Kiddie Lit

I wanted to take a quick moment to bring a book to my fellow children’s librarians’ attention. It is called Kiddie lit: the cultural construction of children’s literature in America by Beverly Lyon Clark. The book discusses the history of the way children’s literature has been perceived in our culture.

The title of the book is a reference to the condescending manner in which this genre is often referred. Ms. Clark outlines critics’ responses to books Tom Sawyer which one critic insisted would not receive respect until it “divorced itself” from status as a child’s book.  The Wizard of Oz series by Baum didn’t receive the respect it should have either whereas the movie (which was targeted for adults) was considered a work of genius.

If one doesn’t have time to read the book in its entirety, skimming its contents is recommended. At the very least, consider the general theme that reading children’s literature is the first step a child makes on the path to becoming an avid adult reader!

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