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The Categories or Genres of Childrens and YA Literature


If any part of the book is fiction, then it is ... Originated in print. ... One of the earliest varieties of illustrated books for children, authors and ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Categories or Genres of Childrens and YA Literature

The Categories (or Genres) of Childrens and YA
  • Prof. Shirley Santiago
  • English 326

Categories or Genres of Childrens and YA Lit
Traditional Fantasy
Modern Fantasy
Science Fiction
Prose or Poetry
Modern Problem Novel
Ethnic Literature
Poetry or Prose?
  • Can rhyme or be rhythmic
  • Can be condensed or longer than prose
  • Forms haiku, sonnet, couplet, blank verse,
    limerick, cinquain, free verse and more!

Poetry or Prose?
  • Beyond the difference in format, the function of
    both literary forms is identical
  • Both thoughtfully explore the world
  • Both give insight into the human condition
  • Both bring pleasure to the reader

Fiction vs. Non-Fiction
  • Springs largely from the authors imagination
  • Cannot be verified in other sources
  • Ideas, incidents, the setting, and details can be
    accurate but the structure comes from the mind
  • If any part of the book is fiction, then it is
    categorized as fiction.
  • Centers on what can be confirmed by research
  • All the evidence and facts can be documented.
  • The content of nonfiction exists.

  • Biography (Autobiography)
  • Tells the story, or at least part of the story,
    of an actual persons life
  • Reliable sources and documentation are
  • Informational
  • Generally called nonfiction in adult publishing
  • Anything that is not literature (fiction, drama,
    or poetry)

  • Realistic Fiction and Fantastic Fiction
  • Both are invented stories, often with invented
    characters and events that take place in invented
  • The difference between realism and fantasy lies
    in the laws of our universe

  • Realistic Fiction
  • Dogs bark
  • Trees are green
  • Gravity is everywhere
  • Time passes normally (seconds, minutes, hours,
  • Fantastic Fiction
  • Dogs speak
  • Trees are magical
  • Pigs can fly and defy gravity
  • Time travel is possible - to the past or the

Realistic FictionContemporary Realistic vs.
  • The aim of both categories is to tell an
    interesting story about people in our world.
  • Contemporary identifies a story that takes place
    in todays world.
  • Historical indicates a tale that happened at an
    earlier time for example, pioneer America or
    medieval England.
  • However, the difference between the two genres
    can depend on the age of the reader.

Fantastic FictionTraditional Fantasy vs. Modern
FantasyThe difference lies in antiquity.
  • Some stories are as old as humanity and are part
    of the human tradition.
  • Their origin is oral.
  • Their authors are unknown.
  • Some are now preserved in print and are known by
    those who first collected them (e.g. the Brothers
  • Has an identifiable author.
  • Originated in print.
  • For example, the tales of Hans Christian Andersen
    are considered modern fantasy.
  • A subgenre is science fiction, which deals with
    scientific possibilities.

Fantastic FictionModern Fantasy vs. Science
  • Both modern fantasy and science fiction contain
    story elements not found in the known universe,
    such as being able to change shapes or read
    peoples minds.
  • In modern fantasy those abilities just are or
    come about by magic.
  • In science fiction, they are the result of an
    injection made from a special formula or the
    alteration of a persons brain chemistry using
    laser surgery.
  • Science fiction is based on extrapolated
    scientific facts pushed into logical but unproven

The Picture Book as a Special Category in
Childrens Literature
  • Picture books are defined by their format rather
    than their content.
  • They can be of any genre, including poetry.
  • They are unique because illustrations and text
    share the job of telling the story or teaching

Categories of Picture Books
  • Predictable Books
  • Beginning Reader Picture Books
  • Picture Storybooks
  • Engineered Books
  • Baby/Board Books
  • ABC Books
  • Counting Books
  • Concept Books
  • Participation Books
  • Wordless Picture Books

Categories of Picture Books
  • ABC Books
  • One of the earliest varieties of illustrated
    books for children, authors and illustrators have
    devised inventive ways to introduce the alphabet.
  • The alphabet may be used to introduce or
    categorize information or concepts for older
  • They are meant to entertain or teach fascinating
    words or interesting concepts, but not phonics.
  • Counting Books
  • Also one of the earlier types of picture books
    for children.
  • Unlike ABC books, they do help children learn
    basic numbers and give them practice counting,
    typically from 1 to 10.
  • Usually provide a printed Arabic number
    accompanied by the same number of like objects
  • 5
  • The better books allow for personal discovery.

Categories of Picture Books
  • Wordless Picture Books
  • Young children reinforce what they know about
    books and how they work as they read by
  • They encourage children to experience language by
    creating text
  • The goal is to enjoy the book, whether it tells a
    story or teaches a concept
  • Concept Books
  • Introduce single, focused concepts to young
  • Typical topics include colors, opposites, and
    basic geometric shapes.
  • Participation Books
  • Designed to involve children in physical activity
    that goes beyond the reading of the text

Categories of Picture Books
  • Predictable Books
  • Sometimes called pattern books, they are
    characterized by repeated language patterns,
    story patterns or other sequences.
  • The best examples are lively, use interesting
    words, and invite children to chime in.
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see?
  • I see a redbird looking at me.
  • Redbird, Redbird, what do you see?
  • I see a yellow duck looking at me.
  • Beginning Reader Picture Books
  • Gives beginning reader well-written yet easy to
    read materials
  • Example Dr. Seuss and The Cat in the Hat
  • Picture Story Books
  • Originates with the publication in 1902 of The
    Tale of Peter Rabbit
  • Text and illustrations work together on each page
    to tell a story
  • Are the foundation for literacy training as they
    are the bedtime stories

Categories of Picture Books
  • Engineered Books
  • Based on physical structure rather than form or
  • Paper engineering involves the cutting, folding,
    or otherwise restructuring of the normal printed
    or illustrated page
  • Most common is the pop up book with pull-tabs or
    flaps to be lifted
  • Newest variety is the electronic book
  • Baby/Board Books
  • Established in the 1980s, these books are made
    of heavy cardboard with clear plasticized
  • Meant to withstand wear and tear, they are
    wordless and focus on a single object on each
    page common to babys environment.

  • Knowing the genres can help in understanding
    Childrens and YA Lit, but the definitions are
    not iron clad.
  • These can help adults draw on a framework for
    discussion and determine what holes exist in
    their own particular reading backgrounds.