Children’s Literature and Social Change
Some Case Studies from Barbara Hofland to Philip Pullman
By Dennis Butts
‘Butts is surely one of the pioneers of the discipline, helping to establish its academic credibility in the UK, at least, and involved in establishing the first MA in the subject at the University of Reading. This particular volume draws on his strengths as a critic and gives his individual voice room to shine through. […] this is a fine collection of interconnected essays. Butts’s range of reference is truly astounding – not only his first-hand knowledge of children’s book (including obscure works) and the associated secondary criticism, but also of social and cultural theory, and of history. As ever, Butts wears his knowledge lightly, leavening his criticism with delightful asides and unexpected links.’
David Rudd, Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, Vol. 38, No. 4, Winter 2013
If you are interested in this topic we heartily recommend you to have a look at Dennis Butts’s last work (in collaboration with Peter Hunt), How Did Long John Silver Lose His Leg?: and Twenty-Six Other Mysteries of Children’s Literature. It is a wonderfully diverting tour through some of the best-loved classics of children’s literature, addressing many of the unanswered questions that inspire intense speculation when the books are laid down.
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