My vision for the future of children’s literature

Question: Do you have a vision for the future of children’s literature? Who will be the drivers of change?

Although I am very early into the readings I feel quite confident that the drivers of change will be first and foremost children themselves. The publishing of children’s literature a big industry these days. In the U.S. alone there are approximately 50,000 titles in print with about 5,000 new books added each year (Barone, 2011, p.15). It’s clearly big business and, like any product, if the consumer doesn’t want it it won’t sell.

In terms of what is in demand, it’s not difficult to notice that much of today’s children’s literature is interactive in nature. Whether it be digitally or via manual pop ups, open the flap or touch and feel elements, these features are used to entertain, engage and educate – and children are often captivated by them (Madej, 2003, p.11). Madej (2003, p.15) highlights the need for story writers to embrace technology, and for the technology producers to expand on what has already been achieved.

In my view, interactive forms of children’s literature will continue to expand. It really does seem to be where the future of children’s literature lies most. Therefore, along with children themselves, the story writers and technology producers that can best adapt and incorporate the use of interactive technologies in children’s literature will be the main drivers of it going forward.

References:

Barone, D. M. (2011). A brief history of children’s literature. Children’s literature in the classroom : engaging lifelong readers (pp. 8-19). New York: Guilford Press.

Madej, K. (2003). Towards digital narrative for children: From education to entertainment, a historical perspective. ACM Computers and Entertainment.

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