an independent academic publisher since 1985

book details

Bookmark and Share
Considering Children's Literature 

Considering Children's Literature

A Reader

Edited by: Andrea Schwenke Wyile & Teya Rosenberg

Publication Date: February 22, 2008
390pp • Paperback
ISBN: 9781551116044 / 1551116049

Buy Now

CDN & US $39.95

View Table of Contents

"The study of children's literature is not just about children and the books said to be for them; it is also about the societies and cultures from which the literature comes, and it is about the assumptions and ideas we hold about children and childhood. For adults, reading children's literature is ultimately both an act of nostalgia and of self-examination. When we consider children's literature, we must include ourselves in the equation: What kinds of readers are we? How do we relate to books and stories? To what degree should we impose our experience upon others? Reading children's literature actively can lead to all kinds of remarkable (and sometimes unsettling) revelations about ourselves and our society." - from the Introduction

Considering Children's Literature is a collection of previously published essays on a variety of topics that inform the study of children's literature. Exploring issues such as censorship, the canon, the meanings of fairy tales, and the adaptation of children's literature into film, the essays in this anthology are as diverse as they are illuminating. 

Along with authors like Natalie Babbitt and Margaret Mahy, teachers, scholars, and publishers of children's books are also contributors. Accessible and comprehensive, this book will appeal to anyone interested in children's literature. 


"Considering Children's Literature is a compilation of accessible―and often highly personal―explorations of children's literature as literature. Placed together, they represent diverse opinions on several of the genres commonly explored within contemporary studies of children's literature: the picture book, historical fiction, poetry, and folklore. Discussions of young adult literature, theatre, and film are also included. All in all, Considering Children's Literature is a valuable anthology of critical opinions about children's and young adult media that should engage its readers in provocative discussions about the place of children's literature in today’s publishing houses, libraries, schools, and colleges." - Jill May, Purdue University

Andrea Schwenke Wyile is Associate Professor of English at Acadia University. Teya Rosenberg is Associate Professor of English at Texas State University-San Marcos.

Academics please note that this is a title classified as having a restricted allocation of complimentary copies. While the availability of bound complimentary copies is restricted to desk copies only, electronic complimentary copies are readily available for those professors wishing to consider this title for possible course adoption. Should you choose to adopt the book after viewing an electronic copy we will be happy to provide a bound desk copy.

Table of Contents: [Back to Top]



Chapter I: Introducing the Study of Children's Literature

  1. Introduction
  2. Natalie Babbitt, "Happy Endings? Of Course, and Also Joy" (1970)
  3. Aidan Chambers, "Axes for Frozen Seas" (1985)
  4. Hazel Rochman, "Introduction: Beyond Political Correctness" (1993)
  5. Naser Yusefi, "Good Books, Bad Books—and Who Decides Why" (1995)

Chapter II: Historical Children's Literature

  1. Introduction
  2. Gillian Adams, "Medieval Children's Literature: Its Possibility and Actuality" (1998)
  3. Peter Hunt, "Passing on the Past: The Problem of Books That Are for Children and That Were for Children" (1996)
  4. Susan R. Gannon, "Report from Limbo: Reading Historical Children's Literature Today" (1998)

Chapter III: The Picturebook

  1. Introduction
  2. Marcia Brown, "Distinction in Picture Books" (1958)
  3. Deborah Stevenson, "Narrative in Picture Books or, The Paper That Should Have Had Slides" (1998)
  4. Aidan Chambers, "Why 'Tell Me'?" (1993)
  5. Aidan Chambers, From "Scenes from 'Tell Me' in Action" (1993)
  6. Scott McCloud, From "The Vocabulary of Comics" and "Blood in the Gutters" in Understanding Comics (1993)
  7. Emer O'Sullivan, "Translating Pictures" (1999)

Chapter IV: Poetry and Nursery Rhymes

  1. Introduction
  2. Perry Nodelmen, "The Nursery Rhymes of Mother Goose: A World without Glasses" (1987)
  3. Morag Styles, "'From the Best Poets'?: How the Canon of Poetry for Children Is Constructed" (1998)

Chapter V: Fairy Tales and Fantasy

  1. Introduction
  2. Hugh Crago, "What Is a Fairy Tale?" (2003)
  3. Anna E. Altmann, "Parody and Poesis in Feminist Fairy Tales" (1994)
  4. C.W. Sullivan III, "Fantasy" (1992)

Chapter VI: Young Adult Literature

  1. Introduction
  2. Anne Scott Macleod, "The Journey Inward: Adolescent Literature in America, 1945-1995" (1997)
  3. Virginia Monseau, From "Responding to Response" in Responding to Young Adult Literature (1996)
  4. Geralde Schmidt-Dumont, "Poetic Encryption and 'Sex Scrubbed Clean': A Report from Germany" (1994)
  5. Caroline Hunt, "Young Adult Literature Evades the Theorists" (1996)

Chapter VII: Drama and Theatre

  1. Introduction
  2. Sanjay Kumar, "Theatre for Children in India: An Instrument for Social Change?" (1998)
  3. Jack Zipes, "Political Children's Theatre in the Age of Globalization" (2003)
  4. "Wolfgang Schneider, "'Rosy Cheeks' and 'Shining Eyes’ as Criteria in Children's Theatre Criticism" (1995)

Chapter VIII: Film Adaptations

  1. Introduction
  2. Keith Mehlinger, "A Case Study of The Planet of Junior Brown" (2000)
  3. A. Waller Hastings, "Moral Simplification in Disney's The Little Mermaid" (1993)
  4. Shaul Bassi, "Traffic in the Jungle: Teachers, Lawyers, Doctors, and Animals in Three Kipling Films" (2001)

Chapter IX: Theoretical Explorations and Practical Issues

  1. Introduction
  2. Wendy Lamb, "Strange Business: The Publishing Point of View" (1998)
  3. Margaret Mahy (Lyttelton), "The Writer in New Zealand: Building Bridges through Children's Books" (1996)
  4. Perry Nodelman, "Fear of Children's Literature: What's Left (or Right) After Theory?" (1997)
  5. Margaret Mackey, "Playing the Phase Space: Contemporary Forms of Fictional Pleasure" (1999)

Further Readings



Academics teaching relevant courses may request examination copies of titles to consider for text adoption. We ask that you limit your examination copy requests to three or fewer at a time; if you are not confident that you will adopt the book, please help us keep costs down by ordering it instead. If in the future you do decide to assign as a course text a book you have previously ordered personally, Broadview Press will be happy to refund your money.

Considering Children's Literature

2008 • 390pp • Paperback • 9781551116044 / 1551116049

Instructors – Planning your syllabi? Consider this book for course use.

Request Exam Copy


Broadview Press acknowledges the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund, and also acknowledges the support of the Ontario Media Development Corporation. Freehand Books, an imprint of Broadview, acknowledges the support of the Canadian Council of the Arts.