Windows and Words: A Look at Canadian Children's Literature in English

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Susan-Ann Cooper, Ada Hudson
University of Ottawa Press, 2003 - Literary Criticism - 239 pages
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What makes Canadian children's books literature? The seventeen essays collected here examine aspects of the artistry of children's literature published in Canada, particularly that of children's novels and picture books, in thought-provoking analyses that aim to establish Canada's literature for the young as literature – something worthy of serious scholarly study and international recognition.

Three of the essays survey Canadian children's fiction in English, providing a broad overview and placing the genre within its literary and national context. Other contributions investigate individual authors and motifs – six of these examine the works of L.M. Montgomery, confirming the central place of the internationally acclaimed children's writer in the Canadian children's literature canon. There are studies about book illustration and visual literacy, and about the dual artistic nature of the picture book and its art design. Presentations by two Governor General's Award winning authors, Janet Lunn and Tim Wynne-Jones, as well as the art director of Groundwood Books and a cultural anthropologist round out the collection, making it a unique and balanced contribution to the study of Canadian children's literature. All of the essays confirm the growing artistry and multicultural character of Canada's children's literature, and highlight the important legacy yesterday's and today's children's authors are leaving to tomorrow's children.


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Page 2 - Actually, the association of children and fairy-stories is an accident of our domestic history. Fairy-stories have in the modern lettered world been relegated to the 'nursery', as shabby or old-fashioned furniture is relegated to the play-room, primarily because the adults do not want it, and do not mind if it is misused.* It is not the choice of the children which decides this.
Page 3 - The third way, which is the only one I could ever use myself, consists in writing a children's story because a children's story is the best art-form for something you have to say: just as a composer might write a Dead March not because there was a public funeral in view but because certain musical ideas that had occurred to him went best into that form.

About the author (2003)

Ada Hudson and Susan-Ann Cooper are lecturers in Children's Literature at the University of Ottawa.

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