Pleasures of Children's Literature, The, 3rd edition

  • Perry Nodelman
  • Mavis Reimer

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  • Amplified discussions of the theoretical positions that underlie the materials covered make this a strong text for undergraduate and graduate-level courses.
  • The text clearly emphasizes how cultural contexts influence the ways in which everybody reads and responds to children's literature.
  • The text emphasizes the value of developing the importance of critical thinking for everyone, including child readers.

Table of contents


1. How to Read this Book.

Studying Literature: Some Basic Assumptions Opinion and Dialogue.

Writing About What You Read.

2. How to Read Children's Literature.

Seeing Beyond an Adult Perspective.

The Implied Reader.

Children's Literature and Adult Literature: Differences and Similarities.

The Pleasures of Literature.

3. Teaching Children Literature.

Focusing on Literary Strategies.

Can Pleasure Be Taught?

What Not to Teach.

What to Teach.

Teaching Literary Strategies.

4. Strategies for Reading a Literary Text.

Schemata and Reading.

Gaps in Texts.

Filling in the Gaps: Strategies for Building Consistency.


5. Common Assumptions About Childhood.

Children in Ideology.

Childhood in History.

Childhood Now.

Some Common Assumptions.

Assumptions as Ideology.

Why the Assumptions Might Be True.

Why the Assumptions Can't Be the Whole Truth.

But They're Sometimes True Anyway.

The Assumptions and Power: Why Do We Have Them?

Beyond the Child as Other.

But Are Children Different After All?

Childhood Reading and Censorship.

6. Children's Literature in the Marketplace.

Children's Choices: The Freedom to Be Unique?

The Field of Children's Literature.

The Producers of Children's Literature.

Who Sells Books for Children?

Who Buys Books for Children?

Fewer Books.

The Strange Case of Harry Potter.

7. The World of Children's Culture.

Unavoidable Teaching.

Nonfiction: Is It Nonfictional?

The World of Children's Toys and Games.

The World of Children's TV.

The World of Children's Movies Toys, TV, Movies: A Repertoire For Life and Literature.

Freeing Children from Culture?

8. Literature and Ideology.

History and Culture.

Reading Against a Text.

Surfacing Political Assumptions.

Surfacing Assumptions About Gender.

Multiculturalism: Surfacing Assumptions About Race and Ethnicity.

Surfacing Assumptions About Individuality.


9. Children's Literature as Repertoire.


Texts as Contexts for Each Other.

Children's Literature as a Genre.

Characteristics of the Genre.

The Genre Today.

Genre and Formula.

10. The Repertoire of Theory.

Reading in the Context of Theory.

Reader-Response Theories.

Psychoanalytic Theories.

Archetypal Theories.

Structuralist Theories.

Ideological Theories.

Cultural Studies.

Values and Canons.


11. Poetry.

Poetry for Children?

The Pleasures of Sound and Image.

Experiencing Poetry.

Children's Poetry: The Making of Anthologies.

Why Many People Don't Like Poetry—And What to Do About It.

12. Picture Books.

The Visual Imagination and Pictorial Comprehension.

The Pleasures of Picture Books.

How Pictures Provide Information About Stories.

Storytelling in Words and Pictures.

Picture Books as Puzzles.

Picture Books for Older Children.

13. Fairy Tales and Myths.

A Common Repertoire.

The History of Fairy Tales.

Oral Tales from Written Versions: Variant Versions.

Cultural Values.

Which Versions Should Children Read?

Characteristics of Fairy Tales.

Literary Fairy Tales.



Continuing The Dialogue.

Published by Pearson (June 19th 2002) - Copyright © 2003