The History of Childrenʼs Literature
I. A WORLDWIDE TRADITION OF STORY
II. EARLY BEGINNINGS OF WESTERN CHILDREN'S LITERATURE
A. The Oral Tradition
! ! 1. Beowulf
! ! 2. King Arthur
! ! 3. Fair Isabella
! ! 4. Poor peasant stories
B. The Earliest Manuscripts
! ! 1. Picture Bibles
! ! 2. Lesson books
! ! 3. Available to the rich or teachers in monasteries
! ! 4. Format: Dialogue between the pupil and teacher; Q & A format;
! ! ! rhymed couplets, for easy memorization
! ! 5. Chaucer's Canterbury Tales - 1387
C. The Printed Book
! ! 1. Originated in China - A.D. 175
! ! 2. Printing began in Holland - 1380 - 1420
D. Hornbooks, ABCs, and Primers
! ! 1. Hornbook - small wooden paddle with a pasted sheet of parchment
! ! ! ! printed with the alphabet, the vowels , and the Lord's Prayer.
! ! 2. ABC Books - 1514
! ! 3. Primers - King Henry's Primer - 1548
E. Lasting Contributions of the Period
! ! 1. Very few books were available
! ! 2. The few books which existed were around for over 200 years
III. CHILDREN'S BOOKS: THE SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURIES
! A. The "Goodly Godly" Books of the Puritans
! ! 1. Books inﬂuenced by religious beliefs
! ! 2. Concern for the salvation of children's souls
! ! 3. Spiritual Milk for Boston Babes in Either England, Drawn from the Breasts
! ! of Both Testaments for Their Souls' Nourishment - First book written and
! ! printed for children in the American colonies
! ! 4. Orbis Pictus, Johann Amos Comenius - 1659 - First picture book for
! ! children
B. Lighter Fare
! ! 1. Chapbooks - late 1500's
! ! 2. First printed Fairy Tales - Stories or Tales of Time Past, wtih Morals - Tales
! ! of Mother Goose - Charles Perault - 1697
! ! ! a. Included stories: The Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Red Riding
! ! ! Hood, Puss-in-Boots, Blue Beard.
! ! 3. Beauty and the Beast - Mme. d' Aulnoy
! ! 4. Arabian Nights - Collection of old tales from India, Persia, and North Africa
! ! 5. Tommy Thumb's Pretty Song Book - Mary Cooper - 1744 - Oldest
! ! surviving nursery rhyme book
! ! 6. Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe
C. Newbery Publishes for Children
! ! 1. A Little Pretty Pocket-Book - John Newbury - 1744 - Amusement for
! ! children appears for the ﬁrst time.
IV. CHILDREN'S LITERATURE: THE NINETEENTH CENTURY
A. Books of Instruction and Information
B. Family Stories
! ! 1. The rise of women writers
! ! 2. Little Women, Luisa May Alcott - 1868
! ! 3. Katy Series, Susan Coolidge
C. Tales of Adventure
! ! 1. Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson - 1883
! ! 2. The Adventures of Tom Sayer - Mark Twain - 1876
! ! 3. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain - 1884
D. Animal Stories
! ! 1. Black Beauty - Anna Sewell - 1877
! ! 2. The Jungle Books - Rudyard Kipling - 1894-1895
E. The Rise of Folktale Collections and Fantasy
! ! 1. Household stories - Brothers Grimm
! ! 2. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll - 1865
! ! 3. Journey to the Center of the Earth - Jules Verne - 1865
! ! 4. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea - Jules Verne - 1869
! ! 5. Around the World in Eight Days - Jules Verne - 1872
! ! 6. Harlequinades, or turn-ups - 1766
! ! 1. The Night Before Christmas - Sarah Josepha Hale - 1830
! ! 1. Charm - 1853 - First true children's magazine for English children
H. Illustrators of the Nineteenth Century
! ! 1. George Cruikshank - illustrated Grimm's Fairy Tales
! ! 2. Throughout the centuries as printing techniques developed, more and
! ! more illustrators were inspired to contribute to children's books.
! ! 3. Randolph Caldecott emerged setting new standards.
V. CHILDREN'S LITERATURE: THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
A. Recognition of Children's Literature
! ! 1. Children's Book Week - Promoted by Frederick Melcher - 1919
! ! 2. Children's Book Concil - Established in 1945
! ! 3. Newbury Medal - 1922
! ! 4. Caldecott Medal - 1938
! ! 5. Addition of Children's Departments in publishing ﬁrms.
B. The Rise of the Picture Storybook
! ! 1. Tale of Peter Rabbit - Beatrix Potter
! ! 2. Clever Bill - William Nicholson - 1927, the ﬁrst true picture storybook
! ! 3. Millions of Cats - Wanda Gag - 1928, ﬁrst American picture storybook
! ! 4. The Little House - Virginia Lee Burton - 1942 - ﬁrst sociology book for kids
! ! 5. And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street - 1937 - Dr. Seuss
! ! 6. Illustrations were usually stereotyped, but throughout the years that
! ! gradually changed
C. The Growth of Nonﬁction Books
! ! 1. Increased understanding of human development.
! ! 2. Children seen as naturally curious and active information seekers.
! ! 3. Biographies appear - ﬁrst genre to represent people of color to children
D. Folktales of the World
! ! 1. Pura Belpré - ﬁrst Puerto Rican librarian in the New York Public Library
! ! system. Published Perez and Martina in 1932.
! ! 2. Various collections with folklore of the world are presented to children.
! ! 1. Fantasy stories started out as simple stories such as animals that talked
! ! or a stories of different worlds.
! ! 2. Throughout the years, fantasy stories for children have become more
! ! complex and enriched with various characters, fantastical worlds.
! ! 3. Wizard of Oz
! ! 4. Dr. Doolittle
! ! 6. J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter Series
! ! 1. Children's poet - Walter de la Mare - published the ﬁrst children's poetry
! ! book - Songs of Childhood (1902)
G. Historical Fiction
! ! 1. The ﬁrst Newbury Medal Winner - The Story of Mankind - (1921) Hendrik
! ! Van Loon
H. Contemporary Realistic Fiction
! ! 1. At the beginning of the twentieth century, this time of writing was provided
! ! and well accepted by children.
! ! 2. Little Woman
! ! 3. These books also reﬂected the changes in society and history.
! ! 4.. Social issues were addressed such as war, drugs, divorce, abortion, sex
! ! and homosexuality.
VI. THE MULTICULTURAL LITERATURE OF CHILDREN'S BOOKS
A. The Rise of Multicultural Literature
! ! 1. La Edad de Oro - (1889) - Cuban writer José Martí published a journal
! which lasted four issues. This journal contained various essays, stories, poems
! and biographies with the intent of addressing social issues.
! ! 2. This journal established a landmark in multicultural literature.
B. Deﬁning Multicultural Literature
! ! 1. A term used to refer to at least three kinds of literature: world literature
! (literature from non-Western countries), cross-cultural literature (literature about
! relations between cultural groups or by authors writing about a cultural group other
! than their own), minority literature or literature from parallel cultures (literature
! written by members of a parallel culture that represents their unique experiences as
! members of that culture) (Cai and Bishop, 1994).
C. An International Literature for Children
! ! 1. Providing access of these various books to our children is imperative for
! ! them to appreciate the various cultures and societies.
VII. RECENT TRENDS IN CHILDREN'S BOOKS
A. Children's Books: Big Business
! ! 1. Enormous growth in children's book publishing occurred in the late 1980s.
! ! 2. Number of juvenile hardcover books published skyrocketed to 13,522.
B. Shifts in Publishing Emphases
! ! 1. Picture storybooks are still available but have decreased in quantity.
! ! 2. Publishers now push for series books such as the Harry Potter series.
C. Changes in Writing and Illustration
! ! 1. Children's books are no longer necessarily written in the third person and
! ! the the past tense.
! ! 2. Stories can be told from different points of view.
! ! 3. Technology has also helped in lifting restrictions from the type of
! ! illustrations accepted for books.
D. Children's Literature in the School and Community
! ! 1. With the change in government policies, the use of real book reading has
! ! diminished in schools.
! ! 2. Budget cuts have caused for fewer purchase of real literature and
! ! textbooks have become the norm.
E. The Development of a Multiliterate Society
! ! 1. Our society has been called a postliterate society.
! ! 2. Due to the advances in technology, the reading population has !!
! ! diminished.
! ! 3. More publishers are putting books on discs or making them available for
! ! downloading onto personal digital players such as the iPod.
! ! 4. Chatrooms are now available for sharing read books with other readers.
! ! 5. These new trends create a muliliterate society.