By Tamil Bookshelf
We mentioned mystery, romance, and personal essay as three examples of literary genres above. Now, let's take a look at some of the most popular genres in children's literature. This scope of this lesson could not possibly list each and every genre in children's literature, but these are the most prevalent.
Books that take place in the present day yet are not based on actual events are referred to as contemporary fiction. These types of books are very popular selections in children's literature because young readers can usually connect with the characters who may be very similar to them or someone they know. Readers also identify with the events of the story because they may be representative of things that are happening in their own lives.
On the opposite end of the spectrum from contemporary fiction lies historical fiction. These stories share the relatable characters of contemporary fiction, but the time period is of days gone by. These are very helpful in teaching young readers about what life was like in specific periods throughout history because they are often based on or inspired by events throughout history.
Spaceships, time travel, and countless other fascinating scientific possibilities are presented in science fiction. This type of children's literature is among the most popular yet is not based on fact. These works may include actual or imagined scientific principles, though. Just as with the previous examples, identifiable characters are central to science fiction works as young readers quickly engage with and attach to them.
Nonfiction books are very different from the previously mentioned genres. They present factual information to young readers. These may be instructional books or they may explain some event or phenomenon. Biographies and autobiographies are also included in the nonfiction genre as they tell the true-life events of another person. Athletes, war heroes, and other powerful leaders are frequently the focus of children's nonfiction literature.
Picture books are books that focus more on the illustrations than the words. The book can be understood without the words because the text is just a complementary feature. Rhythmic books rhyme or have a musical component.
Folklore tales are stories that are orally passed down from generation to generation. The purpose of these tales is to educate listeners about different aspects of life. Myths are often bundled under the folklore genre.
Fairy tales are stories where Prince Charming comes in to save the troubled princess so that the two can live happily ever after. These tales put a magical spin on the world while trying to explain it. Fantasies are magical stories where a struggle of good and evil occurs. This genre also has themes related to common life.
|1646||1st Children's Book|
The first book to be published for the North Americans. John Cotton's Spiritual Milk for Boston Babes, London 1646 (page 5, para 7)
It is Britain in 1800's where children's literature began. Overtime, the longing for children's learning and enjoyment grew and fairytale books began to print.
John Newbery created a little pocket book for enjoyment in 1744
|1799||18th Century Popular Books|
Towards the end of the eighteenth century children's books such as the alphabet, nursery rhymes and poetry were available. Keifer, 2010 (p 69)
Books such as fairytales, The Jungle Book, Alice in Wonderland, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea were published and printed in mass throughout Britain and a need grew in USA.
|1817||1st Book Society|
The missionaries in Calcutta set up the School Book Society
|1824||1st English Dominance Book|
The Cherupaithangaikku Upakaratham Kathaka (c. 1824) book listed stories translated from the english language to Kerala the Malayalam language (page 5 para 4)
|1870||19th Century Rise of the Novel|
Novels consisting of family stories, animal stories and adventure stories. Magazines such as St. Nicholas Magazine were also popular. Keifler, 2010 (p 69)
19th century printing technology improved and colour printing techniques were introduced by Edmund Evans. Keifer, 2010 (p 69)
|1900||Recognition of Literacy|
Twentieth century, publishers, authors, and illustrators recognise children's literature reflects the many faces and cultures of American society. Keifer, 2010 (p 70)
Federick Melcher established Children's Book Week as a project of the American Booksellers Association. Keifer, 2010 (p70)
|1928||1st American Picture Book|
First American picture book Wanda Gag's Millions of Cats. Keifer, 2010 (p 71)
|1930 - 1940||Artists Refuge in US|
European artists seek refuge in the US. Their unique contributions greatly enriched the world of picture storybooks. Keifer, 2010 (p 72)
|1945 -1970||Racist stereotypes|
Books portrayed people of various culture's, depicting racist stereotypes. This began before the 1950's well into the 1970's. Kiefer, 2010 (p 73)
|1990||Censorship book condemned|
Judy Blume's book Forever (1995) has been condemned worldwide as it is the first book which describes sexual intercourse in a children's book. Forever..._(novel)
|1993 - 1995||Worldwide tension|
Children's literature overtime developed tension between religion, education and political power on one hand and various concepts associated with 'freedom' (notably fantasy and the imagination) (page 5, para 5). Well known English-Histories include Darton 1932/1982 to Avery 1994 (USA) and many more in-between.
|1995 - 1997||Constructions of History|
Feminism and homosexuality had viewpoints from many yet weren't written about until 1995 Lynne Vallone's Disciplines of Virtue, Girls' Culture in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries (Para 1 page 4).
|1995 - 2001||Adult vs Children|
The following books found in Hunt (2005) Chapter 1 Introduction: The expanding world of literature studies; Chris Jenk's Childhood (1996), Colin Heywood's A History of Childhood (2001), and Carol Garhart Mooney's Theories of Childhood (2000), discusses the difference between adult book and children's books and how childhood changes over time.
Educational Research Analysts provided evidence for local campaigners to ban books in Texas. Books include The Diary of Anne Frank, The Wizard of Oz and Harry Potter literature (page 6, para 8).
|1900 - 1952||Fantasy literature: 20th Century|
Fantasy books were mainly written by English writers. Keifer, 2010 (p 77):
|1950 - 2000||Fantasy Literature: 2nd half of 20th Century|
The 2nd half of the twentieth century emphasised serious themes. Keifer, 2010 (p 77)
|1902||20th Century: 1st work rare poet|
Walter de la Mare's Songs of Childhood (1902)
A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young (1924)
|1932 - 1956||African American Poets|
Langston Hughes, The Dream Keeper (1932)
To provide children with a view of the past reading historical fiction
|1932||Life in midwestern frontier|
Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote Little House in the Big Woods books. These books gave the reader a view of what white males believed made them superior over other races and their lands.
William H Armstrong on the Newbery award for the Sounder book. This book demonstrated a misguided view of African Americans, portraying them as nameless figures.
|1974||Face up to wrongs|
Paula Fox, The Slave Dancer Newbery Medal. Paula tried to "face up to the wrongs in the past" Keifer, 2010 (p 79) yet failed somewhat.
Mildred Taylor wrote Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (1975) which successfully portrayed an "accurate account of the African American experience in the Jim Crow South." Keifer, 2010 (p 79)
|1908||L.M. Montgomery wrote Anne of Green Gables|
A little Princess written by Frances Hodgson in 1905 and The Secret Garden in 1910.
|1945||Prejudice openly discussed|
Jesse Jackson wrote Call Me Charley, openly discussing prejudice for the first time
|1945||Realistic fiction reflects war|
As time passes, "fiction now reflects war, depression and contemporary social problems" Keifer, 2010 (p 79)
|1975||At last, cultural recognition|
Literature such as M.C. Higgins the Great written by Virginia Hamilton had finally brought about "people of colour representing authenticity of cultural experiences, at long last received recognition" Keifer, 2010 (p 79)