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Bibliography by Andrea Liedloff

Page history last edited by Andrea Liedloff 7 years, 5 months ago

1. Allan, Cherie. Playing with Picturebooks: Postmodernism and the Postmodernesque. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire, New York:  Palgrave Macmillan. 2012.


     In Allan’s book, Playing with Picturebooks, she argues that, “Postmodernism has played a significant part in the development of playful and experimental picturebooks for children over the past fifty years”.  Allan argues that the idea of the postmodern and the “postmodernesque”, in addition to affecting much of the adult literature and thought processes of the mid to late 21st century, has also infiltrated the children’s book.  What affect does this have on children growing up within these mindsets?  And, the question that is most pertinent to the “Letters from Felix” project that Playing with Picturebooks may provide a sufficient answer for is, “How does the postmodern affect the digital media and literature that children access daily across the globe?”

            Looking at the history behind children’s books, especially in the last 50 years, will be an essential component to the “Letters from Felix” project because it will help to delineate the differences between different forms of literature, from print to digital. As Allan explains, “[each] chapter discusses how metafictive devices enable different modes of representation, offer different perspectives to authorised versions of history, and promote difference and ex-centricity over unity”.  Ultimately, studying these “different modes of representation” will help in translating the printed “Letters from Felix” story to its soon-to-be created computer webpage counterpart.

2. Doughty, Amie A. Throw the Book Away: Reading versus Experience in Children's Fantasy. Jefferson, North Carolina : McFarland & Company, Inc. 2013.


     This book explains the relationship between children’s reading and writing and their interaction with the text beyond that.  Throw the Book Away looks at recent children fantasy novels like Harry Potter and Captain Underpants and seeks to see the affect of reading these stories versus interacting with them, like through their film adaptations or video games, on the understanding of children.  Doughty, in her book, stresses the importance of interactive literature, films, and gaming on the education of children and their proficiency with multimedia in an increasingly more technological world.  More than that, she encourages the children to take up the mantel of their favorite heroes and heroines, and like Hermione Granger, move beyond reading and formal education to a place of experience and adventure with their imaginations.

            Furthermore, this book is an excellent resource, in addition to the Playing with Picturebooks source, in translating a pop-up style, printed children’s book into an interactive and multimedia webpage.  Also, in the “Letters from Felix” project, included within the webpage will be printable souvenirs, like a passport, that will enable the children to go through the virtual world of “Letters from Felix” and then interact with the elements from the digital literature within their physical space and realities, thus recreating the space that Doughty creates within her work.

3. Hischak, Thomas S. American Literature on Stage and Screen: 525 Works and Their Adaptations. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland. 2012.


     Although this source does not deal with children’s literature exclusively, it is a valid source for this project because it looks into the differences and similarities between a written work and a performed work.  Within this e-book, as explained by the publisher, “Each literary work is first described and then every adaptation is examined with a discussion of how accurate the version is and how well it succeeds”.  The commentary Hischak provides for specific children’s books, like Where the Wild Things Are and its recent film adaptation, would be a possible way to investigate how different media forms affect a written work and to see how accurate the adaptation is compared to the original source.

            Regarding the “Letters from Felix” project, Hischak’s work is instrumental in carefully studying the children’s literature genre and how accurately the theme, images, and feel of the written work can be translated to the stage, the screen, and even the computer monitor.  It will be interesting to figure out, with the help of Hischak’s work, what is gained and what is lost when a children’s book, like “Letters from Felix” is translated into a virtual, computer world with many multimedia, clickable options rather than a physical copy of the illustrated story. 

4. Op de Beeck, Nathalie.  Suspended Animation:  Children's Picture Books and the Fairy Tale     of Modernity. Minneapolis:  University of Minnesota Press. 2010.


     In Op de Beeck’s work, she investigates the picture book, specifically in the time period between the two world wars (1910-1940), as a tool for relaying the cultural and historical paradigms in a seemingly simple and easy to read format for children.  As the publisher describes it, “Children's picture books are at once fairy tales that uphold middle-class traditions and modern commodities that teach children about their changing world” and “although they are outwardly earnest and easy to read, picture books express questionable attitudes on ethnic and racial difference, nature and technology, and history and the here and now”.  This is relevant to the “Letters from Felix” project because, in addition to making a digitized version of the story, the project will add relevant cultural, historical, and economical facts about each country that the children’s story may not include in much detail. 

            Above all, by examining the picture book and the ideological frameworks hidden within each story, it is possible to grasp the historical paradigms in each children’s book and investigate how these affect the children’s understanding depending on the time period and historical movement they are in. Op de Beeck’s work, with simply a quick glance over the summary of her work, provides a nuanced and intriguing way of looking at children’s picture books, which is especially applicable into the new millennium and digital age.  As she describes it, Op de Beeck’s work “situates the American picture book and its visual-verbal sequences in the cultural and critical contexts of modernity and the machine age”. 

5. Wu, Yan. (Re)imagining the World: Children's Literature's Response to Changing Times. Berlin; New York: Springer. 2013.     


     (Re)imagining the World is a thorough and groundbreaking look into the changes undergone by children’s literature through the times.  Within this e-book, Wu prefaces the book saying, “This historical insight reminds us that changes in reading—both in terms of what is read and how it is accessed—have always characterized children’s literature”. 

            In one of the books most poignant statements, Wu describes new imaginations that are surfacing around the world in the minds of children because of new technologies available to them.  Wu states, “Children’s literature around the globe constitutes a grand act of imagining; the books children read, the films they see, and the internet games they play participate in the recreation of the world by providing children with new ways of perceiving the world; they provide children with possible worlds and even impossible worlds.”

            Like many of the other sources, (Re)imagining the World is an excellent resource for the “Letters from Felix” project because it examines “how children’s literature and education in its broadest sense can form creative connections that will enable young people to think beyond limits, to realize the options, and to imagine the kind of life that a prosperous future can hold.”  In this way, the project can benefit from Wu’s readily available electronic book, because it deals directly with the digital humanities, and specifically in regard to children.  Of all the sources, this one seems the most promising because it is directly involved with the children and technology of today and provides an in-depth look into the possible effects digitizing literature will affect the understanding and growth of the next generation of children. 

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