what childrens literature

What is Children’s Literature?

Children’s Literature encompasses much more than just reading books; it aims to develop children’s imagination and emotions.

children's book literature
Contributes to the social, emotional, and cognitive development of the child.

When we talk about Children’s Literature, we refer to a type of content particularly aimed at children. Thus, Children’s Literature includes all the literary texts that society considers beneficial for children.

Children’s Literature is an art that recreates deep human experiences, primal emotions, capacities, and talents that encompass perceptions, feelings, memory, fantasy, and the exploration of undiscovered worlds. It also artistically unveils, unravels, and debates fundamental issues of nature and life, of the cosmos and destiny. Simultaneously, Children’s Literature stimulates, moves, and transforms the child’s spirit or that of the human person who reads, thus sublimating and changing life.  

Usually, this type of literature is conceived as one represented by a great variety of basic images that capture young readers’ interest. Images are usually the main means to capture children’s interest and foster learning.

Among the most distinctive features of Children’s Literature that have consolidated and served as a guide for writers, we find the following:

Use of Dialogue

In order to facilitate communication and the course of stories and processes, dialogues are one of the elements that frequently appear in texts for children, as they allow for a much more direct narrative style.

Theme and Identification

The themes presented in the texts may facilitate children’s identification with the characters, with what they think or feel, and the situations in which they find themselves. This is a resource that often stimulates the child’s interest.

Linear Plot

Children’s Literature authors try to create stories that follow a traditional chronological course. It is much easier for children to understand the whole story if they can follow the sequence of events.

Generic Characters

Authors of children’s Literature have used generic characters or widely accepted personality features associated with animals and nature in their works. They have attached to their characters particular characteristics that are taken from nature. For instance, the cunning fox, or the innocent sheep, among others.


One of the elements most often present in Children’s Literature is heroes. In the course of the stories, heroism is represented by the protagonist’s struggle for values, such as justice, in an attempt to make the world a better place. Something we must take into account is that children have a different way of seeing the world and everything around them. They usually interact with their surroundings in a way that adults do not. Children’s Literature seeks to exploit these differences because its main objective is to capture life from the children’s perspectives to educate and help children grow.

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