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Palgrave Macmillan

Reading the Child in Children's Literature

An Heretical Approach

ISBN 9781137322340
Publication Date November 2013
Formats Paperback Ebook (PDF) Hardcover 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

David Rudd takes a lively and controversial look at the critical representation of the child in children's literature, arguing for a more open and eclectic approach: one that celebrates the diverse power, appeal and possibilities of children's literature.

Drawing on psychoanalytically informed perspectives, Rudd shows how theory can be both exciting and liberating. He offers fresh and stimulating close readings of key texts, ranging from established classics – such as Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan and Winnie-the-Pooh - to more modern works, including novels (Peter Pan in Scarlet and The Children's Book) and picture books (Zoo¸ The Missing Piece and Where the Wild Things Are).

Sophisticated yet highly approachable, this is an essential read for anyone with an interest in the study of children's literature.

David Rudd is Professor of Children's Literature at the University of Bolton, UK.

List of Illustrations

Acknowledgements

Note on the Text

Introduction: An Energetics of Children's Literature

PART I: THE IMAGINARY

1. Many Happy Returns: To Freud, to Rose, the Child and its Literature

2. Peter Pan and the Riddle of Existence

PART II: THE SYMBOLIC

3. Holes and Pores: Slipping Between the Cracks of Social Criticism

4. Hiding in the Light: Perry Nodelman and the Hidden Adult

PART III: THE REAL

5. Home Sweet Home and the Uncanny: Freud, Alice and the Curious Child

PART IV: RSI

6. Fantasy and Realism Contained: From Fortunatus' Cap to the Mobius Strip

7. The Children's Book - Not Suitable for Children?

Coda

Notes

Glossary

Bibliography

Index

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"An exciting catalyst for innovation within Children's Literature studies." - Liz Thiel, University of Roehampton, UK
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