Children carry potential to learn from a variety of methods. Children’s literature often includes age-appropriate and suitable content that help learning development and understanding. This paper includes information describing a timeline that illustrates the history of children’s literature in Western culture. More specifically, this paper includes descriptions of major trends and developments, including social functions, of children’s literature in various times and cultures. In addition, this paper includes information relating the timeline developments to folk literatures and a discussion of the role of historical children’s literature in a pluralistic society. Trends and Developments with Social Functionalism in Time and Culture Up to around the Renaissance period, the only literature in use with the intentions of instructing children, helping children in the development of moral and religious beliefs, and for the amusement and entertainment for children was adult literature (Russell, 2009). Classic Latin and Greek tales, in addition to The Bible, were the few types of literature shared for such reasons. Adults in these time periods often considered children to be small adults capable of assuming adult responsibilities, roles, and comprehension (Russell, 2009). Therefore, children often read, and listened to adult literature. Following the Renaissance, the literacy expansion broadened the scope or range of children’s literature (Russell, 2009). Growing in young readers’ popularity, national history became an interesting and suitable subject for children’s literature (Russell, 2009). Present-day, the essence of children’s literature includes language and story pleasures children have enjoyed for thousands of years (Russell, 2009). Storytelling is the foundation and root system on which all literature rests on. Stories of entertainment, comfort, instruction, life lessons, and religious and cultural heritage are the foundation of...
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