1.WHAT´S CHILDREN´S LITERATURE?
Children´s literature includes different literary genres such as riddles, poems, fairy tales and traditional ones which were transmitted from one generation to the other in oral way. At the very beginning, they were destined for an adult public, then they would become the most read books all over the world either by adults or by children. Literature for children as genre has become independent one by 17 th century and it has been developing spectacularly up to now.
Children´s literature can be any book written for children such as comic books, joke books, cartoon books, and nonfiction works; any book written by children like Daisy Ashford with her book called “the young visiters” or “The Juvenilla” of Jane Austen; any book chosen for children can be also “suitable” for them and it can be really determined by various authorities such as teachers, reviewerss, scholars, parents, publishers, librarians, etc., to protect children from the unhappier aspects of life, these characteristics are often found in traditional fairy tales and nursery rhymes. In most cases the whole point of the story is the characters´ transmition into adulthood. Besides, children´s literature takes into account books that children have chosen such as comics, literary classics and great works by modern writers.
According to Nancy Anderson , a profesor at the University of South florida, there are six major categories of children´s literature:
1. picture books
2. traditional books
The earliest popular stories amongst children were written in the 15 th century, for example “Robin Hood”. Not until 17 th and 18 th centuries that old fables just forggoten could be read for children in Spain, France and Germany. For instance, Comenio revolutionized children´s literature . He published his book in four languages, in which each word had its corresponding picture. Names such as Charles Perrault, Madame D´Aulnoy( wild boar prince), Madame Leprince de Beaumont are remarkable personalities who benefited to children with their genious works(the beauty and the beast).
At the beginning of 19 th century, romanticism that emphasized the importance of personal feelings and of nature, favoured the heyday of fantasy. Numerous writers recovered ancient legends and thus many classical children´s literature would arise. Writes such as Grimm brothers, Han Christian Andersen, Fernan Caballero(folktales ,legends and popular tales), Lewis Carrol(Alice in the wonderland), Johanna Spyri(Heidi), Oscar Wilde(fairy tales, The happy prince, The selfish giant), etc. caught up with their predecessors.
At the middle of the same century, adventured stories and journeys were usually topics in writers´ works. We can mention authors such as Robert Louis Stevenson(The island of the treasure), Rubyard Kipling(The book of the jungle), Jules Verne, E.T.A. Hoffman(The nutcrakers), Carlo Collodi(Pinochio), amongst others.
By the 20 th century, children´s literature acquired autonomy. In its development writers took into account children´s psychology, their interests and experiences. Unforgatable books were published by James M. Barrie(Peter Pan in 1904), A.A. Milné(Winnie the Pooh in 1927), Kenneth Grahame, Hugh Lofting(Dr. Dolittle), Laura Ingalls Wilder(Little house on the prairie in 1933), Tove Jansson, Pamela Travers(Mary Poppins in 1935), Antoine de Saint -Exupéry, José M. Sanchez Silva, C.S. Lewis(Chronicles of Narnia), Dr. Seuss(The cat in the hat and how the Grinch stole Christmas), J.k.Rowling(Harry Potter series), Eoin Colfer(Artemis Fowl) , etc.