What is the Meaning of Children's Literature? Why is it Important that Children should Read Literature in School?

 It is a matter of variable answer to the question of if a child in your class be his own judge of what to read on not. Teachers and parents differ on the issue. Some say that a child need help, guidance, censorship in choosing books to read. Children must be instructed that few books they have to read and some are to get out of them. In many ways literature have a part to play in developing reading skills among the pupil? And for that there are many steps that you will undergo to stimulate readiness and willingness for every student in the class to read literature.


Here are the few steps you have to apply in the classroom:
1.     Discuss the elements you may consider necessary and suitable for teaching your class children the study of novel and the study of drama.
2.   How would you locate a book written by William Shakespeare in the library?



3.    How would you find a book you need on the origin of the Nupe people in the library?
4.   You are entering the library for the first time to look for books to read in your subject area. What is your best approach?

Children's literature refers to literature exclusively for children. It refers to Stories, Poetry, Rhymes, Folk tales, Drama to mention but these specially created for children as target audience. The criteria that define literature as children's literature are that: first the heroes are children and two the theme comprising the ideas, relationship and language are simple and not complex. Finally, they aim at teaching moral lessons.

Children’s literature as a concept is defined as literature exclusively about children. Children's literature refers mainly to stories, poetry, rhymes, folk tales, drama, exclusively created for children such as infants, toddlers and the young people as target audience. Children’s literature which is exclusively written for children seems to rest on three criteria: the first is whether the heroes are children or teenagers, the second is whether the theme, that is the ideas, relationships and language, are simple or complex. Simplicity of theme is therefore the over-riding criterion that determines and defines literature as children's literature. Literature is literature for children if the ideas, relationship and language are simple.

However, literature is not children’s literature if the ideas, relationship and language are found too complex whether oral or written. For example, a classic literature like Gulliver’s Travels is admitted into children's literature because of simplicity of its ideas, relationship and language. But the turn of the screw or Things Fall Apart, let us say, would not be admitted as children's literature because the ideas, relationship and language otherwise called the theme are complex. Thirdly, children’s literature is often aimed at teaching moral lessons. The two criteria are as follows; the first is whether the heroes are children to teenagers. The second is whether the theme, that is the ideas, relationships and language are simple or complex. Literature is literature for children if the heroes are children and the theme is simple and not complex. Thirdly, when they teach moral lessons with a view to entrenching the values of the society in them.


Ardhendu De

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An English Teacher;    M. A.(English) , D. Ed., B. Ed., UGC- NET Qualified

"Dear Readers/ Students, I am a huge fan of books, English Grammar & Literature. I write this blog to instill that passion in you."