Classification Essay, Research Paper

Mary Meeker

E 101



Children?s Literature

Children?s Literature is classified in two major categtories, realistic and fantasy. Realistic

focuses on the area of human activities and historical events, while fantasy has many more subcategories

like eccentric and enchantment.

Some educational institutions firmly believe in teaching with only realistic stories. They feel that

a young mind under the age of five will not be able to decipher the difference between realitity and

fantasy. The school worries the child will have a sense of being invincible when reading supernatural

stories. For example, Wylie Coyote always jumps right back after falling off a cliff or being squashed by

an anvil. Violence and disrepect are other areas that concern educators when dealing with fantasy.

Realistic childhood literature can be a useful tool. It can easliy teach a child a story of times

gone by. Consider, Little House on the Prairie, it is a story a young girl can relate to and associate with.

Laura Ingalls and the other characters teach us to appreciate the lifestyle in which we live now and give

us a history lesson of the past. Realistic stories will always use human characters as the communicating

figure in the story.

Fantasy is the main type of children?s literature today. Theodore Seuss Geisel, also known as

Dr. Seuss, began writing his most popular book after an article in Life magazine in May 1954. The

article stated most American first graders were having trouble reading. The children were quoted as

saying that books were boring. Mr. Geisel?s publisher sent him a letter asking him to use a list of 400

words, which most first graders should know. Dr. Seuss was able to use 220 of those words in his

best selling book, ?Cat in the Hat.? His stories are wildly imaginitive creations, and he

used words that are funny and whimsical. His unreal worlds include a moral and social

tale that unfolds with ease at the excitement of the reading child.

Fantasy in literature offers new and stimualting visual adventures. Like Seuss, many authors

appeal to the openness of youthful artistic expression. These types of stories spark our imagination and

challenge our own perceptions. Reading a child?s fantasy book is a great oppurtunty for an adult to

rekindle the spirit and dreams of youth. Give your mind a chance to dream of an outlandish creature and

who knows what else is possible.

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