Historical trends or ideas to research about Children's literature

The following are suggested topics, questions, or ideas to generate these. The list is by no means coprehensive. It is provided to focus your thoughts on different literature related ideas so you might select or generate enthusiasm for your own investigation.

Change in morals or themes in children's books - is there information to support the idea that early children's literature had lessons, morals, religious ideas, and later changed to enjoyment and teaching subject information? If so, why would it? Is there evidence to support a changing or continuing trend?

Use of Rhyme - Has rhyme always been used in children's books. When and how was it first used? What was the purpose of using rhyme in children's literature and what are the reasons for it's continued uses? What evidence is there for your ideas?

Alphabet books - When were alphabet books first written? How were they used and how has their use changed? Is there a connection of alphabet books and rhyme? What might the purpose be for it? What evidence is there for your ideas?

Development of fantasy in children's books - How has the types of children's stories changed with culture's conditions. For example: did the type of children's literature change from before, during, and after a World War? Before, during or after the Great Depression? or other cultural or social events. If so, what is it why do think it changed, and what evidence is there for the change?

Use of illustrations or pictures in children's books. When were pictures first used? What was and is the purpose of their inclusion? What evidence is there for your ideas?

Importance of children's literature for children and/or society - What may have influenced the historical changes in stories that children enjoy? How much of the change has been planned or deliberate? Is the change more controlled by adults or children or some other force?

Brief examples of some historical changes across the ages: Children in ancient Rome mainly listened to oral adult stories , in the middle ages there were very little stories for children, but children enjoyed some adult literature, During the European Renaissance instructional books were written for adults to increase their literacy, In the 17th century John Locke introduced the idea of children's minds as being blank slates "tabula rasa", And in the 18th century 1744 John Newberry published the first printed book for children The Pretty Pocket Book, Today there is much diversity in children's books and that has explanded world wide.

Materials, technology, methods used to create children's books - How has different technologies changed the interactions that children can have with stories? Has the quality of those interactions stayed the same, increased, or decreased?

Brief summary: Oral telling of stories, songs and dance, pictures on the wall, hand made stamps, Greek and Roman plays, scribes drew pictures and write books, Guetenberg printing press introduced mass production and cheaper, engravings, film, photos in 1947, audio, computer imaging, pop-up books, overlays and videos, digital, multimedia, interactive computerized... stories...

The relationship of society to the kinds of children's Stories children enjoy

From etchings to what? - etchings on shells, cave drawings, carvings, paper and ink books and wood tablets, printing press, engravings, photography, technology for color production, animation...

Change of children's literature from adult oriented to child oriented ...

How has the style of writing changed? Here are the first pages of thirteen quality fiction books from 1812-1993? Any patterns? What if added later ones for the next thrity years?



Dr. Robert Sweetland's notes