Are the philosophical, educational, and sociological theories of childhood reflected in literature for children? If so, how? To what extent does Aesop contribute to our understanding of many early children’s books? How does the popular reading of children over the years relate to what scholars have said about the history of childhood and of children’s literature? How much did early publishers influence the writing and illustrating of books for children?
How does lithography and the book, illustration and design in the commercial sector contribute to our understanding of this process in publication? How does the history of the alphabet contribute to our knowledge of early children’s books? To what extent does the history of American children’s literature reflect the ideals and attitudes of the American experience? How has the history of children’s literature been related to the teaching of reading? What are some of the design factors related to children’s books? To what extent were early textbooks avenues for recreation and entertainment for children?
What do the changes in versions and variants of traditional folk and fairy tales over time tell us about changing perceptions of childhood? In what ways does the Snow White site demonstrate changes over time? How has the reviewing process influenced what is made available to the child? How is the culture of childhood (family life, games, peer relationships) revealed in literature for children? What distinctions can be drawn between sentiment and sentimentality in the history of children’s literature?
How was gender revealed in the composition and content of 19th and early 20th century children’s literature? How were minorities (religious, racial,cultural) treated in early children’s literature? Compare and contrast the representation and function of ‘landscape’ in two or more books from this semester’s reading list. What is its effect on the book as a whole? (b) Discuss the author’s techniques and themes in two or more of the books on the reading list for this semester. What do the books reveal about social life and the construction of childhood/adolescence?