English 301: Literature for Children and Adolescents
Schedule: Fall 2005   

Dr. Tina L. Hanlon

Associate Professor of English
Ferrum College

Children's Literature Course Home Page

Note:  At the bottom of the page, this is a tentative overview of the semester and it will be updated periodically. Exact dates and reading assignments will be adjusted during the semester in connection with student project reports and other special activities that may be arranged. It is your responsibility to check these course web pages regularly for updates and new materials. You must decide on a topic for your major paper no later than Nov. 9. Oral report topics and dates will be decided by Oct. 5.


Topics, Readings (due by date indicated on the left)

M 8/29 Course Introduction
W-F 8/31-9/2

History of Children’s Literature: Riverside Intro. 1-9; Russell chap. 1 (on reserve)
Read K. Vandergrift’s pages on history at http://scils.rutgers.edu/~kvander/HistoryofChildLit

If possible, start Riverside chap. 5 on history of illustrated books (to about p. 217)

Required Journal Entry: What is the most interesting thing you learned about the history of children's literature this week? What is the most surprising or interesting idea about the study of children's literature that you heard in class this week?

M 9/5


Picture Books, Nursery Rhymes, Alphabet and Counting Books:
Riverside 13-42. Start reading 165-88, & color plates.
See picture books on reserve (up to you how much you look at any of these; some relate to oral traditions we will study later):
  • Beatrix Potter, Two Bad Mice (you can read it or hear an audio version online at http://wiredforbooks.org/kids.htm)
  • Rachel Isadora, City Seen from A to Z
  • Ed Young, Lon Po Po (Chinese Little Red Riding Hood tale: look closely at the pictures)
  • Dr. Seuss, The Lorax
  • Lobel, Fables
  • Szcieska and Smith, The Stinky Cheese Man (fairy tale parodies)
  • Paul O. Zelinksy, Rapunzel

See Study Guide for Nursery Rhymes and Picture Books.

Optional reading: Russell chap. 5 on Alphabet, Counting and Concept Books (on reserve)

W 9/7 Riverside 189-222. Be sure you’ve read Peter Rabbit and Where the Wild Things Are
(both on reserve, or see Peter Rabbit at http://www.tcom.ohiou.edu/books/kids/beatrix/p1.htm, where 8 other tales are reprinted as well with Beatrix Potter's original illustrations. If you have the right software, listen to the audio version with slide show.)

Sadler, “A Conversation with Maurice Sendak and Dr. Seuss” (on reserve)
Also recommended: Interview with Maurice Sendak in Riverside anthology, p. 1089.

F 9/9 Bring at least one picture book of your choice to class.
Read at least one picture book by Dr. Seuss.

Required Journal Entry: Write something about the picture book you chose to bring to class. What qualities of a good picture book does it have (or not have)? Be sure you have submitted journal once by Monday.

M-W 9/1214 Finish discussing picture books, including Peter Rabbit, Dr. Seuss, books you brought to class, remaining questions from your readings in and about picture books
F 9/16

Poetry:  Riverside 42-63
Optional reading:  chapter 7 on poetry by Russell (on reserve)

M 9/19-
F 9/23
Poetry: selections from Riverside chaps. 2 and 3
See Poetry Assignments page, which includes a Required Journal/Class Discussion Assignment for this week.

"The Pied Piper," poem by Browning, is in your text, but it's online with famous illustrations by Kate Greenaway at this link.

M 9/26

Short Paper Due (See Short Paper Assignment.)

Finish discussing poetry

W 9/28

Read Introduction to The Oral Tradition, Introduction to Fables
Read at least a couple fables from each section in Riverside, chap. 6

The picture book of Lobel's Fables is on reserve—see the examples in our text of his modern fables if you don't look at the whole book.

See where fables fit in on Diagrams of Types of Folk Literature.

Optional: Aesop's Fables: Online Collection. Attractive site by John R. Long with "655+ Fables, indexed in table format, with morals listed." Audio readings of some fables also available.

Th 9/24-30

Banned Books Week (see www.ala.org if you are interested in censorship and Banned Books Week)
F 9/30 Read “Henny-Penny,” “The Pancake,” “Hansel and Gretel,” “The Three Little Pigs”

Read Guidelines for Teaching with Folk Tales, Fairy Tales, Fables, Ballads, and Other Short Works of Folklore

For more on variants of this tale, see The Three Little Pigs in AppLit and an Appalachian version online, "The Big Old Sow and the Little Pigs."

For an annotated version of "Hansel and Gretel," with information on variants, modern spinoffs, illustrations, etc. see Sur La Lune Fairy Tales. For a related Appalachian tale, see The Babes in the Woods.

For variants of the pancake tale, see The Runaway Pancake. or The Annotated Gingerbread Man. For Appalachian versions, see The Johnny Cake Boy and The Gingerbread Boy (from the BRI archives). See also Classroom Connections on runaway food stories at Jim Aylesworth web site, and Fairy Tale Variants: The Gingerbread Man.

M 10/3


Schedule oral report by Friday.

Schedule for Oral Reports


“Beauty and the Beast,” p. 284;
“East o’ the Sun and West o’ the Moon,” p. 381, and "The Three Gold Nuts" (online at this link)


Watch the film The Polar Bear King (on reserve—beautiful live-action fairy tale film)
"Cupid and Psyche," p. 484
“Whitebear Whittington” in Richard Chase’s Grandfather Tales (library has multiple copies—"The Three Gold Nuts" is a variant of this tale.)
“Rapunzel,” p. 263
Award-winning picture book Rapunzel by Zelinsky (on reserve)

For annotated versions, with information on variants, modern spinoffs, illustrations, etc. see Beauty and the Beast and Rapunzel at the beautiful web site Sur La Lune Fairy Tales.

W 10/5

“Little Red Riding-Hood” (Perrault version in anthology)

The Stinky Cheese Man (on reserve—includes a Little Red R. Hood parody as well as the runaway food and Chicken Little themes)

Review Roald Dahl, “Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf” (Riverside p. 103)

Read at least one or two other variants of the girl vs. wolf story.  Options:

“A Wolf and Little Daughter” (from Hamilton's The People Could Fly, on reserve in book and photocopy
Lon Po Po (picture book by Ed Young on reserve)
Flossie and the Fox by Patricia McKissack and Rachel Isadora (available in library Nave or from Hanlon)
Annotated "Little Red Riding Hood" and links to related tales in Sur La Lune Fairy Tales

F 10/7

Schedule oral report by today.

Schedule for Oral Reports

Molly Whuppie, p. 300; also read and compare Mutsmag by Rex Stephenson. (Be sure the whole story loads on your computer, especially if you are using a modem or off-campus connection. It might be a little slower on some computers.)

"Old Fire Dragaman," p. 447; see also web page on variants of this tale.

Required Journal Entry: Write something in your journal about your responses to the version of "Mutsmag" illustrated by Franklin County school children and/or other Appalachian folktales.

film on reserve. See also web page on variants of "Mutsmag" and related teaching materials in AppLit.
Munsmeg (same tale as "Mutsmag" in Richard Chase's Grandfather Tales, which is on reserve in book and photocopy)

Two Jack Tales retold by Rex Stephenson in AppLit Poetry and Fiction section
The Script as Story Theatre - short description by Rex Stephenson
"Jack and the Beanstalk" in Riverside anthology, p. 297

Storytelling:  Riverside 656-61

M 10/10 Continue discussion of "Mutsmag "

Read a sample of Uncle Remus tales or Brer Rabbit tales:  The Wonderful Tar-Baby" is on  p. 442 (the popular but now controversial version by Joel Chandler Harris)
BUT I recommend that instead you read a modernized version of the Brer Rabbit/Tar Baby story, such as this contemporary retelling : http://www.otmfan.com/html/brertar.htm, or the version in Virginia Hamilton's collection The People Could Fly (on reserve).

On the issue of reading/teaching literature using dialect, see web page by Stephanie Humphries.


See an illustration of Brer Rabbit with comments from an anti-racist organization that uses Brer Rabbit as its symbol, at http://www.pipeline.com/~rgibson/rouge_forum/brer.htm and an illustratiion of Brer Rabbit by A. B. Frost at http://www.clarkart.edu/museum_programs/exhibitions_past_detail.cfm?ID=12&nav=2. Compare the Disney image of Br'er Rabbit at http://stp.ling.uu.se/~starback/dcml/chars/brers.html.

See Tar Baby Notes and a storytelling version of the tale at http://www.folktale.net/tarbynts.html.

Brer Rabbit statue in Eatonton, GA (birthplace of Joel Chandler Harris) shown at http://www.cviog.uga.edu/Projects/gainfo/statues/brerrabbit.htm.

Rabbit and Tar Wolf is a retelling by Cherokee children of a Cherokee tale.

"Brer Rabbit and the Well" is told online by popular storyteller Jackie Torrence at Zinger Tales.

W 10/12 Midterm Exam. See Midterm Study Guide (which will be updated before the exam)
F 10/14 Continue discussion of folktales from above, and read  "Rabbit and the Tar Wolf" on handout.  This is from Gayle Ross's collection How Rabbit Tricked Otter and Other Cherokee Trickster Stories (Illus. Murv Jacobs, The Parabola Storytime Series. HarperCollins, 1994).  There is a bibliography on Gayle Ross in AppLit, including a link where you can see her perform at the Kennedy Center.

"The Tongue-Cut Sparrow," p. 394
"Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp," p. 407


Midterm Break

W 10/19


Introduction to Myths and Legends in Riverside anthology, p. 475
Greek:  “Demeter,” “Orpheus”
Native American:  “Determination of the Seasons,” “How Glooskap Found the Summer”

If you are interested in other Native American tales similar to "Demeter," see Dancing Drum, or The Sun's Daughter.

F 10/21

Introduction to Epics and Romances in Riverside anthology, p. 562
“St. George and the Dragon,” “Odysseus and the Cyclops,”
“King Arthur and His Sword”

If you are interested in other dragon stories, see Dragons in Children's Literature.

M 10/24 2005 Tiffany Clanton report on African American tall tales

Tall Tales introduction in AppLit's Tall Tales and Jack Tales (especially Background section)

Review "John Henry" in poetry chapters (pp. 59-60) and/or see John Henry web pages.
Read "Paul Bunyan" and "Pecos Bill Becomes a Coyote," 450-55; Sid Fleishman, "The Fool Killer," 718-20.

W10/26 2005 Natalie Edmundson report on "Cinderella" tales in different cultures
Jamy Lumsden report on Disney adaptation of "Cinderella"

French "Cinderella," p. 277

The Rough Face Girl picture book (on reserve)
If you don't see the picture book in time, there is link to a similar Native American tale near the bottom of the Ashpet web page, and there is a version of Indian Cinderella at SurlaLuneFairytales.com.

"Vasilissa the Fair" (Russian), p. 340
"The Magic Orange Tree," (West Indies), p. 465
Appalachian "Ashpet" in Chase, Grandfather Tales (library has several copies)
Links to many variants, illustrations, background on Cinderella stories around the world are at Ashpet web page.

Miscellaneous notes on oral traditions

Live action fairy tale films on reserve:  Mutzmag; Willa: An American Snow White; The Polar Bear King; Cinderella musical by Rogers and Hammerstein

Zinger Tales contains online videos of famous storytellers, including NC storyteller Jackie Torrence.

Storyteller.net contains many audio files by storytellers.

Recommended book of criticism and modern fairy tales: Jack Zipes, Don't Bet on the Prince (in our library)

About 1000 older editions of fables and folktales are online at Rick Walton, Children's Author: Classic Tales and Fables. (You don't have to read them all now. : )

After 10/26 2005

We will discuss the fiction in this order, spending about a day or two on each assigned novel. Reports and discussion of related topics will be scheduled between and after novels.

Modern Fantasy: J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Domestic Fantasy: E. B. White, Charlotte's Web
“The Golden Age”: Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
Adventure Fiction/Robinsonnade: Scott O’Dell, Island of the Blue Dolphins
Realistic Fiction: Katherine Paterson, Bridge to Terabithia
Also discuss Censorship
African-American/Historical Fiction: Mildred Taylor, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
Also discuss minority images in lit., multicultural literature

Young Adult Literature: Robin McKinley, The Hero and the Crown

F 10/28 2005

Modern Fantasy:  Discuss Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling, with Dr. Whited

Dr. Lana Whited is editor of a book of critical essays, The Ivory Tower and Harry Potter. She has also reviewed other books about Harry Potter, in an essay in The Lion and the Unicorn, available at this address through Project Muse (which you have access to on Ferrum's network): http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/lion_and_the_unicorn/v027/27.3whited.html.

Dr. Whited's Roanoke.com column (Feb. 2000) refuting William Safire's criticism of Harry Potter books (good to read in relation to censorship issues also)

Articles available through Lexis-Nexis (you probably have to look up these dates yourself):
Roanoke Times, June 6, 2003
Roanoke Times, Nov. 11, 2002


M 10/31 2005

Dalric Beard report on censorship and fantasy
Virginia Rickerts report on ghost stories

Optional readings related to reports:

Material on censorship in the American Library Association web site, ala.org, and/or the NCTE censorship pages, http://www.ncte.org/about/issues/censorship.  There are other links on the ChLA Links page, http://ebbs.english.vt.edu/chla.

Bibliography of Appalachian Supernatural stories at http://www.ferrum.edu/applit/bibs/SuperNat.htm, with some links to online stories.  Section on Ghosts in AppLit at http://www.ferrum.edu/applit/studyg/West/htm/ghmenu.htm, with some short readings online, such as the "Greenbrier Ghost" and "Molly Vaunder."  Some other brief scary stories in AppLit are "Jack and Mossyfoot," http://www.ferrum.edu/applit/texts/Mossyfoot.htm, and "Down Come a Leg," http://www.ferrum.edu/applit/texts/LegDown.htm, and

Continue discussing Harry Potter

Deadline for revision of short paper (optional if we were happy with grade on first short paper)

W 11/2 Continue discussing Harry Potter and fantasy
F 11/4

Domestic Fantasy: E. B. White, Charlotte's Web

Research paper topics must be approved by today (if different from oral report topics).

M 11/7

Begin “The Golden Age”: Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

Think about the influence of Romanticism in this novel, the relationship between child and adult points of view, the development of characters and their relationships, and the role of secrets in the plot.

W 11/9

Melissa Bower report on film adaptations of The Secret Garden

Deadline for second short paper (optional if we were happy with grade on first short paper)

F 11/11 Begin Adventure Fiction:  Scott O’Dell, Island of the Blue Dolphins

Come to class prepared to discuss the centuries-old appeal of stories about people stranded on islands, the typical adventures of heroes stranded on islands, methods of survival on the island, differences between Karana and other castaway characters you may know.

M 11/14 Heather Martin report on children's literature about the environmental issues
W 11/16

Realistic Fiction:  Katherine Paterson, Bridge to Terabithia

How does this novel represent "new realism" in the second half of the twentieth century?
Why has this novel been controversial?
Be prepared to discuss the characterization and relationships in the novel. How are home/friendship/school portrayed?

F 11/18

Katie Ballard and Kelly Phillips, treatment of death in fiction for children

Jerome Johnson report on Dr. Seuss

M 11/21

 Kevin Paitsel report on Lon Po Po

Jordan Bernstein report on book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and film adaptation

W-F, 11/23-25 Thanksgiving break
M 11/28

Begin discussion of Mildred Taylor, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

Be prepared to discuss point of view in this novel, what the children know and don't know/how they learn things
How does this novel deal with historical realities in 1930s southern U.S.?
How do culturally specific details function in a novel about a particular minority culture?
Consider the same questions asked above about Bridge to Terabithia.

Optional: video on Mildred Taylor's life and work (on closed reserve)

Carolyn Witcher report on African American storytelling

W 11/30

Jessica Temple report on wordless picture books

F 12/2 Continue discussion of Roll of Thunder

Outlines with thesis statement for major paper must be approved by today.

Heather Baugh report on gender roles in children's stories

Melody Wood report on historical fiction

F 12/2 or Mon.

Begin discussion of Young Adult Fantasy: Robin McKinley, The Hero and the Crown
Web Sites on McKinley:  http://ofb.net/~damien/mckinley and http://www.robinmckinley.com (McKinley's own site)

M 12/5 Continue discussion of The Hero and the Crown

Dawn Austin report on illustrators Eric Carle and Mercer Mayer

Ryan Hambright report on racism in Roll of Thunder

W 12/7 2005

Research Paper Due

Continue discussion of The Hero and the Crown, high fantasy, young adult literature

F 12/9 Last class period (no project reports); turn in complete journal now or at time of exam next week (if it's on paper)
Mon. 12/12 2005 Final Exam, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.  See Characteristics of Children’s Literature as a Genre and Study Guide for Final Exam.
Miscellaneous notes on oral traditions

Live action fairy tale films on reserve:  Mutzmag; Willa: An American Snow White; The Polar Bear King; Cinderella musical by Rogers and Hammerstein

Sotrytelling video on reserve: Mountain Tales by Ross, Hackworth and Hicks

  • Mountain Tales by Ross, Hackworth and Hicks is on reserve or Hanlon will lend you a tape.
  • Zinger Tales contains online videos of famous storytellers, including NC storyteller Jackie Torrence.
  • Storyteller.net contains many audio files by storytellers.

Recommended book of criticism and modern fairy tales: Jack Zipes, Don't Bet on the Prince (on reserve)

About 1000 older editions of fables and folktales are online at Rick Walton, Children's Author: Classic Tales and Fables.
(You don't have to read them all now.)

This page's last update: October 8, 2004 7:06 PM
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