I want to write a very short introduction to children’s literature because although here in Britain one of the longest and most distinguished traditions of creating books for children, perhaps the longest and most distinguished in the world. We often take them for granted and we don’t pay enough attention to what a remarkable cultural resource they are for adults and kind of cultural work they do for children and the way that they have served writers and illustrators as a cultural space for creativity subversion and opportunities to experiment with new ideas.
So what kind of cultural work the children’s books do? Well, at the level of individual child, this is one of the places where children learn the vocabularies, get the vicarious experiences, and see the images of the world that help them think about how the world works and where they fit into it.
Because children’s books are one of the first places that children encounter these things, they are often very direct, as a source of information about what a particular period thanks including what it thinks a child is, what a child needs to know, what childhood looks like, sometimes when we are looking at children’s books from the past, that ‘s very important to notice these children who aren’t there, for instance, so that is one of the things that we have in children’s books.