There is no doubt that children’s literature is very difficult to define. As I see it, the overall flavor of the many views on what its key elements are can be largely encompassed by the following dot points:
– Written largely for or by people up to the age of adolescence (so for ‘children’).
– Informed by own personal opinion formed through our own personal experiences (therefore hard to universally define).
– Used to create a story that mirrors life. When the image produced is within the scope of a child’s ability to understand, feel and experience it’s messages it can be considered to be for children.
– Written for, read, and enjoyed by children, while also meeting a high literary and artistic quality.
– It is the child’s own ability to connect with literature, whatever the intended audience might be, that determines whether it is ‘children’s literature’ to them or not.