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.
• Wide coverage of children's literature in the English-speaking world since the seventeenth century • Explores the important themes of the genre as well as how to study children's books • Includes illustrations, chronology and guide to further reading
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.
'… concise, stimulating comments on other school stories from the late 20th century, such as Diana Wynne Jones's Witch Week, help cast the conventions and conventionality of the Harry Potter books into relief and draw attention to the numerous alternative school stories out there.' www.parentcentral.ca
'The Cambridge Companion, lucid, entertaining, and with hardly a word wasted, locates itself in an accessible, mainstream position, and generally does an outstanding job of playing critical and historical catch-up on its more established literary fellow disciplines … beautiful to behold - books to cheer the bookperson's heart, and the inclusion in the series of a volume on Children's Literature, especially one as good as this, should be the cause of unalloyed delight.' Modern Language Review
' … excellent, straightforward collection that covers the fundamentals. It is also a collection that inspires readers to delve deeper … provides a perfect sampling of scholarship for undergraduate and graduate students, but this collection should also appeal to established scholars and experts in the field.' Muse