No previous collection of criticism has focused on gender in the broad range of children's literature. No previous collection has embraced both children's literature and material culture.
Beverly Lyon Clark and Margaret R. Higonnet bring together twenty-two scholars to look closely at the complexities of children's culture. Girls, Boys, Books, Toys asks questions about how the gender symbolism of children's culture is constructed and resisted. What happens when women rewrite (or illustrate) nursery rhymes, adventure stories, and fairy tales told by men? How do the socially scripted plots for boys and girls change through time and across cultures? Have critics been blind to what women write about "masculine" topics? Can animal tales or doll stories displace tired commonplaces about gender, race, and class? Can different critical approaches—new historicism, narratology, or postcolonialism—enable us to gain leverage on the different implications of gender, age, race, and class in our readings of children's books and children's culture?
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