International Companion Encyclopedia of Children's Literature - Vol. 1

International Companion Encyclopedia of Children's Literature - Vol. 1

International Companion Encyclopedia of Children's Literature - Vol. 1

International Companion Encyclopedia of Children's Literature - Vol. 1

Synopsis

Children's literature continues to be one of the most rapidly expanding and exciting inter-disciplinary academic fields-of interest to anyone concerned with literature, education, internationalism, childhood, or culture in general. The second edition of Peter Hunt's acclaimed reference has been thoroughly revised and updated to incorporate the latest scholarship on children's literature from across the world. Expanded to nearly 700,000 words, it includes over 50 new articles on topics-such as Postcolonialism, Comparative Studies, Ancient Texts, Contemporary Children's Rhymes and Folklore, Contemporary Comics, War, Horror, Series Fiction, Film, Creative Writing, "Crossover" literature, and more. The international section has also been expanded to reflect world events, and now includes separate articles on countries-including the Baltic States, the Czech and Slovak Republics, Iran, Korea, Mexico and Central America, Slovenia, and Taiwan. As children's publishing has become a huge international industry and as the genre receives ever-increasing attention and grows faster than ever, this timely, new edition is an indispensable reference work for all literature collections.

Excerpt

This book is about children's literature - but that term is far from simple: children's literature is (among many other things) a body of texts (in the widest senses of that word), an academic discipline, an educational and social tool, an international business and a cultural phenomenon. Within these broad categories there are areas of study that scarcely recognise each other: for example, if children's literature is taken as a body of texts, that body of texts includes ancient Sumerian artefacts, modern reading schemes, classic texts in hundreds of languages, and film. If it is seen as an academic discipline, that might embrace literary theory, historicism, psychology and many other (perhaps conflicting) approaches; it might include or exclude the child from the literary equation. Children's literature - whatever it is - is at once the concern of biographers and historians, librarians and teachers, theorists and publishers, reviewers, award-givers, writers, designers, illustrators - and these and others are represented here.

If it is not surprising to find a huge diversity of subject-matter; what the cross- or interdisciplinary nature of the field also reveals is a huge diversity of approach and tone - quite different concepts of what is thought to be worth saying. It is evident from the voices of this book that specialists in different disciplines (and in different parts of the world) do not merely deal with different subject-matter, they think differently, and this thinking differently extends to how they use words and how they structure arguments and chapters. And yet, because there is a common interest - however difficult to define - these many voices do not descend into cacophony. Rather than attempting to impose arbitrary conventions upon the 116 authors (should such a thing have been possible) of this book, I have been careful to encourage subject-specialists to write within the norms of style and structure appropriate to their specialisations. It seems to me that this diversity (which can be stark) is one of the fundamental, radical strengths of this area of study. This is not an area of cosy agreement; rather, it is an area of developing dialogues along many axes.

A central difficulty of a book like this, which has been pointed out by the (generally helpful) reviewers and users of the first edition, is the word 'international' in the title. It is one of the basic problems in the study of children's literature that the adjective 'children's' does not have the same status as the adjective 'English' in 'English Literature' or 'German' in 'German Literature'. There is a widespread assumption that there is a commonality of childhood, and a commonality of the relationship between the child and the book, that transcends culture and language. Whether this is true or not (and it is discussed at length in this revised edition), such a proposition has two practical implications for an editor. The first is that it potentially expands the subject to unmanageable proportions - a subject area based on a 'horizontal', age- or experience-related division

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.