Do you like Children’s Literature? I do! I even managed to track down some of the old books from my childhood, and yes I have re-read them. Children’s literature is amazing! It’s so simple, and yet complex. The depth of the dialog and colorful vivid illustrations are often times overlooked. Did you that November is also Children’s Picture Book Month? Sadly, some have come to think of children’s literature as just that, CHILDREN’S literature. It’s for kids, and not of any interest to me as an adult.
Do you remember though what it was like to read those stories you had growing up? The carefree fun you had. Exploring, playing, and learning with them. You likely had your favorite book that had to be read over and over and over (you get the point) time and again. You loved that book just as much as your favorite toy (in some cases perhaps it was your favorite toy).
Children’s literature is more than just fun. It’s a powerful tool to teach children about the world, themselves, and others. Children’s literature motivates readers to think, enhances language, and promotes cognitive development. Quality literature takes children beyond their own lives, broadening their backgrounds, developing their imaginations, and enabling them to grow in understanding and respect for others.
Children can connect with the characters, events, places, and problems in the literature on a personal level. Such affective responses to literature provide opportunities for students to become personally involved in reading and learning. Often times bonding with that book, and lessons it holds. I remember the first time eading The Monster at the End of This Book: Starring Lovable, Furry Old Grover and feeling a sense of worry and panic over who this monster might be. I was very concerned for Grover’s safety. My mother, of course, knew all along that the monster was (SPOILER ALERT) none other than Grover himself. She reminds me how adorable it was for her to watch my facial expressions with each page I turned.
Children’s literature is diverse and varied. For example, children’s literature includes the following genres: picture books, contemporary realism, historical realism, fantasy, traditional literature, poetry, biography and autobiography, and informational books. The list can go on and on… and well, you get the picture (no pun intended).
Children’s literature offers so much to children, but they also offer things to us as adults too. They remind of what it was like to be young and innocent to things around us. They take us back to the time when we would climb into the lap of our parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles and cuddle up for story time. They hold memories for us that we might otherwise lose.
Please. Never underestimate what children’s literature holds, for children, and adults alike.