Feeling Like a Kid Childhood and Children's Literature

  • Hardcover
  • 160 pages
  • Feeling Like a Kid Childhood and Children's Literature
  • Jerry Griswold
  • English
  • 02 February 2016
  • 9780801885174

10 thoughts on “Feeling Like a Kid Childhood and Children's Literature

  1. says:

    An excellent book I just couldn't put it down Full of interesting examples uotations from interesting master works in Children's Literature And the book is indeed an easy read Also the appearance of the book it's a bit bigger than a pocket book the cover everything is just lovely It's as if you're reading a novel Finally the most important idea about this book is that the five major themes discussed in this book have always been there we've all seen them but I've not read any paper or books in Children's Literature to discuss them in a somehow academic style

  2. says:

    A very well written concise exploration of some of the primary themes common in children's books but less common in books for adults A few were missed of course; Luann points out the predominance of orphans and uasi orphans in tween stories and suggests Griswold could have had a chapter on aloneness She also points out that there aren't a lot of books represented and most are very old Sylvester and the Magic Pebble is probably the most recentThat being said it's also a very enjoyable read and gave me a lot to think about And iff I wanted to add to my TBR pile there's a good bibliography There are also pictures It's a very cozy and uick read and I will look for by the author as he has some lovely turns of phrase and insightI do recommend this to parents and other educators and to interested folk like meSome bookdart marked passagesuotes Randall Jarrell brilliant poet and author of fables for all ages in his poem Children Selecting Books in a Library Their tales are full of sorcerers and ogres Because their lives areI'm normally not a fan of Bettelheim and I don't think Griswold is either but we agree with him that If there is no witch to push in the oven how can Hansel and Gretel become heroes? Well I'm not sure Hansel is a hero; possibly that's Bettelheim's male chauvinism speaking but the concept is valid Another reason that children's books often have the element of scariness is that it makes children feel wakened up and delighted to be playing a game of thrills When considering whether books are too young for scary stories consider At what age do children recognize the difference between fact and fiction? The answer to that is another uestion At what age does the baby laugh when we play the game of 'Boo'?I love the conclusion to the chapter Smallness It's a uote from Jan Morris about Wales but applies to children's books and small characters of same Its smallness is not petty; on the contrary it is profound I'd argue that it applies to short stories and poetry for adults tooI need to read an HC Andersen story I've missed The Girl Who Trod on a LoafCleverness is the mobility of intelligence and Melodrama is tragedy from which weight has been subtracted are two claims in support of the theme in the chapter on Lightness I like 'emDid you know that the morals to Aesop's fables were added hundreds of years later? So one could argue that the moral to the story of the Grasshopper and the Ants should be all work and no play makes one as righteous and selfish as the ant

  3. says:

    I found this to be uite interesting although I would have enjoyed it even if he would have given examples from contemporary children's literature in addition to the classic stories he cites from If I were teaching a children's literature class and having students read this that would be a great assignment for them to come up with examples in current children's literature of his five themes Another assignment would be to come up with another recurring theme in children's literature My example would be something Jerry Griswold might call aloneness I've noticed that in many children's stories especially adventure type stories the parents or adults in the child's life are absent for one reason or another Many times the child is an orphan Sometimes the parents are there but they seem not to notice what the children are doing This gives the child character a great deal of freedom much than most real children have And thus a fantastical adventure takes place that is exciting to read

  4. says:

    An easy read book with wonderful classic illustrations outlines 5 themes in children's literature snugness scariness lightness

  5. says:

    Just the right amount of analysis without the academic nonsense that is often found

  6. says:

    For everyone who teaches or loves children's literature I highly recommend this book I'm ashamed to admit that I've never heard of Jerry Griswold the director of the National Center for the Study of Children's Literature and a professor of English and comparative literature at San Diego State University This is likely because he approaches children's lit from an English background while most of my friends and I come from an education background Regardless of professional stance this book is worth reading Griswold asserts that there are five themes common across great mostly classic children's literature Snugness for example the cabin in Little House in the Big Woods I prefer the synonym Coziness; Scariness this is pretty self explanatory; how many of us enjoy a book that gives us a good scare? Of course what children find scary and what adults find scary might not be the same thing; Smallness not only tiny characters and miniature worlds like those in Stuart Little and the Borrowers but also the feeling of powerless that accompanies being a child and therefore small; Lightness both in terms of weight as in when characters can fly a la Mary Poppins and Harry Potter and in terms of attitude where children are hopefully light hearted especially in comparison to adults; and Aliveness this would include books where animals toys and other objects and the natural world take on the characteristics of humans Griswold provides numerous examples for each theme and the book is filled with full color reproductions of illustrations from some of the books he discusses He also asserts that by studying these themes in children's literature we can learn much about the nature of childhood itself The most fun for me was thinking of other examples of books for each theme from both my own childhood reading as well as adult reading of children's books I also remembered many details from my childhood while reading this book like building forts with furniture and blankets and playing in my treehouse Given its small format and short length 126 pages without references this book would be an excellent supplementary text to prompt much discussion in a children's lit class

  7. says:

    I enjoyed the five principles he covers in the book snugness scariness smallness lightness and aliveness He gets repetitive at times and the text is eual parts tedious and charming At times I really enjoyed his word play and imagery and other times I felt bogged down by them Overall I'm glad I read it

  8. says:

    Italo Calvino's epigraph invites to revisit the important books of their childhood because even if the books haven't changed their readers have and the encounter will be a new thingGriswold considers five recurring themes in Children's Literature Snugness of times and places for daydreams and happiness Scariness that can be mastered and that awakens a vivid sense of self Smallness that presents alternatives to adult consensus of importance Lightness of body mind and spirit and Aliveness in a 'polymorphous and polyphonic conscious universe'

  9. says:

    I've read a number of books on the subject of Children's Literature I thought this one was first rate The author states his opinions succinctly and is never verbose and does not over reach I've read most of the books he mentions here and I could easily follow his train of thought and ideas expressed Well reasoned and thoroughly entertaining

  10. says:

    What a fun walk through some great children’s literature It’s inly too bad diverse authors aren’t included

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Feeling Like a Kid Childhood and Children's Literature In this engaging and reflective essay Jerry Griswold examines the uniue ualities of childhood experience and their reappearance as freuent themes in children’s literature Surveying dozens of classic and popular works for the young—from Heidi and The Wizard of Oz to Beatrix Potter and Harry Potter—Griswold demonstrates how great children's writers succeed because of their uncanny ability to remember what it feels like to be a kid playing under tables shivering in bed on a scary night arranging miniature worlds with toys zooming around as caped superheroes listening to dolls talkNo softheaded discussion of kids’ cute convictions nor a developmentally focused critiue of their immature beliefs Feeling Like a Kid boldly and honestly identifies the ways in which the young think and see the world in a manner different from that of adults Written by a leading scholar prize winning author and freuent contributor to the Los Angeles Times this extensively illustrated book will fascinate general readers as well as all those who study childhood and children's literature