Children's literature consists of the books, stories, and poems which are enjoyed by or targeted primarily at children. Modern children's literature is classified in different ways, including by genre or the intended age of the reader.
Children's literature has its roots in the stories and songs that adults told their children before publishing existed, as part of the wider oral tradition. Because of this it can be difficult to track the development of early stories. Even since widespread printing, many classic tales were originally created for adults and have been adapted for a younger audience. Although originally children's literature was often a re-writing of other forms, since the 1400s there has been much literature aimed specifically at children, often with a moral or religious message. To some extent the nature of children's fiction, and the divide between older children's and adult fiction became blurred as time went by and tales appealing to both adult and child had substantial commercial success.
Some important names are:
Charles Perrault (12 January 1628 – 16 May 1703) was a French author and member of the Académie française. He laid the foundations for a new literary genre, the fairy tale, with his works derived from pre-existing folk tales
In 1697 in Paris, Charles Perrault published several tales from the oral tradition, albeit with his own embellishments, in his Histoires ou Contes du temps passé (also known as Mother Goose Tales). The tales enjoyed instant success. Some of the tales included are Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood, Bluebeard, and Puss in Boots. He ultimately recorded eleven fairy tales, most of which are among the most popular tales today
The Brothers Grimm, Jacob (1785-1863) and Wilhelm (1786-1859), were born in Hanau, near Frankfurt, in the German state of Hesse.
Throughout their lives they remained close friends, and both studied law at Marburg University. Jacob was a pioneer in the study of German philology, and although Wilhelm's work was hampered by poor health the brothers collaborated in the creation of a German dictionary, not completed until a century after their deaths.
But they were best (and universally) known for the collection of over two hundred folk tales they made from oral sources and published in two volumes of Nursery and Household Tales in 1812 and 1814.
Although their intention was to preserve such material as part of German cultural and literary history, and their collection was first published with scholarly notes and no illustration, the tales soon came into the possession of young readers. This was in part due to Edgar Taylor, who made the first English translation in 1823, selecting about fifty stories "with the amusement of some young friends principally in view." They have been an essential ingredient of children's reading ever since.
Hans Christian Andersen
Hans Christian Andersen ( April 2, 1805 – August 4, 1875) was a Danish author, fairy tale writer, and poet noted for his children's stories. These include "The Steadfast Tin Soldier," "The Snow Queen," "The Little Mermaid," "Thumbelina," "The Little Match Girl," and "The Ugly Duckling."
During his lifetime he was acclaimed for having delighted children worldwide, and was feted by royalty. His poetry and stories have been translated into more than 150 languages. They have inspired motion pictures, plays, ballets, and animated films
CareerIn 1829, Andersen enjoyed considerable success with a short story titled "A Journey on Foot from Holmen's Canal to the East Point of Amager". He also published a comedy and a collection of poems that season. Though he made little progress writing and publishing immediately thereafter, in 1833 he received a small traveling grant from the King, enabling him to set out on the first of many journeys through Europe. At Jura, near Le Locle, Switzerland, he wrote the story, "Agnete and the Merman". He spent an evening in the Italian seaside village of Sestri Levante the same year, inspiring the name, The Bay of Fables. (An annual festival celebrates his visit.) In October, 1834, he arrived in Rome. Andersen's first novel, "The Improvisatore", was published at the beginning of 1835, becoming an instant success. During these traveling years, Hans Christian Andersen lived in an apartment at number 20, Nyhavn, Copenhagen.
Fairy talesIt was during 1835 that Andersen published the first installment of his immortal Fairy Tales (Danish: '´'Eventyr). More stories, completing the first volume, were published in 1836 and 1837. The quality of these stories was not immediately recognized, and they sold poorly. At the same time, Andersen enjoyed more success with two novels O.T. (1836) and Only a Fiddler.
TO SEE WHY CHILDREN`S LITERATURE IS ESSENTIAL , CLICK HERE