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Evaluating and Selecting Children’s Literature Dr. Kristen Pennycuff Trent.

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Presentation on theme: "Evaluating and Selecting Children’s Literature Dr. Kristen Pennycuff Trent."— Presentation transcript:

1 Evaluating and Selecting Children’s Literature Dr. Kristen Pennycuff Trent

2 Objectives of the Literature Program Entertainment Literary Heritage Identification of Formal Elements Understanding of Self and Others Critical Analysis

3 Standards for Evaluating Books “There are ideas that go beyond the plot of a novel or picture book story or the basic theme of a non-fiction book, but they are presented subtly and gently; good books do not preach; their ideas are wound into the substance of the book and are clearly a part of the book itself.” Jean Karl, 1987

4 Standards for Evaluating Books Literary Questions –How effective is the development of literary elements? Artistic Questions –How effective are the illustrations and the illustrator’s techniques? Pragmatic Questions –How accurate and logical is the material?

5 Standards for Evaluating Books Philosophical Questions –Will this book enrich a reader’s life? Personal Questions –Does this book appeal to me?

6 Standards for Evaluating Books Three Categories of Book Reviews Descriptive –Factual information about the story and illustrations Analytical –Discuss, compare, and evaluate literary elements, the illustrations, and other books Sociological –Social context of the book, characterizations of groups, stereotypes, possible controversy, popularity

7 Award Winners Caldecott –19 th century illustrator, Randolph Caldecott –Illustrator of the best picture book Newbery –18 th century bookseller, John Newbery –Author of the best children’s novel

8 Award Winners Hans Christian Anderson –Highest international recognition –Author and illustrator lasting contributions Children’s Choice/ Teachers’ Choice –International Reading Association –10,000 children/teachers vote for favorite books

9 Literary Elements (Story Grammars) Plot – sequence of action Conflict –Dilemma characters face Man vs. man (Peter Rabbit) Man vs. nature (Julie of the Wolves) Man vs. self (Hatchet) Man vs. society (Blubber)

10 Literary Elements (Story Grammars) Resolution –Ending to story conflict Setting –Location in time and place Moods Antagonist Historical background Symbolism

11 Literary Elements (Story Grammars) Characterization –People in the story Strengths/weaknesses Physical appearance Conversations Thoughts Perception of other characters Actions –“Books should treat all characters as individuals.”

12 Literary Elements (Story Grammars) Theme –Underlying idea that ties the plot, characters, and setting together into a meaningful whole Changes in character Nature of conflict Personal development

13 Literary Elements (Story Grammars) Style –Word selection and arrangement –To create characters, plot, and settings –To create theme Point of View –Perspective of characters First person “I” Third person “he, she, they” Omniscient “all knowing”

14 Literary Elements (Story Grammars) Stereotypes –Inadequate representation of minority groups or females –Insensitive or demeaning –Over generalization –Common in copyright dates prior to 1970

15 The Right Book for the Right Child Accessibility –Home, school, community Readability –Rule of Thumb Interest –Motivation

16 Children as Ultimate Critics Is this a good story? Is the story something I think could really happen? Did the main character overcome the problem, but not too easily? Did the climax seem natural? Did the characters seem real? Did the characters grow in the story? Did the characters have both strengths and weaknesses? Did the setting present what is actually known about this time or place? Did the characters fit into the setting? Did I feel that I was really in that time and place? What did the author want to tell me in the story? Was the theme worthwhile? When I read the book aloud, did the characters sound like real people talking? Did the rest of the language seem natural?

17 Your Turn Using your easy books, perform the Children As Ultimate Critics analysis then share with your group.

18 Books to Begin On Dr. Kristen Pennycuff Trent

19 Books to Begin On Developing Initial Literacy Babies’ First Books Toy Books Finger Plays and Nursery Songs Nursery Rhymes ABC Books Counting Books Concept Books Wordless Picture Books Books About Common Experiences Books for the Beginning Reader

20 Developing Initial Literacy Reading Aloud –Emotional bonds –Cognitive development –Oral language development –Pleasure

21 Babies’ First Books Relate to familiar life experiences Identify and name objects Be sturdy and well constructed Use clear, natural language Be predictable Provide humor Show clear, uncluttered illustrations with no distracting backgrounds Offer opportunities for interaction

22 Toy Books Board Books Pop-Up Books Flap Books Cloth Books Plastic Books

23 Toy Books Built in participation and interaction Cut out and lift the flap books Where’s Spot? Pat the Bunny The Very Hungry Caterpillar Cock-A-Moo-Moo

24 Finger Plays and Nursery Songs Finger plays encourage participation –Eensy, Weensy Spider –Five Little Monkeys –Where is Thumbkin? Collected by Freidrich Froebel, father of kindergarten movement, in Germany

25 Finger Plays and Nursery Songs Nursery songs encourage response to singing and music –Going on a Bear Hunt –Wheel on the Bus –I Know an Old Lady –Old McDonald

26 Mother Goose Books Earliest literature enjoyed by many young children Appealing characteristics –Rhythm –Rhyme –Repetition of sounds –Humor –Hyperbole (use of exaggeration for effect)

27 Mother Goose Books Links word play and nursery rhymes to phonemic awareness Contributes to emergent literacy development Opportunities for active participation and response Reflects interests of children

28 Mother Goose Books Collections –Kate Greenaway’s Mother Goose –Rosemary Well’s Here Comes Mother Goose –Tomie de Paola’s Mother Goose Books that Illustrate One Rhyme –Over the Moon –Mary Had A Little Lamb Nursery Rhymes in Other Lands –Tortillas Para Mama

29 Alphabet Books Used to identify familiar objects as well as letters and sounds –Word-picture format –Simple narrative –Riddle or puzzles –Topical themes

30 Alphabet Books Appropriate for children of all ages –Z was Zapped –Alphabet City –The Graphic Alphabet Book –Icky Bug Alphabet Book –Tomorrow’s Alphabet –D is for Duck

31 Counting Books Used for educational purposes to develop mathematical concepts –One-to-one correspondence Big Fat Hen –Other simple math concepts Ten Black Dots –Number stories and puzzles The Doorbell Rang

32 Counting Books Ten, Nine, Eight Look Whooo’s Counting Cookie Count Oreo Counting Book Cheerios Counting Book Count on Me 29 Letters and 99 Cents

33 Concept Books Stimulate cognitive development –Help teach concepts about spatial relationships, patterns, visual discrimination, etc. –First non-fiction books –Major Authors Tana Hoban Lois Elhert Donald Crews

34 Concept Books –A Busy Year –Mouse Paint –Good Morning, Good Night –More, Fewer, Less –We’re Going On a Bear Hunt

35 Wordless Picture Books Illustrations tell the whole story without words Encourages –Language development –Vocabulary –Oral discussion –Storytelling

36 Wordless Picture Books Alexandra Day: Carl series Pat Hutchins: Rosie’s Walk Tomie de Paola: Pancakes for Breakfast Peter Spier: Noah’s Ark Raymond Briggs: The Snowman David Weisner: Tuesday

37 Books About Common Experiences No, David! When Sophie Gets Angry In the Rain with Baby Duck The Runaway Bunny Goodnight Moon Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear Owl Babies

38 Books for the Beginning Reader Predictable Books –In the Tall, Tall Grass –Barnyard Banter –Brown Bear, Brown Bear –Today is Monday –Chicken Soup with Rice –Napping House –Shoes from Grandpa

39 Books for the Beginning Reader Controlled Vocabulary Books –New genre started by Dr. Suess in 1957 Created The Cat in the Hat from 220 Dolch sight words –Little Bear series –Frog and Toad series

40 Controlled Vocabulary Books Caution: –Dull plots –Flat characters –Unnatural language patterns Look For: –Natural language –Creative plots –Real child appeal –Good artwork

41 Picture Storybooks Illustrations present most of story content –Must read story to get complete view –Integral to story line –Enhance the actions, settings, and characters

42 Elements of Picture Storybooks Originality and imagination Plot Characterization Setting Theme Style Humor Surprise and the Unexpected

43 Typical Characters and Situations People Disguised as Animals –Frances series –Olivia series Talking Animals with Human Emotions –The Story of Ferdinand –Curious George

44 Typical Characters and Situations Personified Objects –Virginia Lee Burton’s work Katy and the Big Snow Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel The Little House

45 Typical Characters and Situations Humans in Realistic Situations –Ezra Jack Keats’s inner city –Robert McCloskey’s New England –A Chair for My Mother –William’s Doll Humorous and Inventive Fantasies –Dr. Suess books –Jumanji

46 Big Books Provide format for all to see and interact Balance teacher and class created big books with commercially made materials See “Creating Big Books with Emergent Readers” page 158


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