Singapore University of Social Sciences

Children's Literature

Children's Literature (ELT255)


This course introduces students to the genre of Children’s Literature and the many debates that pervade the discipline. Students will be exposed to different categories of Children’s Literature throughout the term. They will learn to analyse and evaluate them with various key literary elements, concepts, and theories in mind. The required texts will include E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web, a well known classic about the trials and tribulations of friendship, and the meaning of life, as seen through the eyes of both children and animals alike; Karen Levine’s Hana’s Suitcase, an emotional biography about the life and times of Hana, a young, Jewish girl who was killed during the Holocaust, and whose story emerged through the discovery of her suitcase; Robert Munsch’s The Paper Bag Princess, a modern fairy tale in picture book form, which not only challenges traditional character roles but also those of gender and sex in our society; Bessie Chua’s Little Pioneers, a fictional portrayal of a young Chinese girl and her relationships with her family, set in the early days of Singapore’s Chinatown; and David Macaulay’s Black and White, a non-traditional picture book that challenges traditional approaches to literature through the portrayal of four simultaneous stories merging into one.

Level: 2
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: EVERY JAN


  • Chapter 1: The Development of Children’s Literature.
  • Chapter 2: Categories of Children’s Literature
  • Chapter 3: Fiction
  • Chapter 4: Picture Books
  • Chapter 5: Non-Fiction
  • Chapter 6: Ideology in Children’s Literature
  • Chapter 7: Media Mix: From Print, to Electronic, to Print

Learning Outcome

  • Analyse multiple definitions of Children’s Literature (B4)
  • Respond critically on the many characteristics and categories found in Children’s Literature (B2)
  • Examine the genre of Children’s Literature within the larger body of Literature and critical theory (B4)
  • Determine the role of Children’s Literature as a socialising tool for the child (B3)
  • Discuss the characteristics and role of literary elements in Children’s Literature (B2)
  • Demonstrate analysis of forms of Children’s Literature from an adult perspective (B3)
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