ERIC Number: ED253339
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984
Reference Count: 0
Children's Literature: Choice and Influence. Unit for Child Studies Selected Papers Number 35.
This discussion provides parents with guidelines for selecting appropriate literature for children. Initially and briefly explored is the issue of the value of literature written specifically for children. Subsequent discussion explores aspects of picture books, fairy stories, beginning readers, comics, and children's books. Drawing on research by Weitzman, Eifler, Hokada, and Ross (1972), commentary on picture books emphasizes the surprising extent to which these first books for children are biased according to sex. The discussion of fairy stories relies heavily on Bettelheim's (1976) "The Use of Enchantment: The Magic and Importance of Fairy Tales." It is recommended that fairy stories be allowed to have their unconscious effects and that adults not impose interpretations. It is also suggested that the true "characters" of beginning readers are consonants, vowels, and dipthongs; supplemental stories are recommended. Discussion of comics focuses on their unworthiness for encouraging serious attention and on ways their paucity of content and effects can be brought to the attention of young readers. The discussion of children's books offers general guidelines for selection. In particular, various criticisms of certain children's books are reported, and a list of desirable features from both adults' and children's perspectives is provided. Finally, the document includes brief analyses of three children's stories, a list of recommended stories, and a guide for selecting children's literature and other reading material. (RH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: New South Wales Univ., Kensington (Australia). School of Education.
Note: For related documents, see ED 204 029-037, ED 212 382-390, ED 250 087-098, and PS 014 893-898. Paper based on seminar presented at the Unit for Child Studies (Kensington, Australia, May 1984).