English | Children's Literature
L390 | 4343 | Roberts

3:30p-4:20p D (30) 3 cr.

This course is designed for anyone planning on a career as a children's librarian, an elementary education teacher, or a children's author/illustrator, as well as anyone with an interest in the rich and varied literature composed for--or set aside for--children. We will consider how definitions of childhood have changed over time and how such changing definitions have shaped what adults have thought children should and should not read. We will also consider how the purposes for children's literature have changed, and what benefits adults have thought children would derive from their reading. And, of course, we will read (and listen to) a variety of literature in a number of different genres: picture books, poetry, traditional literatures, historical fiction, and fantasy, to name a few. To read children's literature is also to explore the role of art, of illustration, and increasingly the role of other media (sound, moving image, "interactive" texts).

Readings may include such works as Louis Sachar's Holes, selected picture books by Maurice Sendak, Andrew Lang's The Blue Fairy Book, Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time, and Sharon Creech's Walk Two Moons. A packet of secondary readings will also be required.

Format: lecture/discussion; exploring community resources; projects.

Course requirements: regular attendance and participation; annotated bibliography; short papers; project (depending on your particular interests, this may involve, for example, developing a lesson plan; composing an anthology of children's literature; or designing and making a small picture book); and final exam.