What is literature for children?:
Children's literature: (also called juvenile literature) consists of the books, stories, and poems which are enjoyed by or targeted primarily at children. Modern children's literature is classified in different ways, including by genre or the intended age of the reader.
Children's literature has its roots in the stories and songs that adults told their children before publishing existed, as part of the wider oral tradition. Because of this it can be difficult to track the development of early stories. Even since widespread printing, many classic tales were originally created for adults and have been adapted for a younger audience.
There is no single, widely accepted definition of children's literature. It can be broadly defined as anything that children read, but a more useful definition may be fiction, poetry and drama intended for and used by children and young people, a list to which many add non-fiction. Nancy Anderson of the College of Education at the University of South Florida defines children's literature as all books written for children, excluding works such as comic books, joke books, cartoon books, and nonfiction works that are not intended to be read from front to back, such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, and other reference ma
Children's literature can be divided a number ways. Two useful divisions are genre and intended age of the reader.
Children's literature by genre:
A literary genre is a category of literary composition. Genres may be determined by technique, tone, content, or length. Anderson lists six categories of children's literature, with some significant subgenres:
- Picture books, including board books, concept books (teaching an alphabet or counting for example), pattern books, and wordless books.
- Traditional literature, including folktales, which convey the legends, customs, superstitions, and beliefs of people in past times. This genre can be further broken down into myths, fables, legends, and fairy tales.
- Fiction, including fantasy, realistic fiction and historical fiction.
- Biography and autobiography.
- Poetry and verse
In literature for children there are many important names:
Charles Perrault. was a French author of the late 17th century credited with the invention of the fairy tale as a literary genre. The fairy tales that he wrote were rooted in the folklore of the peasantry, but transformed into witty tales with morals told in the fashionable salons of the day. Some of Perrault's most well known fairy tales include “The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood”, “Puss in Boots”, and” Cinderella.”
Charles Perrault was born in Paris on 12 January 1628. Though he was not of the nobility, his family was wealthy and able to send him to the finest schools of Paris. Perrault studied law and eventually began to work in government. He helped found the Academy of Sciences and restore the Academy of Painting, and he also acted as the first secretary of the Academy of Inscriptions and Belles-Lettres.
Tragedy was the catalyst for Perrault's book of fairy tales, first published in 1697 as “Tales and Stories of the Past with Morals”, “Tales of Mother Goose.” When he was 67 years old, Perrault lost his job and his wife. He wrote his book of fairy tales with his children in mind, but soon became a celebrity in France and beyond. Perrault did not live long to enjoy this success, as he passed away in Paris in 1703.
Though Perrault's book contained only eight fairy tales, it has had an immense impact on literature ever since its debut. The Grimm brothers wrote their own versions of some of Perrault's stories, and many of them have served as the inspiration for other literary works or been adapted to theatre and film time and again. The Disney films “Cinderella” and “Sleeping Beauty” are some of the most memorable of these adaptations.
The Brothers Grimm: Jacob (1785–1863) and Wilhelm Grimm (1786–1859), were Germanic academics, linguists, cultural researchers, and authors who together collected folklore. They are among the most well-known storytellers of European folk tales, and their work popularized such stories as “Cinderella”, “The Frog Prince”, “Hansel and Gretel”, “Rapunzel”, “Rumpelstiltskin”, and “Snow White”. Their first collection of folk tales, “Children's and Household Tales”, was published in 1812.
The brothers spent their formative years first in the German town of Hanau and then in Steinau. Their father's death in 1796, about a decade into their lives, caused great poverty for the family and affected the brothers for many years. They attended the University of Marburg where historian and jurist Friedrich von Savigny spurred their interest in philology and Germanic studies—a field in which they are now considered pioneers—and at the same time developed a curiosity for folklore, which grew into a lifelong dedication to collecting German folk tales.
The rise of romanticism in the 19th century revived interest in traditional folk stories, which to the Grimm brothers represented a pure form of national literature and culture. With the goal of researching a scholarly treatise on folk tales, the brothers established a methodology for collecting and recording folk stories that became the basis for folklore studies. Between 1812 and 1857 their first collection was revised and published many times, and grew from 86 stories to more than 200. In addition to writing and modifying folk tales, the brothers wrote collections of well-respected German and Scandinavian mythologies and in 1808 wrote a definitive German dictionary that remained incomplete in their lifetime.
The popularity of the Grimms' collected folk tales endured well beyond their lifetimes. The tales are available in more than 100 translations and have been adapted to popular Disney films such as “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, “Sleeping Beauty”, and “Cinderella”. In the mid-20th century the tales were used as propaganda by the Third Reich; later in the 20th century psychologists such as Bruno Bettelheim reaffirmed the value of the work, in spite of the cruelty and violence in the original versions of some of the tales that were sanitized.
During his lifetime he was
acclaimed for having delighted children worldwide, and was feted by royalty.
His poetry and stories have been translated into more than 150 languages.
They have inspired motion pictures, plays, ballets, and animated films.
At 14, he moved to Copenhagen to seek employment as an actor. Having an excellent soprano voice, he was accepted into the Royal Danish Theatre, but his voice soon changed. A colleague at the theatre told him that he considered Andersen a poet. Taking the suggestion seriously, he began to focus on writing.
It was during 1835 that Andersen published the first installment of his immortal Fairy Tales. More stories, completing the first volume, were published in 1836 and 1837. The quality of these stories was not immediately recognized, and they sold poorly. At the same time, Andersen enjoyed more success with two novels “O.T.” (1836) and “Only a Fiddler”.
After a visit to Sweden in 1837, Andersen became inspired by Scandinavism and committed himself to writing a poem to convey his feeling of relatedness between the Swedes, the Danes and the Norwegians. It was in July 1839 during a visit to the island of Funen that Andersen first wrote the text of his poem “Jeg er en Skandinav” (I am a Scandinavian). Andersen designed the poem to capture the beauty of the Nordic spirit, the way the three sister nations have gradually grown together" as part of a Scandinavian national anthem. Composer Otto Lindblad set the poem to music and the composition was published in January 1840. Its popularity peaked in 1845, after which it was seldom sung. Andersen spent 2 weeks at the Augustenborg Palace in the autumn of 1844.