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Types of Children's Literature   By: (1880-)

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Application of the world's knowledge to the world's needs is the guiding aim of this publishing house, and it is in conformity to this aim that Types of Children's Literature is published. There is need of helpful direction for parents and teachers who wish to place within reach of every child the beauty, wisdom, and knowledge stored up in the world's best literature for children. The domain is so vast, so rich, and so varied that a single volume which presents specimens of all the different types for study and analysis by older readers and for reading by the children themselves, may hope to make easy and natural for children the entrance to the pleasant land of books


This collection of specimens of children's literature has evolved itself naturally and, as it were, inevitably out of the editor's experience in teaching classes in children's literature in normal school and college, and it is published in the belief that other teachers of this subject find the same need of such a book that the editor has experienced. For it is obvious that if we are to conduct classes in children's literature either for general culture or for specific training of teachers, we must have specimens of children's literature readily accessible to the students. We must bring students to a knowledge and appreciation of any author, period, or type by having them study representative selections, and this principle applies as logically to courses in children's literature as to courses in other kinds of literature.

Types of Children's Literature is intended to provide students of the subject with a single volume anthology of prose and poetry illustrative of the different types, styles, interests, periods, authors, etc., of writings for children. There are, of course, many collections of specimens of children's literature; but they are all made as reading books for children and, consequently, are unsatisfactory, in some important respect or other, as source books. Moreover, these collections are published in several volumes and contain much that is mediocre and trivial. As far as the editor has been able to discover, there is but a single one volume collection, and that collection, having been compiled solely for juvenile readers, is impracticable as a text for college and normal school classes. In teaching classes in children's literature the present editor has had to use, as the only possible text, such sets of literary readers as the Heart of Oak series or such miniature libraries as the ten volume The Children's Hour or the eight volume Children's Classics . This procedure has been both expensive and inconvenient for teacher and students, besides not supplying some of the material desirable in any symmetrical outline of study.

In compiling the book the editor kept in mind several guiding aims. Foremost was the wish to include in the collection at least one selection and that a masterpiece of each type and kind of children's literature in the English language. The different species of prose and poetry; the various kinds of stories, such as fables, myths, and fairy stories; the fundamental forms of discourse, such as narration, description, the sketch, the essay, the oration, letters nearly all the molds, so to speak, into which the molten literary stream has flowed all these types are represented by the choicest specimens in the range of children's literature.

A careful inspection of the selections in this volume will reveal the rich variety of the material. Specimens are to be found of folk literature and modern literature, of the romantic, of the realistic, of the crude and naive, of the artistic and sophisticated, of the humorous and the pathetic... Continue reading book >>

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