ENGL 220 - Children's Literature

This course examines the place and purpose of children's literature in our society. Various subgenres are explored as students learn to analyze, evaluate and present representative works of children's literature.


Credits:  3


Hours: 45 (Lecture Hours: 3)


Total Weeks: 15



Any two of ENGL 100, 105, 111 OR 112.


Non-Course Prerequisites: 






Course Content:
This course introduces students to the study of children's texts as literature. Students will sample fictional and poetic works written for children, as well as literature first intended for adult audiences. The course will introduce students to the development of English texts read by children from the late seventeenth century to the present time. The important movements in these literary periods will encompass the major genres of children's literature: chapbooks and literary fairy-tales, eighteenth and nineteenth-century moral tales, fantasy and adventure works from the Golden Age of children's literature (1865-1910), twentieth-century problem novels, nursery and nonsense verse, and current dystopian, fantasy, realist, and ethical-dilemma fictions. Students will also consider issues of censorship in children's literature.
- Introduction to Children's Literature
- Earliest Beginnings
    Children's Reading to 1700
    A Separate Literature for Children 1700-present
- Folk and Fairy Tales
    The Literary Fairy Tale
    Charles Perrault, "Bluebeard," "Puss in Boots"
    Madame d'Aulnoy, "The Wonderful Sheep"
    Chapbooks, "Jack the Giant Killer"
    Grimm brothers, "Hansel and Grettel"
    Asbjornsen and Moe "Why the Sea is Salt"
    Robert Munsch, The Paper Bag Princes
- Stories not Intended for Children
    Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels, Books, 1,2,4
- Moral Tales and the Age of Didacticism
    The Moral Tales of Maria Edgeworth
- The Golden Age of Children's Literature
    Romance and Adventure Stories
    Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island
- Poetry for Children
    Children's Literary and Nonsense Verse
    Robert Louis Stevenson, A Child's Garden of Verses
- Fantasy Literature
    Animal Realism
    High Fantasy
    Utopian/ Dystopian Fiction
    Richard Adams, Watership Down
- Realistic Fiction
    Ethical Dilemma and Social Problems in Fiction
    Mature Themes in Children's Literature
    Censorship in Children's Literature

    Katherine Paterson, Road to Terabithia


Learning Outcomes:
By reading a variety of works from select genres and touching on the social, intellectual, and literary histories that shaped these texts, students should become more expert readers of literature. Students will also practice writing about literature in a scholarly manner. After completing ENGL 220, students should be able to
- Comprehend works written in early modern and modern verse and prose styles
- See contrasts and resemblances between authors' presentations of themes and stylistic techniques
- Identify and describe specific genres of literature within their historical time periods; genres include folk and fairy tale, didactic prose, fantasy and adventure literature, nursery and nonsense verse, and dystopian, realist, and ethical-dilemma fictions
- Comprehend the issue of censorship as it applies to children's literature

- Plan and write well-structured essays that offer close analyses of literary works


Grading System:  Letters


Passing Grade:  D (50%)


Percentage of Individual Work: 100


Textbooks are subject to change. Please contact the bookstore at your local campus for current book lists.