Children’s Literature Course Packet Notes
Purposes of Children’s Literature
The Uses of Enchantment by Bruno Bettelheim
"For a story truly to hold the child's attention, it must entertain him and arouse his curiosity. But to enrich his
life, it must stimulate his imagination; help him to develop his intellect and to clarify his emotions; be attuned
to his anxieties and aspirations; give full recognition to his difficulties, while at the same time relate to all
aspects of his personality--and this without ever belittling, but on the contrary, giving full credence to the
seriousness of the child's predicaments, while simultaneously promoting confidence in himself and in his
The Reader, the Text, the Poem by Louise Rosenblatt
A work of literature must be thought of as an event in time
. It is not an object
or an ideal entity. It happens
during a coming-together, a compenetration, of a reader and a text. The reader brings to the text his past
experience and present personality. Under the magnetism of the ordered symbols of the text, he marshals
his resources and crystallizes out from the stuff of memory, thought, and feeling a new order, a new
which he sees as the work of literature. This becomes part of the ongoing stream of his
experience, to be reflected on from any angle important to him as a human being.
“Literature, What is it?” by Rebecca Lukens
We choose literature that promises entertainment
and, sometimes, escape
. If other discoveries come to us
too, we are pleased and doubly rewarded.
However, our first motive for reading a novel or a poem is personal pleasure.
Literature provides a second reward: understanding.
Literature shows human motives
for what they are, inviting the reader to identify with the character.
Literature may also provide form for experience.
Literature reveals life's fragmentation.
Literature helps us focus on what is essential.
Literature can reveal the institutions of society.
Literature provides vicarious experience.
Cognitive Development – Piaget
Human learning and understanding came both from
Nurture: experience with the world
Nature: the innate ability in the brain to make sense of the experience
Explore the world constantly, using the five senses in order to learn about the world
Begin to understand symbols
ABC books, Counting Books