LIT 4334: The Golden Age of Children's Literature

Greetings!

on January 13, 2013 10:20pm

Hi! My name is Alexa Zelinski.  I was born in Youngstown, Ohio but grew up in not so far away Jacksonville, Florida.  I love books, cats, and crafts.  But, believe it or not, I am not actually an 89 year old woman- see attached picture for proof. Image I am a third year English major at UF, but am technically a senior by credits and will be graduating in December of this year.  That’s a scary thought, to be honest! I am minoring in both Anthropology and Business and am hoping to get into the publishing business when I graduate- wish me luck.

I’m taking this class because I am following the English department’s “Children’s Literature” model of study and this is the last course on my list! I’m hoping to improve my class participation skills because I’m a rather quiet person so I’m going to try to speak up more.  I am most looking forward to reading Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.  It was one of my favorite stories as a child.  In third grade, I read Carroll’s original book, and watched every movie adaption I could get my hands on!  Nothing on the syllabus worries me too much, other than remembering to post my blogs on time…

My idea of children’s literature has changed a lot since I came to college and took courses on the subject (Children’s Literature, Literature for the Young Child, Adolescent Literature, and Grimm’s Fairy Tales).  When someone mentions children’s literature, I think of  any book which is read and enjoyed by a child.  Children’s literature doesn’t necessarily have to be read exclusively by, nor does it have to be written specifically for, children.  I feel that children can read books traditionally written for adults, and vice-versa.

Some of my favorite children’s literature texts are J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter (I think this one’s a given for many people in our generation), Ludwig Bemelman’s Madeline, and Kay Thompson’s Eloise.  I may be in the market for some new favorites soon.  Currently, I am working my way (albeit slowly) through 1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up.  Read all about my progress on my blog, which can be conveniently found right here.

Lastly, when I think of the term “Golden Age,” I think of a time when everything is working in unison- talented authors, engaging stories, a willing audience.  I feel like timing has a lot to do with the creation of a “Golden Age.”  I also think that it is a time that is often looked back on with longing and held to a higher standard, even if the time itself did not always live up to the hype that surrounds it, the designation of a time period as a “Golden Age” carries with it a romantic, nostalgic notion.

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