ByAfifDayangWelminaHasanahAnalyzing Children’s Literature
Themes1. Humour- By two years many children begin to laugh inresponse to songs, stories, make believe,storytelling, dramatic actions and slapstickroutines.- Humour has enormous positive benefits forearly literacy learning.- It helps children to engage with stories and thelanguage that is used to create stories.- This in turn helps them to listen to story readinglonger, and to want to read books forthemselves.
As well, the humour is usually more effective in bookswhen it is more than just cleverness with words;illustrations can support clever word use in cartoons,rhyme and verse. Ultimately, the best examples of humour for childrenrely on brilliant use of language to create the absurd,the surprising, the unexpected and the outrageous.
This is the story of a young boy namedMarco who while walking down the street runsinto a horse and cart that suddenly appears to takeon some special qualities; it becomesa chariot pulled by a zebra, then areindeer takes over, followed by a sledpulled by an elephant etc. The imageshave what became the characteristicSeuss colour, sharp lines and simplicityof language and structure.Language that is rich, repetitiveand rhythmic.
2. Gender differences This particular theme is portrayed in the constructionof children’s literature during the 70’s and the 80’s. Often, the “female” characters are portrayed asprincesses; soft, beautiful, meek, lovely, etc. On the other hand, the “male” characters areportrayed as princes, strong and heroic. Some examples of such literary works are Cinderella,Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs and Rapunzel. Such stories are nice to read and they somehowshaped the characters of young readers. Young children are influenced by what they read andthey seem to take after the characters in the story.
What do you think of this theme? Is itgood for children?Cinderella and the princelived happily everafter…..
3. Great Battle Many childrens stories feature a great battle. The battle may be between forces of good andevil, such as in the Harry Potter series. In other examples, the battle is simplybetween two entities who are after a commonboon such as the last bookof C.S. Lewis The Chronicles ofNarnia series when men and beastsfight for ownership of the land of Narnia.
4. Long, Hard Journey One theme that commonly appears in childrensliterature is the hero embarking on a long, difficultjourney. Sometimes the outcome of the journey isresponsible for the fate of the entire world, as in theLord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien. Other times, the heroes seeks personal gain as dothe characters who travel together in The Wizard ofOz. The characters may escape from a difficult life as instories like James and the Giant Peach. Stories about long and difficult journeys teachchildren the importance of perseverance andwillpower when going after a goal.
5. Honesty & Deception Stories featuring lessons about honesty are common. Pinocchio is about a puppet who wants nothing morethan to be a real boy so that he will be loved by hismaker. When Pinocchio lies, his nose grows. He facestroubles throughout the story because of this trait. The Boy Who Cried Wolf is another well-known storywhich focuses on the dangers of deceptiveness. Theboy in the story lies so often that no one believes himwhen he is telling the truth. Deception becomes a tool used by evil characters or"bad guys" to take advantage of the good. Forexample, in Hansel and Gretel a witch tricks thechildren into coming into her house so that she caneat them.