Thursday, February 05, 2009

Prepping the Canon

Over at the Guardian, Tim Martin discusses the possibility of a children's literature canon. He offers some title suggestions, but I wonder whether we need one at all.

There are always the books we believe every kid should read, but that tends to fluctuate wildly from person to person. Some of us can't stand the idea that a child hasn't read The Secret Garden, and others believe it's a requirement for graduating elementary school that a kid reads Charlotte's Web.

This is a subject that comes up every now and then. The only benefit I can see is that a canon might lend the study of children's lit some respect in academic circles. On the other hand, maybe not. Canon is becoming something of a dirty word in literary criticism these days.

What do you think?

1 comment:

Fourstorymistake said...

Hmm... I'm not really into canons either. I am a big fan of kids reading what they want! I STILL haven't read much of what people would consider "required reading" for children's lit (The Giver, The Little Prince, etc.) and so I think my definition of essential children's lit would be very different from the next librarian/bookseller/writer...