Children's literature is for readers and listeners up to about age twelve and is often illustrated. The term is used in senses which sometimes exclude young-adult fiction, comic books, or other genres. Books specifically for children existed by the 17th century.... [more]
Children's literature is for readers and listeners up to about age twelve and is often illustrated. The term is used in senses which sometimes exclude young-adult fiction, comic books, or other genres. Books specifically for children existed by the 17th century. Scholarship on children's literature includes professional organizations, dedicated publications and university courses.
Children's literature can be divided in many ways.
Children's literature by genres
A literary genre is a category of literary composition. Genres may be determined by technique, tone, content, or length. Nancy Anderson, associate professor in the College of Education at the University of South Florida in Tampa, has delineated six major categories of children's literature, with some significant subgenres:
1. Picture books, including board books, concept books (teaching an alphabet or counting), pattern books, and wordless books
2. Traditional literature: there are ten characteristics of traditional literature: (1) unknown authorship, (2) conventional introductions and conclusions, (3) vague settings, (4) stereotyped characters, (5) anthropomorphism, (6) cause and effect, (7) happy ending for the hero, (8) magic accepted as normal, (9) brief stories with simple and direct plots, and (10) repetition of action and verbal patterns. The bulk of traditional Literature consists of folktales, which conveys the legends, customs, superstitions, and beliefs of people in past times. This large genre can be further broken down into subgenres: myths, fables, ballads, folk music, legends, and fairy tales.
3. Fiction, including the sub-genres of fantasy and realistic fiction (both contemporary and historical). This genre would also include the school story, a genre unique to children's literature in which the boarding school is a common setting.
5. Biography, including autobiography
6. Poetry and verse.