Portal:Children's literature

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Egyptian boys reading

Ben Barber (USAID)

Children's literature is literature written for and/or marketed towards a primarily juvenile audience. While some books are authored for a youthful audience, others become associated with children through marketing or tradition. Still others are "crossover" books, read by children and adults alike. Literature addressed directly to children arose in Western Europe in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, becoming a very profitable industry in the 19th century. It includes picture books, fairy tales, animal stories, school stories, science fiction, fantasy, series fiction, chapter books, children's poetry, and other genres. Throughout its 300-year history, children's stories have reflected the values of the societies that produced them.

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Title page, illustrated 1893 edition of The Coral Island
The Coral Island: A Tale of the Pacific Ocean (1858) is a novel written by Scottish author R. M. Ballantyne. One of the first works of juvenile fiction to feature exclusively juvenile heroes, the story relates the adventures of three boys marooned on a South Pacific island, the only survivors of a shipwreck. A typical Robinsonade – a genre of fiction inspired by Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe – and one of the most popular of its type, the book first went on sale in late 1857 and has never been out of print. Among the novel's major themes are the civilising effect of Christianity, 19th-century British imperialism in the South Pacific, and the importance of hierarchy and leadership. It was the inspiration for William Golding's dystopian novel Lord of the Flies (1954), which inverted the morality of The Coral Island; in Ballantyne's story the children encounter evil, but in Lord of the Flies evil is within them. The novel was considered a classic for primary school children of the early 20th century in Britain, and in the United States it was a staple of suggested reading lists for high-school students. Modern critics consider The Coral Island to feature a dated imperialist view of the world, but although it is less popular today than it once was, it was adapted into a four-part children's television drama broadcast by ITV in 2000.

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Credit: Helen Bannerman

Little Black Sambo (1899), illustrated by Helen Bannerman, uses racial stereotypes to depict the Indian hero.

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JOHN: How do you do it [fly]?
PETER: You just think lovely wonderful thoughts and they lift you up in the air.

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Edmund Evans illustration from "The complete collection of pictures & songs"
Edmund Evans (1826–1905) was a prominent English wood engraver and colour printer during the Victorian era. Evans specialized in full-colour printing, which became popular in the mid-19th century. He employed and collaborated with illustrators such as Walter Crane, Randolph Caldecott, Kate Greenaway, and Richard Doyle to produce what are now considered to be classic children's books. Although little is known about his life, he wrote a short autobiography before his death in 1905 in which he described his life as a printer in Victorian London. After finishing an apprenticeship, Evans went into business for himself. By the early 1850s, he had made a reputation as a printer of covers for cheap novels known as yellow-backs. In the early 1860s, Evans began to print children's toy books and picture books in association with the printing house Routledge and Warne. His intention was to produce books for children that were beautiful and inexpensive. For three decades he produced multiple volumes each year, first illustrated by Crane, and later by Caldecott and Greenaway.

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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 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 Template:/box-footer

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Literature on Wikinews     Literature on Wikiquote     Choosing High Quality Children's Literature on Wikibooks     Children's literature on Wikisource     Literature on Wiktionary     Children's literature on Wikimedia Commons
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