LIT 4334: The Golden Age of Children's Literature

Introductions

on January 12, 2013 9:48pm

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Hi, my name is Kenna Galloway! I’m a second year English major and have no idea what I want to focus on, so I’m just taking as many diverse English classes as I possibly can. Although I have to admit, children’s literature holds a special place in my heart.

In this class, I’m hoping to once again do something I thoroughly enjoy—look over and analyze works that I once read simply for entertainment. Last semester this involved dystopian young adult novels, and this semester it will be books I enjoyed as a child. My grandmother was a teacher and instructor of teachers for many years; she filled my childhood with books and stories and introduced me to a love of books that I still have today. Winnie the Pooh was one of the first chapter books I read on my own in elementary school. So, if I had to pick I would say I am most excited for the week we read this. The Pooh books by A.A. Milne are also, not surprisingly, my favorite children’s books. When I was eight I had the opportunity to see the real stuffed animal inspirations that belonged to Milne’s son, Christopher. You can see what they look like in an article about the exhibit at the New York Public Library here. Nothing on the syllabus worries me, but I am less excited about The Water Babies, The Princess and the Goblin, and Five Children and It, simply because I have not read them before.

To me, children’s literature is simply literature that is written for and read by children. Although I have not yet taken a class in children’s literature, I am taking two this semester. Along with this class I am also taking ENL2930 Children’s Literature, which is a much more general overview of children’s literature, past and present. It will be interesting for me to compare these two classes and compare the information I learn from them. The “Golden Age” to which this class refers quite obviously refers to a golden or plentiful time in which children’s literature was being produced, in quantity and quality. I’m very excited to learn more about this, how the state of the world in this “Golden Age” affected children’s literature, and how it provoked a growth of the genre.

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