AN ADVENTURE TO BE ENJOYED: SOME DISCOURSES OF (AND IN) CHILDREN’S LITERATURE
click here: Adventure to be Enjoyed (7 downloads)
In the book I examine some of the discourses of childhood to be found in children’s literature. Subjects covered include the discourse of teaching and learning, the discourse of the relationships between children and adults, the discourse of carnival, the discourse of romance, the discourse of play and fantasy, and the discourse of politics and economics, all of which are found in children’s books. These are set against the discourses of childhood that we find in the culture at large. The book focusses for the main part on children’s books as such, rather than young adult (YA) literature.
The following essays, which I have published here over the years, have been now been incorporated into the the whole book as chapters. They have been changed in the process, so I have left these first versions here for you to download as individual papers if you prefer.
1. AT THE AGE OF SEVEN DARIUS WAS SUMMONED INTO THE WORLD or SOME AS YOUNG AS NINE: DISCOURSES OF CHILDHOOD & THOUGHTS ABOUT CHILDREN’S LITERATURE
In this essay I look at some of the discourses of childhood to be found in the culture at large. I also briefly discuss the notion of children’s literature.
2. BIG ENOUGH TO LOOK AFTER YOURSELVES: ASPECTS OF THE IDYLL IN CHILDREN’S LITERATURE
Click here: Idyll (475 downloads)
In this essay it I look at some examples of the discourse of the adult free ‘idyll’ that are to be found in children’s literature.
3. ‘IT’S A FEARFUL HANDICAP BEING A CHILD’: DISCOURSES OF THE RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN CHILDREN AND ADULTS IN CHILDREN’S LITERATURE.
Click here: Children and Adults (476 downloads)
In this essay t I look at some of the discourses of the relationships between children and adults that are to be found in children’s literature.
4. ‘EVERYBODY’S GOT TO LEARN’: DISCOURSES OF TEACHING AND OF LEARNING IN CHILDREN’S LITERATURE
Click here: Teaching & Learning (438 downloads)
In this essay I look at some of the discourses of teaching and learning that occur in children’s books
5. ‘BUT FIRST, MASTER WILLIAM, WE MUST MAKE A PROPER WELL’: THE DISCOURSE OF ENGAGEMENT WITH THE PHYSICAL WORLD IN CHILDREN’S LITERATURE
Click here: Engagement Physical World (390 downloads)
In this essay I look at the interactions between children and the physical world – how they understand how things work and how they act upon that understanding to make things work.
6. ‘SHE DECIDED SHE WOULD LIKE TO KISS HIM’ DISCOURSES OF SEX AND ROMANCE IN CHILDREN’S LITERATURE
Click here: Sex & Romance (410 downloads)
In this essay I look at some of the discourses of romance, and inadvertent sex!, to be found in children’s literature. (Note that the essay is not about YA (Young Adult) literature, but children’s literature itself.)
6b WE LOVED ONE ANOTHER WITH MUCH FERVENCY: BALLANTYNE’S THE CORAL ISLAND: A BROMANCE
Click here: Coral Island Bromance (168 downloads)
This essay is an addendum to the previous essay on sex and romance in children’s literature. In it I suggest that The Coral Island is a bromance, though with, at a symbolic level, more than a hint of more overt sexual / queer content.
7. STORMING THE CASTLE OF THE ENEMY: DISCOURSES OF THE CARNIVALESQUE IN CHILDREN’S LITERATURE
Click here: Carnivalesque (172 downloads)
In this essay I look at some examples of the discourse of the carnivalesque in children’s literature and the way that that discourse is an important structural element in the books. I discuss 5 texts: Richmal Crompton’s Just William; the opening story in Beverly Cleary’s Henry Huggins; R.L Stine’s Let’s Get Invisible, one of the Goosebumps series; one of the stories in Magdalen Nabb’s Josie Smith at the Market; and Lewis Carroll’s Alice books.
8. I CAME IN THROUGH A WARDROBE: DISCOURSES OF REAL WORLD / FANTASY WORLD TRANSITIONS IN CHILDREN’S LITERATURE
Click here: Transitions (168 downloads)
In this essay I look at examples of transition from the real world into the fantasy world in fantasy fiction for kids. I examine 8 texts: Lewis Carroll’s two Alice books; The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; Coraline; Elidor; Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone; and two non-fantasy novels that also have transitions in them: Ballantyne’s The Coral Island and Enid Blyton’s First Term at Mallory Towers.
9. “IT’S PRETEND!” SAID JOSIE SMITH’ or ‘IT IS CHILDREN WHO GIVE US LIFE’ THE DISCOURSE OF THE PLAY OF ADULTHOOD IN FANTASY FICTION FOR CHILDREN
Click here: Play of Adulthood (173 downloads)
In this essay I look at fantasy fiction in which non-human characters assume the mantle of the human, thus offering readers the experience of playing at being grown up. In it I examine 4 texts, Winnie-the-Pooh; The Wind in the Willows; Hurrah for Little Noddy; and Rumer Godden’s The Dolls’ House.
10. ‘WE WERE GOING TO DISCUSS MONEY’ POLITICAL, NEO-POLITICAL, ECONOMIC, AND RELIGIOUS DISCOURSES IN CHILDREN’S LITERATURE.
Click here: Political & Economic (147 downloads)
In this essay I have a look at a couple of examples of political discourse and a couple of examples of economic discourse in Children’s literature. I also examine a couple of examples of books where girls get to exercise a good deal of power despite the fact that they are restricted to traditional domestic roles. Finally I look at a couple of examples of the religious discourse in children’s Literature. The books covered include Cory Doctorow’s Pirate Cinema, Hugh Lofting’s The Story of Doctor Dolittle, Captain Marryat’s Masterman Ready, Beverly Cleary’s Henry Huggins, Enid Blyton’s Five Run Away Together, Arthur Ransome’s Peter Duck, and Michael Morpurgo’s The War of Jenkins’ Ear.