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Presents a collection of twentieth-century American leftist children's literature, including contributions from such well-known writers as Dr. Seuss and Julius Lester, and many from less familiar figures.
There is within all theological utterances something of the ridiculous, perhaps more so in Christianity, given its proclivity for the paradoxical and the childlike. Few theologians are willing to discuss how consent to the Christian doctrine often requires a faith that goes beyond reason. There seems to be a fear that the association of theology with the absurd will give fuel to the sceptic's refrain: 'You can't seriously believe in all that nonsense.' Josephine Gabelman considers the legitimacy of the sceptic's objection and explores the possibility that an idea can be contrary to rationality and also true and meaningful using the systematic analysis of central stylistic features of literary non sense such as Lewis Carroll's Alice stories. Gabelman sets up a nonsense theology by considering the practical and evangelical ramifications of associating Christian faith with nonsense literature and, conversely, the value of relating theological principles to the study of literary nonsense.Ultimately, Gabelman says, faith is always a risk and a strictly rational apologetic misrepresents the nature of Christian truth.
Remarkably well researched, the essays consider a wide range of texts - from the U.S., Britain and Canada - and take a variety fo theoretical approaches, including formalism and Marxism and those related to psychology, postcolonialism, reception, feminism, queer studies, and performance studies ... This collection pushes boundaries of genre, notions of childhood ... Choice. Back cover of book.
Racism is resilient, duplicitous, and endlessly adaptable, so it is no surprise that America is again in a period of civil rights activism. A significant reason racism endures is because it is structural: it's embedded in culture and in institutions. One of the places that racism hides-and thus perhaps the best place to oppose it-is books for young people. Was the Cat in the Hat Black? presents five serious critiques of the history and current state of children's literature tempestuous relationship with both implicit and explicit forms of racism. The book fearlessly examines topics both vivid-such as The Cat in the Hat's roots in blackface minstrelsy-and more opaque, like how the children's book industry can perpetuate structural racism via whitewashed covers even while making efforts to increase diversity. Rooted in research yet written with a lively, crackling touch, Nel delves into years of literary criticism and recent sociological data in order to show a better way forward. Though much of what is proposed here could be endlessly argued, the knowledge that what we learn in childhood imparts both subtle and explicit lessons about whose lives matter is not debatable. The text concludes with a short and stark proposal of actions everyone-reader, author, publisher, scholar, citizen- can take to fight the biases and prejudices that infect children's literature. While Was the Cat in the Hat Black? does not assume it has all the answers to such a deeply systemic problem, its audacity should stimulate discussion and activism.
The study of children’s literature and culture has been experiencing a renaissance, with vital new work proliferating across many areas of interest. Mapping this vibrant scholarship, Keywords for Children’s Literature presents 49 original essays on the essential terms and concepts of the field. From Aesthetics to Young Adult, an impressive, multidisciplinary cast of scholars explores the vocabulary central to the study of children's literature. Following the growth of his or her word, each author traces its branching uses and meanings, often into unfamiliar disciplinary territories: Award-winning novelist Philip Pullman writes about Intentionality, Education expert Margaret Meek Spencer addresses Reading, literary scholar Peter Hunt historicizes Children’s Literature, Psychologist Hugh Crago examines Story, librarian and founder of the influential Child_Lit litserv Michael Joseph investigates Liminality. The scope, clarity, and interdisciplinary play between concepts make this collection essential reading for all scholars in the field. In the spirit of Raymond Williams’ seminal Keywords, this book is a snapshot of a vocabulary of children’s literature that is changing, expanding, and ever unfinished.

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