Portal:Children's literature

The Children's Literature Portal


Children's literature or juvenile literature includes stories, books, magazines, and poems that are made for children. Modern children's literature is classified in two different ways: genre or the intended age of the reader.

Children's literature can be traced to stories and songs, part of a wider oral tradition, that adults shared with children before publishing existed. The development of early children's literature, before printing was invented, is difficult to trace. Even after printing became widespread, many classic "children's" tales were originally created for adults and later adapted for a younger audience. Since the fifteenth century much literature has been aimed specifically at children, often with a moral or religious message. Children's literature has been shaped by religious sources, like Puritan traditions, or by more philosophical and scientific standpoints with the influences of Charles Darwin and John Locke. The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries are known as the "Golden Age of Children's Literature" because many classic children's books were published then. Read more...


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A Series of Unfortunate Events is a series of children's novels by Lemony Snicket which follows the turbulent lives of Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire after their parents' death in a house fire. The children are placed in the custody of their distant cousin Count Olaf, who openly plots to embezzle their inheritance. After the Baudelaires are removed from his care by their parents' estate executor, Arthur Poe, Olaf begins to doggedly hunt the children down, bringing about the serial slaughter of a multitude of characters. The entire series is actively narrated by Snicket, who makes numerous references to his mysterious, deceased love interest, Beatrice. Both Snicket and Beatrice play roles in the story along with Snicket's family members, all of whom are part of an overarching conspiracy known to the children only as "V.F.D." Since the release of the first novel, The Bad Beginning, in September 1999, the books have gained significant popularity, critical acclaim, and commercial success worldwide, spawning a film, video game, and assorted merchandise. The thirteen books in the series (or "tridecalogy") have collectively sold more than 60 million copies and have been translated into 41 languages.

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Credit: Edward Lear

Edward Lear, A Book of Nonsense (1846)

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German refugee child, a devotee of Superman reading a Superman comic book, October 1942

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Three blind mice,
Three blind mice,
See how they run!
See how they run!
They all ran after the farmer's wife,
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife;
Did you ever see such fun in your life
As three blind mice?

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Terry Pratchett
Terry Pratchett is an English novelist, known for his frequently comical work in the fantasy genre. He is best known for his popular and long-running Discworld series of comic fantasy novels. Pratchett's first novel, The Carpet People, was published in 1971, and since his first Discworld novel (The Colour of Magic) was published in 1983, he has written two books a year on average. Pratchett is also known for close collaboration on adaptations of his books. Pratchett was the UK's best-selling author of the 1990s, and as of December 2007 has sold more than 55 million books worldwide, with translations made into 36 languages. He is currently the second most-read writer in the UK, and seventh most-read non-US author in the US. In 2001 he won the Carnegie Medal for his children's novel The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents.

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Marcus Cornish's life-size bronze sculpture of Paddington Bear that stands in Paddington Station in London

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Children's literature and Young adult literature

Children's literature: Book talkChildren's literature criticismChildren's literature periodicalsInternational Children's Digital LibraryNative Americans in children's literature

Children and Young Adult Literature topics

Young adult literature: Gay teen fictionLesbian teen fictionList of young adult authorsYoung Adult Library Services Association

Associations and awards: Children's Book Council of AustraliaCBCA book awardsGovernor General's Literary Award for Children's Literature and IllustrationIBBY CanadaAmerican Library AssociationAssociation for Library Service to ChildrenNewbery MedalCaldecott MedalGolden Kite AwardEzra Jack Keats Book AwardSCBWISibert MedalLaura Ingalls Wilder MedalBatchelder AwardCoretta Scott King AwardBelpre MedalCarnegie MedalKate Greenaway MedalNestlé Smarties Book PrizeGuardian AwardHans Christian Andersen AwardAstrid Lindgren Memorial AwardSociety of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators

Lists: List of children's classic booksList of children's literature authorsList of children's non-fiction writersList of fairy talesList of illustratorsList of publishers of children's books

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