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CHILDREN’S LITERATURE PRELIMINARY READING

A Some ‘Classics’ of Children’s Literature (up to 1960)

Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress (1674), Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (1719) and Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels (1726)
were all well known to most writers of children’s books, and should be read as background. Fairytales
collected by Perrault and Grimm, and some of those written by Hans Andersen and Oscar Wilde should
also feature in your preliminary reading.

Thomas Hughes, Tom Brown’s Schooldays (1857)


Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865)
L.M. Alcott, Little Women (1868)
S. Coolidge, What Katy Did (1872)
G. MacDonald, The Princess and the Goblin (1872)
Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer (1875)
Anna Sewell, Black Beauty (1877)
R.L. Stevenson, Treasure Island (1883)
E. Nesbit, Five Children and It (1902)
Beatrix Potter, Peter Rabbit (1902)
J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan (first produced 1904)
K. Grahame, The Wind in the Willows (1908)
Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden (1911)
A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh (1926)
Arthur Ransome, Swallows and Amazons (1930)
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit (1937)
C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950)
M. Norton, The Borrowers (1952)
Lucy Boston, The Children of Green Knowe (1954)
R. Sutcliff, The Eagle of the Ninth (1954)
P. Pearce, Tom’s Midnight Garden (1958)

B Children’s Literature since 1960

You should try to read books by some of the following authors:


David Almond Nina Bawden Melvyn Burgess Aidan Chambers
Susan Cooper Robert Cormier Roald Dahl Berlie Doherty
Anne Fine Leon Garfield Alan Garner Adele Geras
Rosa Guy Russell Hoban Gene Kemp Penelope Lively
Margaret Mahy Jan Mark Patrick Ness Philip Pullman
Philip Reeve Catherine Storr Mildred Taylor Cynthia Voight
Diana Wynne Jones Robert Westall

Look also at recent picture books, notably those whose authors and/or illustrators include:
Janet & Allan Ahlberg Caroline Binch Quentin Blake Ruth Brown
Anthony Browne John Burningham Lauren Child Babette Cole
Michael Foreman Mary Hoffman Shirley Hughes Helen Oxenbury
David McKee Maurice Sendak Shaun Tan Martin Waddell
C Critical Works on Children’s Literature

The following texts are useful critical introductions to children’s literature (those in bold are core
reading on our compulsory module, Critical and Theoretical Perspectives):

 Appleyard, J. Becoming a Reader, Cambridge University Press, 1990.


 Barry, P. Beginning Theory: An Introduction to Literary and Critical Theory, Manchester:
University Press, 2009.
 Cadden, M., ed. Telling Children’s Stories: Narrative Theory and Children’s Literature. London:
University of Nebraska Press, 2010.
 Carpenter, H. Secret Gardens: The Golden Age of Children’s Literature, London: Unwin, 1985.
 Grenby, M. Children’s Literature, Edinburgh University Press, 2008.
 Hollindale, P. Signs of Childness in Children’s Literature, Stroud: Thimble Press, 1998.
 Hunt, P., ed. Children’s Literature: the Development of Criticism, London: Routledge, 1990.
 Hunt, P., ed. Literature for Children: Contemporary Criticism, London: Routledge, 1992.
 Hunt, P. An Introduction to Children’s Literature, Oxford University Press, 1994.
 Hunt, P., ed. Children’s Literature: An Illustrated History, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995
 Hunt, P., ed. Understanding Children’s Literature: Key Essays from the Second Edition of the
International Companion Encyclopedia of Children’s Literature. 2nd Ed. London: Routledge, 2005
 Lesnik-Oberstein, K., ed. Children’s Literature: New Approaches. Basingstoke: Palgrave
Macmillan, 2004.
 Nodelman, P. The Pleasures of Children’s Literature, New York: Longman, 1996.
 Paul, L. Reading Otherways, Stroud: Thimble Press, 1998.
 McGillis, R. The Nimble Reader, New York: Twayne Publishers, 1996.
 Meek, M. How Texts Teach What Readers Learn, Stroud: Thimble Press, 1988 (copies can be
purchased direct from Thimble Press: http://www.thimblepress.co.uk)
 Reynolds, K., ed. Modern Children’s Literature: an introduction, Basingstoke: Palgrave,
Macmillan, 2005.
 Reynolds, K. and Grenby, M. Children's Literature Studies: A Research Handbook. London:
Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.
 Rudd, S. Reading the Child in Children’s Literature: an Heretical Approach. London: Palgrave
Macmillan, 2013.
 Stephens, J. Language and Ideology in Children's Fiction, London: Longman, 1992.
 Tatar, M. The Classic Fairy Tales, New York & London: Norton, 1999.
 Tolkien, J.R.R. Tree and Leaf, London: Unwin, 1964.
 Townsend, J. R. Written for Children (several editions)
 Wall, B. The Narrator’s Voice, London: Macmillan, 1991.
 Watson, N., ed. Children’s Literature: Approaches and Territories. Basingstoke: Palgrave
Macmillan, 2009.
 Zipes, J. Sticks and Stones: The Troublesome Success of Children’s Literature from Slovenly Peter
to Harry Potter, London: Routledge, 2001.
D Study Guides

If you are returning to academic study after a break, or simply feel that you would like to refresh your
memory of thinking and writing about texts, you might like to refer to one or more of the following
study guides:

 Chambers, E. and Northedge, A. The Arts Good Study Guide, Milton Keynes: Open University
Press, 2008.
 Eaglestone, R. Doing English: a guide for literary students, London: Routledge, 2002.
 Pope, R. The English Studies Book: An Introduction to Language, Literature and Culture, 2nd
edition, London: Routledge, 2002.
 Montgomery, M. et al. Ways of Reading: Advanced Reading Skills for Students of English
Literature, 3rd edition, London: Routledge, 2006.
 Rose, J. The Mature Student’s Guide to Writing, 3rd ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2012.

E NCRCL Publications

You might be interested in reading some of the recent publications by academic staff at the National
Centre for Research in Children’s Literature at Roehampton.

 Carroll, J. Landscape in Children’s Literature. London: Routledge, 2012.


 Lathey, G. The Role of Translators in Children’s Literature: Invisible Storytellers. London:
Routledge, 2010.
 Sainsbury, L. Ethics in British Children’s Literature: Unexamined Life. London: Continuum, 2013.
 Waller, A. Constructions of Adolescence in Fantastic Realism. London: Routledge, 2009.
 Waller, A. Melvin Burgess: A New Casebook. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.