Children’s Literature by Seth Lerer

I’m a beginner in terms of children’s literature criticism. However, I’m learning a lot from Children’s Literature: A Reader’s History from Aesop to Harry Potter by Seth Lerer, and I thought I’d bring you on the journey with me. Links below are to discussions on Rebecca Reads. (Books and authors in bold means I have already read the title; I may reread them for this project.) Also, view the series via the Seth Lerer’s Reader’s History tag.


Toward a New History of Children’s Literature

Chapter 1

Speak, Child: Children’s Literature in Classic Antiquity

Chapter 2

Ingenuity and Authority: Aesop’s Fables and Their Afterlives

Chapter 3

Court, Commerce, and Cloister: The Literatures of Medieval Childhood

Chapter 4

From Alphabet to Elegy: The Puritan Impact on Children’s Literature

Chapter 5

Playthings of the Mind: John Locke and Children’s Literature

Chapter 6

Canoes and Cannibals: Robinson Crusoe and Its Legacies

Chapter 7

From Islands to Empires: Storytelling for a Boy’s World

  • Books to Read:

Chapter 8

On beyond Darwin: From Kingsley to Seuss

  • Books to Read:

Chapter 9

Ill-Tempered and Queer: Sense and Nonsense, from Victorian to Modern

  • Books to Read:

Chapter 10

Straw into Gold: Fairy-Tale Philology

  • Books to Read:

Chapter 11

Theaters of Girlhood: Domesticity, Desire, and Performance in Female Fiction

  • Books to Read:

Chapter 12

Pan in the Garden: The Edwardian Turn in Children’s Literature

  • Books to Read:

Chapter 13

Good Feeling: Prizes, Libraries, and the Institutions of American Children’s Literature

  • Books to Read:

Chapter 14

Keeping Things Straight: Style and the Child

  • Books to Read:

Chapter 15

Tap Your Pencil on the Paper: Children’s Literature in an Ironic Age

  • Books to Read:


Children’s Literature and the History of the Book

  • Books to Read:

Thoughts on the book as a whole (project on hold).

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