LIT 4334: The Golden Age of Children's Literature

Kerry Elkins Introduction

on January 12, 2013 4:50pm

Hello, my name is Kerry Elkins. I am a third year English major, with minors in both Art History and Mass Communications. I hail from Fort Myers, Florida (where Edison’s summer home is). After graduating, I plan to pursue a Master’s in Library Science with a specialization in archiving and preservation.

I am taking this class for a number of reasons, not just to fulfill course requirements. As much I have enjoyed my British Literature and theory classes, I think children’s literature would be a welcome break this semester–something new and different. I figured this was an opportune time to take it, since I am interning at the UF Baldwin Library (the children’s literature special collection) this semester. I look forward to getting a new perspective on some of my favorite texts from my childhood, especially Winnie-the-Pooh and the fairy tales, and hope to become privy to any of the deeper meanings in the texts that I might have missed as a child. This is my first children’s literature course.

My idea of “children’s literature” is a text geared toward children, but that can also be enjoyed by adults in some manner (as they are often the ones that read it to their children). When someone mentions the term I also think of illustrations, which is a huge part of the industry. Illustrations have played such an important role in children’s literature in how (as in both style and medium) certain things are depicted, what specific things they depict, and who depicted them. For instance, the Baldwin Library has a rare edition of Alice in Wonderland illustrated by Salvador Dali. I believe that the  “Golden Age” refers to the classics that set a standard–a canon, if you will–for the genre. Of course this makes me question how those standards are also limiting to other texts of the genre.
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