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Study Guide

ENG 224- Final Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam ( 31 pages long!)


Department
English
Course Code
ENG 224
Professor
Benjamin Lefebvre
Study Guide
Final

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Ryerson
ENG 224
FINAL EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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ENG 224 - Children’s Literature
Week One
- Dual market for children’s books
- Adults buying for their children
- Children enjoying the books
- Average shelf life for children’s books - 3 years
- Assumptions about children
- Can’t handle long books
- Boys don’t read
- Can’t handle stories that travel from book to book
Target and Actual Readerships
- “Targeted to” children does not necessarily mean “ready by” children
- Books purchased by parents, family members, other adults in children's lives
- Teachers, librarians
- Have power over what children have access to
- Age categorization (eg. 6-8, 9-2) make generalizations on reading level based on age
- Children’s classics (eg. Treasure Island, Pinocchio) still in print and being purchased -
but are they being read?
Exploratory Writing
- What do you see as the difference between a ‘good’ children’s book and a ‘bad’
children’s book?
- What elements do you see as required in a ‘good’ children’s book?
- What are some examples of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ children’s books that you are familiar with?
What makes them ‘good’ or ‘bad’?
- Recent books that I’ve found to be good are books like Heart in a Bottle by Oliver Jeffers
and I Lost My Hat by Jon Klassen. What I believe makes these books good is the fact that
they have elements that appeal to people of all ages as well as children. As mentioned
earlier today, children’s books are made for children but are ultimately purchased by
adults, so there must be an appeal to them. What Heart in a Bottle contains in a message
about vulnerability and learning to let your walls down to allow people into your life. I
Lost My Hat, on the other hand, is a simple story about a bear who lost his hat and is
trying to find it. The book contains very dry humour that children won’t understand, but I
found myself laughing out loud at the story. Both of these books have simple stories with
not a lot of text, which keeps children engaged. I don’t think I’ve come across a bad
children’s book, but to categorize one as bad i believe it would have to contain a negative
message.
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ENG 224 - Children’s Literature
Week Two
From “The Child” to “The Text”
- “The child learns…”
- “The child needs…”
- “The child discovers…”
- “The child internalizes…”
- “The child is capable of…”
- The text offers…
- The text assumes a reader who knows/doesn’t know…
- The text assumes that the reader needs…
- The text encourages readers to think/learn/believe/internalize…
- The text takes for granted…
- Critical reading - not tearing apart text
- Rather, looking at text on a deeper level to understand its messages
- What is the text trying to get readers to accept about the world?
- What is the text inviting readers to think about?
- What is the text taking for granted about the world?
Common Assumptions about Children’s Literature
- Children’s literature is too simple and obvious to be read critically
- Sometimes true (also true for some adult fiction)
- From a business standing, adults are the target market so the books must appeal to
them in some aspect
- Children’s literature is pure, innocent, and uncontroversial
- Heather has Two Mommies
- Daddy’s Roommate
- Controversial because of the topic of same sex couples (at their time)
- Swimming Hole (1950)
- Book about race
- Critical analysis takes the fun out of reading children’s literature
Why Read Children’s Literature Critically?
- Dual address and complexity
- Even though the target audience is children, it is also adults to a certain extent
- In terms of buying books as well as being the reader (to young children)
- Linguistic and narrative complexity
- Green Eggs and Ham contains 50 words
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