Children's literature takes many forms - works adapted for children in antiquity, picture books and pop-ups - and now includes the latest online games and eBooks. This vast and amorphous subject is both intimately related to other areas of literary and cultural investigation but also has its own set of concerns, issues and challenges. From familiar authors including Beatrix Potter and Roald Dahl, classic books such as Pooh, Alice in Wonderland, and The Secret Garden, to modern works including Harry Potter and the Twilight series, thisVery Short Introduction provides an overview of the history of children's literature as it has developed in English, whilst at the same time introducing key debates, developments, and figures in the field. Raising questions about what shape the future of literature for children should take, and exploring the crossover with adult fiction, Reynolds shows that writing for children - whether on page or screen - has participated in shaping and directing ideas about culture, society and childhood. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area.
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Kimberley Reynolds is Professor of Children's Literature in the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics at Newcastle University. She was President of the International Research Society for Children's Literature (2003 - 2007). Recent publications include Radical Children's Literature: Future Visions and Aesthetic Transformations (2007), winner of the Children's Literature Association Book Award in 2009, and Children's Literature Studies: A Research Handbook (forthcoming 2011).
Introduction: What is children's literature? ; 1. An outline history of publishing for children ; 2. Why and how are children's books studied? ; 3. Transforming the texts of childhood ; 4. Genres and generations - and the case of the family story ; 5. Visions of the future ; 6. Ethical debates in children's literature ; Afterword ; References ; Further reading ; Index