Why Knowing the History of Children’s Literature Benefits You

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An Introduction to the History of Children’s Literature

It is quite hard to imagine growing up without books to read. Yes, children stories and native folklores have been around since humans first learned how to speak. However, tales were not shared using physical books way back then. Many stories have been narrated and passed down orally from one generation to another.

The very same folktales have been heard by the Arabs as they gather around the fire; by the Northmen Vikings as they sat under the Nordic stars; and by Chinese tradesmen as they sip their tea and couched in their homes. It is not only until the 18th century that people started writing these stories down on a piece of paper. Children’s literature is indeed what you can call a late growth of literature.

The earliest stories are perhaps the Pachatantra, which were written around AD 200 in India. Aesop’s Fables and Irish folktales come as a close second as both can be traced back around AD 400.

In China, the art of storytelling was very popular during the Song Dynasty (AD 960-1279). Stories from the Song Dynasty are still taught to Chinese students up until today.

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