Introduction to CMLT 3250 – 1/10/17

Today was the second-class meeting given that the semester has just begun. It was much more comfortable coming into class today because on the first day we were able to meet the other classmates and start learning everyone’s names. Being that we are still going over introductions, we mainly focused on covering the overview and basics of what the study of Children’s Literature entails.

To dive deeper on this matter, specifically, in class today we as a group looked over the Pamphlet on the Types of Genres of Literature for children. The categories include picture books, poetry and verses, folklores, fantasies, science fiction, realistic fiction, historical fiction, biographies, and nonfiction. My personal favorite types of children’s literature include historical and realistic fiction. I find these two types fascinating due to the illusion of reality in both the past and present setting while also adding elements of fiction that add to the plot. All of these elements together make the story more interesting. The authentic images within the stories intrigue me as a reader and keep me fascinated.

Another main focus during the class was the guide to book selection for the different ages of children. I learned about the characteristics of children during the different ages of their lives and the features of the books to coincide with the ages. For infants and toddlers, birth to 2 years, they explore the world with their eyes, ears, hands, feet, and mouth. Because of this, the features of the books they’re exposed to invite child participation, have brief and rhythmic text, and are colorful and sturdy. During the Nursery age, 2 to 4 years, these children understand simple concepts such as counting and the ABC’s. The features of books that match the nursery age have clear uncluttered pictures, simple concepts, present simple plots, have animal characters, and have melodic and lifting language. The next age category is Primary, which consists of children 5 to 8 years old. This is the age range that a child becomes an independent reader, has a vivid imagination, and starts demanding strict moral judgment. The book features during the Primary age category include eye-for-an-eye morality, strong friendships, present phase structure for books to read alone, and books that contain fantasy and realistic elements. After the Primary age group comes the Intermediate age group, which consists of children between the ages of 9 to 12. The age group of 9 to 12 books present realistic views of the world, develop strong characters, develop memorable plots, and stress growing up themes. The last age group which includes the ages of 12 years and up is called Advanced. Features of books in the Advanced stage for children include dealing with social and personal problems, showing the underside of people and society, and developing complex plots and strong characterizations.

The last activity done in class was in groups. We were handed children’s books that ranged in languages from English to Japanese and even Persian. My group specifically read two books: “Clifford the Firehouse Dog” and “Clifford the Big Red Dog.” The book we focused on in Group Discussion was the Firehouse one. This book introduces Clifford as a big red dog who lives with his owner Emily Elizabeth. The story then goes to show how Clifford attempts to help the local fire station but accidently messes up by rolling over items and messing them up. After this Clifford is sad but does not let his little mistake ruin the day. He rescues people from a burning house and Clifford ended up saving the day. The message of the story tells children that it is ok to mess up sometimes. It also introduces children to the basics about fires and fire safety. This book would fit best within the Nursery age group of 2 to 4 because it has an animal as a character, lots of pictures, and a simple plot. I really enjoyed reading and discussing these children’s books because it put into context what we just read in the pamphlet and I was able to apply the skills I just learned to determine which age group best fits my book.

Today was a very educational day as we looked over topics that we will be focussing on for the rest of the semester. I am very excited to start analyzing the readings as the weeks go on to get a better understanding of children’s literature as a whole!

 

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