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By Hunt

Kid's literature has lately produced a physique of feedback with a hugely precise voice. The ebook consolidates realizing of this sector via together with one of the most vital essays released within the box within the final 5 years, demonstrating the hyperlinks among literary feedback, schooling, psychology, historical past and clinical conception. It contains Peter Hollindale's award- successful essay on Ideology and kid's Literature, subject matters from metafiction and post-modernism to fractal geometry, and the exam of texts starting from photograph books to The Wizard of ounces and the the Australian vintage Midnite . assets are as disparate as sign and the kid's Literature organization Quarterly , and the foreign group is represented by means of writers from Britain, the united states, Canada, Australia and Germany. every one essay is decided in its severe context via huge citation from authoritative articles.

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But in order to be respected it must be understood, and on that score also I do not share Robert Leeson’s optimism. There is too much evidence of pressure on 24 IDEOLOGY AND THE CHILDREN’S BOOK writers (from all points of the politico-moral spectrum) to conform to a predetermined ideology issuing in visible surface features of the text (Inglis 1981:267–70; Leeson 1985:122). Here, for example, is Nina Bawden, a writer widely admired by critics of very different approaches. Speaking to people who care, often deeply, for children, I have begun to feel that the child I write for is mysteriously absent….

Children are individuals, and have different tastes. Children of different ages tend to like different sorts of books. Children of different ethnic and social backgrounds may differ in their tastes and needs. 19 PETER HOLLINDALE Some books written for children are liked by adults. Some books written for adults are liked by children. Adults and children may like (or dislike) the same book for different reasons. Children are influenced by what they read. Adults are influenced by what they read. A novel written for children may be a good novel even if children in general do not enjoy it.

Charlotte’s Web, The Wind in the Willows, The Secret Garden or The Eighteenth Emergency may be books that are problematic in other ways, but it is never argued that they are not fiction for children. Another approach is to look at books which don’t fit, books which seem to defy the rules. Perhaps the most useful way to describe such works could be as ‘counter texts’—a term I borrow from Barthes. Counter texts are aberrations within the body of a plot structure which, when recognized, shed light on functional norms at play within the whole text.

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