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Children's Literature - Criticism, Interpretation, and History

This guide focuses on literary theory and cultural studies approaches to children's literature.

Pia's Pick's

Here are my top ten resources for students starting to learn about Children's Literature at UVic.

  1. Summon
    • When you are searching with a specific topic, but are not sure which source might be helpful then Summon is your one-stop-shop for locating a variety of items held by UVic Libraries.  Summon is a little like the libraries' own Google.  Remember that you can refine your results with filters such as 'peer review' or 'subject terms'. I usually use Boolean searching, but the advanced search interface is helpful too. 
  2. The Library's Catalogue
    • If you know what you are looking for, for example if you know the title or author of a book, then the most effective way to search is to search our library catalogue, also known as the 'Books & Media" tab on the libraries' home page search box.  Make it as clear as possible for the search.  For example, if you know the exact title then type is the first few words of it and then select 'title begins with' from the drop down menu.  Exact spelling matters so be careful.  Also, you can search using Boolean here as well, just use the '?' instead of the '*'.
  3. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Children's Literature
    • Edited by Jack Zipes, this four volume set is as comprehensive a tertiary source as it gets.  The Oxford Encyclopedia of Children's Literature includes awards lists, over 3,200 signed topical entries, and author biographies.  
  4. Children's Literature Comprehensive Database
    • The Children's Literature Comprehensive Database includes reviews for media, books, and videos.  Lists of award winners, thematic reading lists and levelled text guides.

  5. ‚ÄčArticle databases like Literature Online and the Modern Language Association Bibliography.

    • Literature Online or LION is a periodical database focusing on English and American literature.  You can browse and searchy by author, text, criticism, and reference (or tertiary) sources.  LION has been around for decades and for good reason.  Modern Language Association (MLA) International Bibliography is an expansive resource with over 2 million records related to books, articles and websites published on modern languages, literatures, folklore, and linguistics.
  6. Browse journals focusing on Children's Literature
  7. Canadian Children's Book Centre
    • The Canadian Children's Book Centre (CCBC) is an not-for-profit organization devoted to promoting Canadian Children's and Young Adult Literature.  This website is full of great content, I especially like the thematic book lists and History Book Bank where you can search by content specific to century.  
  8. Carol Hurst's Children's Literature Site
    • Carol Hurst's Children's Literature Site is a great resource for book lists on very specific topics.  It is quite American-focused, however, if you are looking for in-depth lists, this is an excellent place to start.  There are free teacher's guides for specific book studies, you can search for age appropriate titles by grade level, and the newsletter back issues are very helpful. 
  9. Education Subject Guides
  10. MLA Quick Guide