Reading children's literature

De Rijke, Victoria ORCID logoORCID: (2021) Reading children's literature. Education 3-13, 49 (1) . pp. 63-78. ISSN 0300-4279 [Article] (doi:10.1080/03004279.2020.1824703)

[img] PDF - Final accepted version (with author's formatting)
Download (1MB)


This article covers the contribution reading and stories (children’s literature) have made to reading, its study, its material world, and the implications for teaching and learning to read -particularly with picturebooks – at the heart of that practice. It first explores the category of children’s literature as a possible ‘lie’, but also its special contributions: animal story or fable as a ‘creativity and criticality genre’ par excellence, attracting artists and writers of extraordinary talent, frequently breaking boundaries, and unashamedly taking partisan positions on matters of identity formation and socio-political justice. Distinctive experiments in crosswriting and originality are cited, and the material poetics, or ‘thingness’ of books, from the constructivist tradition onwards, as one of children’s literature’s leading innovations. The article then engages with the role children’s literature has played in the ‘reading wars’, including teaching strategies and governmental policies for learning to read; the controversies and competitive tensions inherent in the metrics and mechanisms of reading ‘for the test’ or for pleasure. After decades of reader-response theory emphasising the active roles of the reader and the text, the piece concludes with a plea to re-describe reading for new, screen-based, visual literacies offering linear, radial, spatial forms of reading, or reader-as-player.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Special Issue on Reading: Contents and lengths of articles
Keywords (uncontrolled): Misreading, picturebooks, crosswriting, material poetics, transliteracies
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education > Education
Item ID: 31179
Notes on copyright: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Education 3-13 on 23/09/2020, available online:
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Victoria De Rijke
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2020 16:04
Last Modified: 05 Nov 2022 04:56

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Activity Overview
6 month trend
6 month trend

Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.