What are the key elements for a definition of children’s literature?

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.

This entry was posted in ETL402 - Literature Across the Curriculum. Bookmark the permalink.

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