Higher Education

The Joy of Children's Literature, 2nd Edition

  • Denise Johnson College of William and Mary
  • ISBN-10: 111129836X  |  ISBN-13: 9781111298364
  • 512 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2009
  • © 2012 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $86.00
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THE JOY OF CHILDREN’S LITERATURE, 2nd Edition, provides in-depth coverage of children’s literature with integrated reading methods in a concise, accessible format. The compact length allows for more time during the course to read the numerous children’s books highlighted in the text. Johnson emphasizes that reading, writing, discussing, and finding pleasure in children’s books are essential to the ability to recognize and recommend literature, and ultimately, to the ability to share the joy of children’s literature with children themselves. The text is divided into three main parts. Part I introduces foundational concepts necessary to the study of children’s literature, including child development and the history and scope of children’s literature. Part II, the primary focus of the text, analyzes a different literary genre in each chapter, providing a history of the genre, a consideration of its role in modern children’s literature, key books in the genre, and discussion. Part III considers the usage of children’s literature in the classroom, with practical advice for teaching.

Features and Benefits

  • The Child’s Voice and The Teacher’s Voice features provide authentic responses from children and teachers to prominent children’s books.
  • A Closer Look seamlessly weaves two in-depth analyses of children’s books into the narrative, providing an unprecedented depth of discussion in an easy-to-read format. In Chapter 4, “The Man Who Walked Between the Towers” considers the elements of picture books, including the steps to achieving visual literacy. Chapter 5 discusses authenticity and accuracy in the portrayal of culture, illuminating “Yeh-shen: A Cinderella Story from China.”
  • Special Topic highlights “hot” topics in children’s literature, such as sexism in traditional literature, using fantasy to discover truths about life, the international children’s digital library, and censorship.
  • Marginal website connections (Listen/Watch/Read) direct readers to the websites of children’s books, where they can find audio recordings of the book, an online video interview with an author or illustrator, or the full text of the book online.
  • Booklists, activities, and resources conclude each chapter, and include: Top 10 Read Alouds; Activities for Professional Development in three different categories (Thinking Critically About Children’s Literature, Bring Children’s Literature into the Classroom, and Learn About Authors and Illustrators); Print and Online Resources; and Creating Your Classroom Library.
  • The text concludes with a guide to selecting children’s literature and a list of all the major awards for children’s books.

Table of Contents

1. The Books: Children’s Literature.
2. How Children Respond to Literature.
3. Literacy: How Children Become Good Readers.
Visual Discussion 1.
4. Picturebooks: Beyond Words and Illustrations.
5. Traditional Literature.
6. Modern Fantasy.
7. Realistic Fiction.
8. Historical Fiction.
9. Poetry.
10. Nonfiction: Biographies and Informational Books.
11. Diverse Perspectives in Children’s Literature.
12. The New Literacies: The World of Online Children’s Literature.
Visual Discussion 2.
13. Reading to and with Children: Reading Aloud, Shared and Guiding Reading, and Writing.
14. Reading by Children: Independent Reading and Writing and Literature Circles.
Visual Discussion 3.
Title/Author Index.
Subject Index.

What's New

  • New! A NEW special topic, “Perspectives on Censorship” at the end of Chapter 7, “Realistic Fiction,” includes strategies for responding to challenges to children’s books.
  • New! Updated research includes 2010 data on challenged books from the American Library Association; updated books and award lists are also presented.
  • New! End-of-chapter resources are updated, including 10 Top Read Alouds, Activities for Professional Development, Print and Online Resources, Creating Your Classroom Library, and References.
  • New! Reflection questions accompany The Child’s Voice and The Teacher’s Voice features, helping students engage with the material.
  • New! Updated and new marginal notes in the popular Listen/Watch/Read feature direct readers to the websites of children’s books, where they can find audio recordings of the book, an online video interview with an author or illustrator, or the full text of the book online.
  • New! Censorship issues and information on banned and challenged books have been added in each of the genre chapters.
  • New! Chapter 12, “The New Literacies: The World of Online Children’s Literature,” is updated.


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the main title. Select the main title's "About" tab, then select "What's New" for updates specific to title's edition.

For more information about these supplements, or to obtain them, contact your Learning Consultant.

Instructor Supplements

eBank Instructor's Manual with Test Bank  (ISBN-10: 111167048X | ISBN-13: 9781111670481)

The Instructor’s Manual includes sample syllabi, chapter objectives, chapter outlines, activities, and additional print and online resources. The Test Bank includes multiple-choice, short-answer, and essay questions, sample syllabi, chapter objectives and outlines, activities, additional print and online resources.

Student Supplements

Education Media Library, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1133047858 | ISBN-13: 9781133047858)

List Price = $60.00  | CengageBrain Price = $60.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $60.00

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Denise Johnson

Dr. Denise Johnson is an associate professor of reading education at the College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia, where she was recently presented with the University Professor of Teaching Excellence award. She received her Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Reading from the University of Memphis, Tennessee. She has worked as an elementary classroom teacher, a middle school reading specialist, and a Reading Recovery teacher, and now teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in reading and language arts methods and children’s literature. For the last 15 years, Dr. Johnson has conducted research on literacy, children’s literature, and the integration of technology into pre-service and in-service education courses and within elementary classrooms. She has published in a variety of journals, such as The Reading Teacher, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, and Literacy Teaching and Learning. Active in several professional organizations including the International Reading Association, the National Council of Teachers of English, and the Children’s Literature Association, the author presents regularly at conferences around the country, and continues to work with teachers and children to advance the use of children’s literature in the classroom.