My name is Catherine Woodcock, I’m a senior here at the University of Florida with a major in Political science and two minors in English and Mass Communication. I am from Jacksonville, Florida (more specifically Ponte Vedra Beach if you know the area) but I spent half of my life living in England too as my dad and extensive family are British.
I have been an absolutely avid reader since early childhood and have always loved books, a quality that I think is what drew me towards taking this course. The books I read and loved as a child heavily influence my idea of “children’s literature”. I think this genre, for me, is primarily composed of books that are colorfully written with imaginative stories, poems, and songs that entertain and stimulate the minds of children from ages two to ten. When I hear the term “children’s literature” I can’t help but to think of that vibrant section of the bookstore with train tracks, carpets, and miniature chairs and tables filled with books of all shapes and sizes. It conjures in my mind the books that my father read, I read, and the ones that I read to my young cousins today. I believe that it is a cross-generational and encompassing genre that, to many varying people, reflects many differing personal inclusions and definitions highly subjected to everyone’s individual childhood experiences and memories.
Though it is difficult to choose my favorite childhood text I think I would probably have to choose The Twits by Roald Dahl. I was devoted to anything Roald Dahl as a kid but this short novel I read countless times and truly adored.
I have never taken a children’s literature class before but I am so excited to start this course to relive and re-examine the enduring works we will be reading this semester.
The term “Golden Age” of children’s literature for me can be described, not fully but to a certain degree, by the word timeless. They are the books that have done just that, stood the test of time and are, for the most part, staples of the general population’s childhoods across countries as well as generations. The questions that this term inspires within me surround a growing curiosity I have concerning how we determine the qualifications that make a piece of literature timeless.