children's Literature cannot fail to be of value to the reader interested in the parallel worlds of children's books."
-Naomi Milthorpe, Media-Culture Reviews
"The chapters in the collection are broad but not typical in how they approach children's literature. As a whole, the collection is well structured and diverse in its critical approaches [...] As an introduction to children's literature, The Cambridge Companion to Children's Literature is an excellent, straightforward collection that covers the fundamentals. It is also a collection that inspires readers to delve deeper."
-Matthew B. Prickett, Rutgers University at Camden, Children's Literature Association Quarterly
A wide-ranging introduction to an exciting and rapidly expanding field.
This Companion surveys the history and contexts of English-language children's literature from the seventeenth century to Harry Potter. Essential reading for all students of children's literature, this book offers both a wealth of information and original research that reflects the latest developments in the field.
About the Author
M. O. Grenby is Reader in Children's Literature at Newcastle University.Andrea Immel is Curator of the Cotsen Children's Library at Princeton University.
Table of Contents
Preface M. O. Grenby and Andrea Immel; Chronology Eric J. Johnson; Part I. Contexts and Genres: 1. The origins of children's literature M. O. Grenby; 2. Children's books and the constructions of childhood Andrea Immel; 3. The making of children's books Brian Alderson; 4. Picture book worlds and ways of seeing Katie Trumpener; 5. The fear of poetry Richard Flynn; 6. Retelling stories across time and cultures John Stephens; 7. Classics and canons Deborah Stevenson; Part II. Audiences: 8. Learning to be literate Lissa Paul; 9. Gender roles in children's fiction Judy Simons; 10. Children's texts and the grown-up reader U. C. Knoepfelmacher; 11. Ideas of difference in children's literature Lynne Vallone; Part III. Forms and Themes: 12. Changing families in children's fiction Kimberley Reynolds; 13. Traditions of the school story Mavis Reimer; 14. Fantasy's alternative geography for children Andrea Immel, U. C. Knoepfelmacher and Julia Briggs; 15. Animal and object stories David Rudd; 16. Humour and the body in children's literature Roderick McGillis; Guide to further reading; Index.