Encyclopedia of Children's Literature by Peter Hunt

By Peter Hunt

Children's literature is still the most quickly increasing and fascinating of interdisciplinary educational experiences, of curiosity to an individual fascinated by literature, schooling, internationalism, early life or tradition commonly. the second one version of Peter Hunt's bestselling International better half Encyclopedia of kid's Literature deals accomplished insurance of the topic internationally, with large, available, articles by means of experts and world-ranking specialists. virtually every little thing is the following, from complicated thought to the most recent practice – from bibliographical study to operating with books and kids with distinct needs.

This variation has been increased and comprises over fifty new articles. all the different articles were up-to-date, considerably revised or rewritten, or have revised bibliographies. New issues contain Postcolonialism, Comparative reports, old Texts, modern kid's Rhymes and Folklore, modern Comics, conflict, Horror, sequence Fiction, movie, inventive Writing, and 'Crossover' literature. The foreign part has been elevated to mirror global occasions, and now contains separate articles on international locations akin to the Baltic states, the Czech and Slovak Republics, Iran, Korea, Mexico and critical the USA, Slovenia, and Taiwan.

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The issue at stake is ‘the universal structural traits and patterns common to all children’s literatures’ (Shavit 1986: xi). She comes to the conclusion – based on a brief analysis of the development of British children’s literature, central elements of which she sees later repeated in its Hebrew counterpart – that children’s literature initially develops after a stratified system of literature for adults is in place, and does so through the framework of the educational system; it then becomes stratified in response to the need to combat popular literature.

Notions of international understanding through literature are also often belied by the findings of reading research which show, for example, that most adults are unaware when reading a translation. It is therefore little more than wishful thinking when Mildred Batchelder claims, ‘Children, who know they are reading in translation the same stories which children in another country are reading, develop a sense of nearness with those in other lands’ (Batchelder 1972: 310). How could children have such superior knowledge about literary processes?

As an eleven-year-old she read Struggle is Our Brother, about Russian children in Stalingrad facing the Nazi destruction of their city, and she ‘became their sister in the struggle’ (Paterson 1999: 21). When she was told a few years later that she must hate and fear the Soviet Union she could not, ‘because Struggle is Our Brother had given me friends in the Soviet Union – friends that I cared about and could not bear to see harmed’. Paterson believes that literature can serve as a sort of shield against propagandist lies and cultural and racial prejudice: we must give our children friends in Iran and Korea and South Africa and Serbia and Colombia and Chile and Iraq and, indeed in every country.

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