Le Bon Libre : The Good Book Choosing Children’s Literature Fall 2008 ELE 616 Research in Children’s Literature
editor from 1974 to 1985
What Makes a Good Children’s Book?  <ul><li>literature for children  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A good book latches onto a chil...
What makes an effective children’s book? <ul><li>Depends on the particular book in question </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A story ...
More from Cynthia Leitich Smith <ul><li>A good book should be the best book it can be </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A children’s n...
What Makes a Good Children’s Book?  <ul><li>A good children’s book:  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stimulates the imagination  </l...
What about books for young adults? <ul><li>Former English professor Don Gallo: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Good young adult bo...
What makes good children’s literature? <ul><li>Bev Clark, Alcott Fan and Children’s Literature Expert : </li></ul><ul><ul>...
What  is  good children’s literature? <ul><li>Good children's literature is good literature.  Period .  </li></ul><ul><ul>...
Tips for Purchasing/Borrowing Books <ul><li>When selecting books from your recommended list, consider the following to red...
More tips <ul><ul><li>Allow children to choose their own books to allow them to pursue their own interests.  </li></ul></u...
Classroom libraries <ul><li>Why have a classroom library? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One of the main tasks of a K-5 teacher is ...
Arguments  against  classroom libraries <ul><li>Books become restricted in their availability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>. . . ...
Solution?  Compromise! <ul><li>Classroom libraries have undoubted advantages in promoting reading and love of reading </li...
Need for policies and procedures <ul><li>What are policies and procedures?  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Policies  explain why th...
Do policies really make a difference?  <ul><li>Without a policy you may face some of the situations:  </li></ul><ul><ul><l...
Importance of a Selection Policy <ul><li>Why do I need a policy?  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>haphazard patterns of acquisition ...
Typical content <ul><li>A good policy on the selection of instructional materials will </li></ul><ul><ul><li>include basic...
Word of warning <ul><li>Know thyself!  [Website no longer available] </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It is important that teachers a...
Contents of a selection policy <ul><li>selection criteria  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The set of  standards  used by  librarian...
A Philosophical Question <ul><li>Is Selection a Form of Censorship? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do public libraries attempt to s...
Challenged, like Harry Potter <ul><li>Look Out,  Harry Potter ! – Book Banning Heats Up  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The  Harry ...
Most challenged book of 2006? (and  2007 ) <ul><li>And Tango Makes Three tops ALA’s 2006 list of most challenged books </l...
FINIS
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Choosing Children's Literature

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Choosing Children's Literature

  1. 1. Le Bon Libre : The Good Book Choosing Children’s Literature Fall 2008 ELE 616 Research in Children’s Literature
  2. 2. editor from 1974 to 1985
  3. 3. What Makes a Good Children’s Book? <ul><li>literature for children </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A good book latches onto a child and won’t let go. What a child needs is to be exposed to the pleasures of reading and to have access to a large collection of books from which to choose when the child is ready to read. What a child does not need is to be pushed into reading or to have an adult force a child to read a certain book by insisting that it is a good book. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>literature for children. Britannica Student Encyclopedia. Retrieved July  23, 2005, from Encyclopædia Britannica . http:// student.britannica.com/comptons/article-203946/literature-for-children </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. What makes an effective children’s book? <ul><li>Depends on the particular book in question </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A story picture book should have all the elements of story, engaging writing, a hero who grows and changes, and the best fit art for the protagonist and tale. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A concept book should convey the concept (be it, say, alphabet, numbers, colors) in a clear and engaging manner, one that will engage young minds. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Humorous books should be funny. Adventure books suspenseful and exciting. Mysteries intriguing. Fantasies imaginative. Gothics scary. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>http://cynthialeitichsmith.blogspot.com/2004/11/effective-aspects.html </li></ul></ul></ul>Children's author Cynthia Leitich Smith
  5. 5. More from Cynthia Leitich Smith <ul><li>A good book should be the best book it can be </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A children’s novel must do all that an adult novel does, but the hero and sensibility is that of a younger person. They are generally a bit leaner, though, less self-indulgent on the part of the author. The audience tends to have a shorter attention span. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No kid reads a book because of what the New York Times has to say. To them, it must sing. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Basically, a good book should be the best book it can be, in whatever manifestation fits best for its unique nature. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Effective aspects </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. What Makes a Good Children’s Book? <ul><li>A good children’s book: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stimulates the imagination </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Has fun language, rhythm, rhyme, and patterns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Has big, clear print, and pictures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is developmentally appropriate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keeps a child’s attention </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gets children involved with the story </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Has sensory appeal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.also-ottawa.org/family_literacy/children_book/ </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. What about books for young adults? <ul><li>Former English professor Don Gallo: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Good young adult books deal honestly and openly with teenage issues and problems” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The best novels for teens, he believes, are well written, yet less complex than the famous classics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Short stories, too, are successful at addressing popular themes such as multiculturalism and character development. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In the Interest of Teenagers </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. What makes good children’s literature? <ul><li>Bev Clark, Alcott Fan and Children’s Literature Expert : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ In my mind, what makes good children’s literature is the same as what makes great adult literature: The work must be excellent in its own right, never condescend to the reader and raise interesting questions.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ It must speak to children and their parents -- and also to the editors, publishers and sellers who first make it available.” </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. What is good children’s literature? <ul><li>Good children's literature is good literature. Period . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Good children's literature isn’t silly or lightweight. Look closely at enduring classics such as Charlotte’s Web and you’ll find a complex work of art, every bit as interesting and rich as an adult novel. Even a children’s book as seemingly simple as Goodnight Moon is in reality a subtly beautiful poem that speaks to the deep longings and fears of both children and adults. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Why Parents Should Read Harry Potter by  Robert Needlman, M.D., F.A.A.P . </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Tips for Purchasing/Borrowing Books <ul><li>When selecting books from your recommended list, consider the following to reduce the anxiety </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Include different authors, genres (biographies, adventure, historical fiction, science fiction, myths, legends, poetry, cartoons, comics and mystery) topics, and themes. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cover multiple time periods (historical past, present, future). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Include books with an array of unforgettable characters. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tips on Choosing Good Books </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. More tips <ul><ul><li>Allow children to choose their own books to allow them to pursue their own interests. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For good readers, choose books with a reading level that will challenge and stimulate. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For reluctant readers, choose books they can read without difficulty yet keep their interest. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Include picture books, even for older children. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Summer ReadingTips on Selecting Books for Kids </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Classroom libraries <ul><li>Why have a classroom library? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One of the main tasks of a K-5 teacher is to teach children to read. Reading is a skill that requires a great deal of practice. To practice, you need books. Thus, every elementary classroom needs its own library. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Build and Use A Classroom Library on </li></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Arguments against classroom libraries <ul><li>Books become restricted in their availability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>. . . when we look at the big picture -- the needs of the whole school -- it is obvious today's limited funds must be spent for the global good of all. A centralized collection is the most economically viable solution to the heavy demands for learning resources in today's classrooms. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Books are only inanimate objects until their potential for learning is utilized by a teacher or teacher-librarian. If a book is perceived to be of use with only one student, in a particular grade, at a certain time of the year, to meet a specific need, then the potential of that book is being wasted. I have seen teachers put books away in a box until next year when they do the same theme again. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The classroom library: Are we returning to the 1950s, or developing better collaboration? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Solution? Compromise! <ul><li>Classroom libraries have undoubted advantages in promoting reading and love of reading </li></ul><ul><ul><li>By keeping track of your classroom collection using a spreadsheet or database manager, and then share that list with others in the school </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>See Classroom Libraries on The School Library Handbook about how to organize your collection! </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Need for policies and procedures <ul><li>What are policies and procedures? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Policies explain why the collection exists and what will be in it. A policy tends to address ideals and generalities. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Procedures explain how the policy will be implemented and who will be involved with the implementation. A procedure should be concrete and specific. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Information Access & Delivery: Policies and Procedures </li></ul></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Do policies really make a difference? <ul><li>Without a policy you may face some of the situations: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You are open to book censors. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You may be cited on copyright infringement lawsuits. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You could be accused of being biased in selection. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Information Access & Delivery: Policies and Procedures </li></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Importance of a Selection Policy <ul><li>Why do I need a policy? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>haphazard patterns of acquisition will result in waste because some—perhaps many—materials will overlap in content, or will be unrelated to changing patterns of instruction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>when there are complaints about . . . fiction in the English class, the use of the “objectionable” item can be explained more easily </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>ALA Workbook for Selection Policy Writing </li></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Typical content <ul><li>A good policy on the selection of instructional materials will </li></ul><ul><ul><li>include basic sections on objectives, responsibility, criteria, procedures for selection, reconsideration of materials, and policies on controversial materials. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your policy should state succinctly what your system is trying to accomplish in its educational program, and, in somewhat more detail, the objectives of selection. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>ALA Workbook for Selection Policy Writing </li></ul></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Word of warning <ul><li>Know thyself! [Website no longer available] </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It is important that teachers and administrators are able to recognize their own biases and also biases that appear in learning materials. When teachers and administrators are aware of their own biases, they can take the steps necessary to ensure that those biases do not influence their interactions with students. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>CRITERIA FOR SELECTION AND DEVELOPMENT OF TEACHING AND LEARNING MATERIALS </li></ul></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Contents of a selection policy <ul><li>selection criteria </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The set of standards used by librarian s to decide whether an item should be added to the collection , which normally includes a list of subject s or field s to be covered, levels of specialization , edition s, currency , language s, and format s ( large print , nonprint , abridgment s, etc.). Selection criteria usually reflect the library’s mission and the information need s of its clientele , but selection decisions are also influenced by budget ary constraints and qualitative evaluation in the form of review s, recommended core list s, and other selection tools. </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. A Philosophical Question <ul><li>Is Selection a Form of Censorship? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do public libraries attempt to supervise the tastes of their readers by making it a fixed policy not to buy “objectionable” books? It is a simple expedient and has often been applied. The public librarian often has the plausible excuse that as the funds of a library are limited, he must pick and choose, and naturally the more “wholesome” books are to be preferred. He insists that he is exercising not censorship but the prerogative of free selection. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Morris L. Ernst and William Seagle, To the Pure . . . A Study of Obscenity and the Censor cited in Lester Asheim, Not Censorship But Selection </li></ul></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Challenged, like Harry Potter <ul><li>Look Out, Harry Potter ! – Book Banning Heats Up </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Harry Potter series is keeping company with such frequently banned classics as John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men and J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Perhaps teachers are self-censored because they felt the chill [from the controversy],” said Charles Suhor, a field representative for the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Article by Diane Weaver Dunne Education World ® 04/10/2000 </li></ul></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Most challenged book of 2006? (and 2007 ) <ul><li>And Tango Makes Three tops ALA’s 2006 list of most challenged books </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell’s award-winning And Tango Makes Three , about two male penguins parenting an egg from a mixed-sex penguin couple, tops the list of most challenged books in 2006 by parents and administrators, due to the issues of homosexuality. </li></ul></ul>Gay penguins have a place in school libraries? Nov 17, 2006
  24. 24. FINIS
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