Entradas populares

lunes, 12 de noviembre de 2012


African Folk Tales

There is a rich, fertile legacy of folklore from Africa. On this vast continent, folk tales and myths serve as a means of handing down traditions and customs from one generation to the next. The storytelling tradition has thrived for generations because of the absence of printed material. Folk tales prepare young people for life, as there are many lessons to be learned from the tales. Because of the history of this large continent, which includes the forceful transplanting of the people into slavery on other continents, many of the same folk tales exist in North America, South America, and the West Indies. These are told with little variation, for the tales were spread by word of mouth and were kept among the African population.

Latinoamerican tales

Latin American literature has a long and rich tradition that reaches back to the Colonial period and is filled with remarkable writers too little known in the English-speaking world. The short story has been a central part of this tradition, from Fray Bartolome de las Casas' narrative protests against the Spanish Conquistadors' abuses of Indians, to the world renowned Ficciones of Jorge Luis Borges, to the contemporary works of such masters as Carlos Fuentes, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Rosario Ferre, and others.
Folktales evolved over the centuries from storytelling. The oral tradition offered entertainment, recounted history, and explained the unexplainable. Additionally, morals and the social values of a culture could be taught in a subtle manner allowing the listener to draw his or her own conclusions. The mysterious, miraculous, and the unknown engage even the youngest listeners. Magical forces enable the heroes and heroines to combat injustice and evil. Characters and their accompanying problems, whether animals or human, frequently are depicted as everyday beings found in all societies. Participants, therefore, can freely relate to the adventures and enjoy the world of fantasy while stimulating their imagination.

Asian tales

Asia is the world's largest continent. A place with unique cultural heritage, Asia is home to more than 3.8 billion people, making it the most populous continent on Earth.
The collection of folktales from Asia consists of thirteen books with 292 folktales: 55 Arabic folktales, 104 Chinese folktales, 69 Indian folktales and 69 Japanese folktales.
This category has the following 10 subcategories, out of 10 total:

► Chinese fairy tales‎      ► Indian fairy tales‎     ► Indonesian fairy tales‎
► Japanese fairy tales‎    ► Korean fairy tales‎   ► Malaysian fairy tales‎
► Pakistani fairy tales‎      ► Persian fairy tales‎  ► Turkish fairy tales‎
► Vietnamese fairy tales‎

Australian tales

Fairy tales are everywhere in Australian fiction. Some of the most beloved characters in Australian literature are compared by their authors to fairy-tale heroes and heroines. Murray Bail has written a novel, Eucalyptus (1998), which borrows its very structure from a classic fairy-tale plotline—a father’s elaborate test of his daughter’s suitors. Janette Turner Hospital’s Charades (1989), as the name of its title character suggests, is narrated by a modern-day Shahrazad (the heroine of The Arabian Nights). Peter Carey has imagined a society in The Unusual Life of Tristan Smith (1994) where fairy tales have replaced the Christian narrative as a source of spiritual guidance. Fairy tales have illuminated Australian mysteries, suspense and science fiction. While it is clear, however, that fairy tales have for some time fired the imaginations of Australian fiction writers, there has been little exploration of this interest in published criticism.
Folklore studies in Australia have focused instead on the ballads, legends and tall tales that have comprised a significant part of the country’s literary and social history. The frequent appearance of fairy-tale motifs in contemporary Australian novels presents an intriguing postmodern challenge to realism which, as Delys Bird observes, has been “a dominant influence in Australian literature since its beginnings” . References to fairy tales in Australian fiction also permit one to speculate on the impact of an increasingly cosmopolitan spectrum of writers and artists on Australia’s culture, and to consider the role of religion in a determinedly secular society


Hercules & Xena The Battle for Mount Olympus

Beauty and the Beast

lunes, 5 de noviembre de 2012

All these people contribute to the analysis of Literature for children: 

Vladimir Propp

Vladimir Yakovlevich Propp ( 29 April [O.S. 17 April] 1895 – 22 August 1970) was a Soviet formalist scholar who analyzed the basic plot components of Russian folk tales to identify their simplest irreducible narrative elements.

Vladimir Propp broke up fairy tales into sections. Through these sections he was able to define the tale into a series of sequences that occurred within the Russian fairytale. Usually there is an initial situation, after which the tale usually takes the following 31 functions. Vladimir Propp used this method to decipher Russian folklore and fairy tales. First of all, there seem to be at least two distinct types of structural analysis in folklore. One is the type of which Propp's Morphology is the exemplar par excellence. In this type, the structure or formal organization of a folkloristic text is described following the chronological order of the linear sequence of elements in the text as reported from an informant. Thus if a tale consists of elements A to Z, the structure of the tale is delineated in terms of this same sequence. Following Lévi-Strauss (1964: 312), this linear sequential structural analysis we might term "syntagmatic" structural analysis, borrowing from the notion of syntax in the study of language (cf. Greimas 1966a:404). The other type of structural analysis in folklore seeks to describe the pattern (usually based upon an a priori binary principle of opposition) which allegedly underlies the folkloristic text. This pattern is not the same as the sequential structure at all. Rather the elements are taken out of the "given" order and are regrouped in one or more analytic schemas. Patterns or organization in this second type of structural analysis might be termed "paradigmatic" (, borrowing from the notion of paradigms in the study of language.

Bruno Bettelheim

Bettelheim analyzed fairy tales in terms of Freudian psychology in The Uses of Enchantment (1976). He discussed the emotional and symbolic importance of fairy tales for children, including traditional tales at one considered too dark, such as those collected and published by the Brothers Grimm. Bettelheim suggested that traditional fairy tales, with the darkness of abandonment, death, witches, and injuries, allowed children to grapple with their fears in remote, symbolic terms. If they could read and interpret these fairy tales in their own way, he believed, they would get a greater sense of meaning and purpose. Bettelheim thought that by engaging with these socially-evolved stories, children would go through emotional growth that would better prepare them for their own futures. In the U.S., Bettelheim won two major awards for The Uses of Enchantment: the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticis and the National Book Award in category Contemporary Thought.

Maria Tatar

Maria Tatar is an American academic whose expertise lies in children's literature, German literature, and folklore. Tatar is the John L. Loeb Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures, and Chair of the Committee on Degrees in Folklore and Mythology at Harvard University. Tatar earned an undergraduate degree from Denison University and a doctoral degree from Princeton University. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Tatar was interested in how the fairy tales were first written down, the ways in which the texts reflected the historical realities of another time and place and the Psychological effects.  Maria showed, these tales helped children to survive in the world ruled by adults. Maria also believed that fairy tales were connected with all kind of adult secrets for they told children about death, romance, marriage and, in some cases, they would speak about sex and violence. As regards violence, Fairy tales were often violent but they acted as a therapy for kids. Maria Tatar added that violence helped little ones to face their fears, for which they did not yet the exact language developed.

Maria Tatar expressed that stories shared moral aspects, giving life's lessons and transmitting wonderful messages for kids. Nevertheless, she explained that moral was added to fairy tales when they were rewritten for children.

Kieran Egan

Kieran Egan (born 1942) is a contemporary educational philosopher and a student of the classics, anthropology, cognitive psychology, and cultural history. He has written on issues in education and child development, with an emphasis on the uses of imagination and the intellectual stages (Egan calls them understandings) that occur during a person’s intellectual development. He has questioned the work of Jean Piaget and progressive educators, notably Herbert Spencer and John Dewey. He currently works at Simon Fraser University. His major work is The Educated Mind.

Kieran Egan has provided educational theorists and educators with something that few others have in the history of educational theorizing – a theory of educational development.  He has located this theory and the need for its vision against a compelling backdrop of conflicting educational visions.  Regardless of the accuracy of Egan’s critique of educational policy conflict, his theory serves simultaneously as both a descriptive and prescriptive account of the development of the “educated” mind. His model attempts to harmonize naturalistic, social, and humanistic conceptions of education by linking a sequence of educational activities that reflect the development of social knowledge to the “natural” knowledge-seeking tendencies of children – tendencies that change with age and maturation.

What is literature for children?

Children's literature (also called juvenile 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 can be divided a number ways. Two useful divisions are genre and intended age of the reader.

Children's literature by genre

A literary genre is a category of literary composition. Genres may be determined by technique, tone, content, or length. Anderson lists six categories of children's literature, with some significant subgenres:
  •   Picture books, including board books, concept books (teaching an alphabet or counting  for example), pattern books, and wordless books.
  •  Traditional literature, including folktales, which convey the legends, customs, superstitions, and beliefs of people in past times. This genre can be further broken down into myths, fables, legends, and fairy tales
  •   Fiction, including fantasy, realistic fiction, and historical fiction.
  •  Non-fiction.
  •   Biography and autobiography.
  •  Poetry and verse.

Children's literature by age category

The criteria for these divisions are vague and books near a borderline may be classified either way. Books for younger children tend to be written in very simple language, use large print, and have many illustrations. Books for older children use increasingly complex language, normal print, and fewer, if any, illustrations.

  • ·         Picture books appropriate for pre-readers or ages 0–5.
  • ·         Early Reader Books appropriate for children age 5–7. These books are often designed to help a child build his or her reading skills.
  • ·         Chapter book appropriate for children ages 7–12.

ü  Short chapter books, appropriate for children ages 7–9.
ü  Longer chapter books, appropriate for children ages 9–12.
  • ·         Young-adult fiction appropriate for children age 12–18.

According to Aspects and Issues in the History of Children's Literature from the International Research Society for Children's Literature, the development of literature for children anywhere in the world follows the same basic path. All children's literature, whatever its current stage of development, begins with spoken stories, songs and poems. In the beginning the same tales that adults tell and enjoy are adapted for children. Then stories are created specifically for children, to educate, instruct and entertain them. In the final stage literature for children is established as separate from that of adults, having its own genres, divisions, expectations and canon.The development of children's literature is influenced by the social, educational, political and economic resources of the country or ethnic group.

Authors of children´s literature.

Charles Perrault

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. The best known of his tales include Le Petit Chaperon rouge (Little Red Riding Hood), Cendrillon (Cinderella), Le Chat Botté (Puss in Boots) and La Barbe bleue (Bluebeard).[1] Many of Perrault's stories were rewritten by the Brothers Grimm, continue to be printed and have been adapted to opera, ballet (such as Tchaikovsky's The Sleeping Beauty), theatre, and film (Disney). Perrault was an influential figure in the 17th century French literary scene, and was the leader of the Modern faction during the Quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns.

Brothers Grimm
The Brothers Grimm (German: Brüder Grimm or Die Gebrüder Grimm), Jacob (1785–1863) and Wilhelm Grimm (1786–1859), were Germanic academics, linguists, cultural researchers, and authors who together collected folklore. They are among the most well-known storytellers of European folk tales, and their work popularized such stories as "Cinderella" (Aschenputtel), "The Frog Prince" (Der Froschkönig), "Hansel and Gretel" (Hänsel und Gretel), "Rapunzel", "Rumpelstiltskin" (Rumpelstilzchen), and "Snow White" (Schneewittchen). Their first collection of folk tales, Children's and Household Tales (Kinder- und Hausmärchen), was published in 1812.
The brothers spent their formative years first in the German town of Hanau and then in Steinau. Their father's death in 1796, about a decade into their lives, caused great poverty for the family and affected the brothers for many years. They attended the University of Marburg where historian and jurist Friedrich von Savigny spurred their interest in philology and Germanic studies—a field in which they are now considered pioneers—and at the same time developed a curiosity for folklore, which grew into a lifelong dedication to collecting German folk tales.
The rise of romanticism in the 19th century revived interest in traditional folk stories, which to the Grimm brothers represented a pure form of national literature and culture. With the goal of researching a scholarly treatise on folk tales, the brothers established a methodology for collecting and recording folk stories that became the basis for folklore studies. Between 1812 and 1857 their first collection was revised and published many times, and grew from 86 stories to more than 200. In addition to writing and modifying folk tales, the brothers wrote collections of well-respected German and Scandinavian mythologies and in 1808 wrote a definitive German dictionary (Deutsches Wörterbuch) that remained incomplete in their lifetime.
The popularity of the Grimms' collected folk tales endured well beyond their lifetimes. The tales are available in more than 100 translations and have been adapted to popular Disney films such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella. In the mid-20th century the tales were used as propaganda by the Third Reich; later in the 20th century psychologists such as Bruno Bettelheim reaffirmed the value of the work, in spite of the cruelty and violence in the original versions of some of the tales that were sanitized.

Hans Christian Andersen

Hans Christian Andersen often referred to by his initials H. C. 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.