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Feeling Like a Kid

, 160 pages

25 color illus., 5 halftones

November 2006



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Feeling Like a Kid

Childhood and Children's Literature

Outstanding Academic Title for 2007, Choice Magazine

In this engaging and reflective essay, Jerry Griswold examines the unique qualities of childhood experience and their reappearance as frequent themes in children’s literature. Surveying dozens of classic and popular works for the young—from Heidi and The Wizard of Oz to Beatrix Potter and Harry Potter—Griswold demonstrates how great children's writers succeed because of their uncanny ability to remember what it feels like to be a kid: playing under tables, shivering in bed on a scary night, arranging miniature worlds with toys, zooming around as caped superheroes, listening to dolls talk.

No softheaded discussion of kids’ "cute" convictions nor a developmentally-focused critique of their "immature" beliefs, Feeling Like a Kid boldly and honestly identifies the ways in which the young think and see the world in a manner different from that of adults. Written by a leading scholar, prize-winning author, and frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times, this extensively illustrated book will fascinate general readers as well as all those who study childhood and children's literature.

Jerry Griswold is the director of the National Center for the Study of Children's Literature and a professor of English and comparative literature at San Diego State University. He is the author of several books and more than two hundred published articles.

"Insightful and engaging work of original scholarship... so lively and so engagingly written that it will appeal to and engage the imaginations of all readers who have even a passing interest in the literature of childhood."

"Written in the crisp, bright manner of a yet-to-be-disillusioned graduate student happening upon an exciting new subject for the first time, combined with the sage irony and impeccable background of a full-fledged academic expert."

"Each chapter sheds light on childhood in general; taken as a whole the book effectively contrasts how children and adults experience the world in different ways."

"A delight both to read and to hold in one's hand, this is a splendid book with beautiful binding, end papers, paper, cover, and typeface, and 30 illustrations reproduced in lavish color... Essential. All adult lovers and students of children's literature."

"What is striking at first sight... is the beautiful production of the book as an artifact."

"This is one of the most beautifully produced books on children's literature I have ever seen... it certainly raises a number of provocative issues in a delightful way. "

"Beautifully illustrated."

"A visually sumptuous book, stunningly appointed and lovely to behold, one that is well-designed for its intended reading audience: the general public."

"Griswold clearly knows how to 'feel like a kid,' and his analysis of why certain classics have appealed to thousands of children over the years is original and convincing."

"Griswold is witty and wise in Feeling Like a Kid. He ranges widely over the field of children's literature and offers telling insights."

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