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Fantasy literature for children Essay

Q (1). Fantasy literature means new ideas and deals with new images, fantasy includes literature, myths, legends, fairy tales, stories of super natural beings with super natural powers, fantasy creates an imaginative world in which the super natural is natural and plays a perfect part essential to the story to complete it, such literature is enjoyed by the children and adults. An example of such literature is L’Engle’s “A Wrinkle in Time” which can be read by both children and adults.

This books heroine is Meg Murry who is an unhappy and clumsy high school student, she with her friend Calvin and her brother Charles undertake an adventurous journey into time and space to rescue her father from the evil force that is attempting to rule over the universe; her greatest drawback is her anger, impatience and lack of self confidence, during the travel and experience she learns to overcome her faults while rescuing her father.

The symbols mentioned in this story are (1) The Dark Thing, it is the dark and cold symbol of evil forces that Meg,Calvin and Charles must fight in rescuing her father, the Dark Thing is evil and in the book there is constant battle between good and evil, and good is always successful over evil; (2) The second symbol is the IT, it is the bodiless brain of Camazotz, it controls all the creatures living in that planet, it identifies with the dark thing with its pulsating and revolting rhythm, it is the main body of evil in the planet, it is war of good and evil and love is successful over evil.

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3) the book also has good symbols and one is Aunt Beast, she has many tentacles, she is tall and has fur all over, she is from the planet Ixchel and loves to look after travelers as she looks after Meg when during her travel she brushes with the dark thing, Aunt Beast is full of love but she is always in the dark as she has no eyes and has no idea of light or vision she shows her love and emotions by touching with her tentacles. The major theme of the book is Cosmology, other theme is human life and space travel to other planets and constant war of good against evil and ultimately love and goodness are successful.

All these symbols show individuality. Meg rescues her brother Charles from IT through the power of love, LEngle makes her characters to travel through space and into other planets and there they communicate with each other without spoken language, the author is trying to show that speech is not the only way to communicate, and the universal theme is the struggle between good and evil, light against darkness, the author also emphasizes inadequacy of words, as sometimes feelings cannot be explained completely with words.

All the symbols help Meg to learn the lessons of life as she cannot be aware of everything, she has learned patience, and she has also learned to understand situations as there is explanation for everything even if sometimes we do not understand the world. Q (2) Poetry appeals to the young people in many ways, as it is a way to express the feelings in words, and helps to understand others feelings also, poetry is called literary art, young people read and write poetry as it is away of relaxation, young people like poetry as it can be sung and people love to write songs; there are different kinds and styles of poetry.

A study was conducted by Ann Terry in 1974 which shows what type of poetry is liked by children of different ages of elementary school, humorous poems appealed to a large age range of students, they mostly liked poems with musical qualities and disliked poems that they could not understand maturity plays an important part in understanding poetry, four of the poems were narratives, students of all ages did not like this type of poetry, twenty five poems were not popular poems and were not liked, the students liked rhymed poems.

The use of poetry in the classroom is very beneficial as reading and learning poems helps the student’s language development, as it evokes emotions it encourages creativity, poetry develops reading habit and helps to increase vocabulary, poetry is a literary art it is a way to relax, it appeals to the young as it can be made into a song and the teenagers love romantic poetry. It is used in the classroom to teach young students to learn, like the alphabet song is used for teaching young students.

Q (3) The “Monkey Island” written by Paula Fox, is a short novel about an eleven years old boy named Clay Garrity, who is left to live on his own as his father looses his job and cannot find another so he simply walks away from his only child and wife, they go to live in a welfare home as his mother is pregnant she disappears one day and Clay is left alone in the streets of New York , soon he finds Buddy and Calvin in a park and they become a family. If Clay leaves the streets he may never find his parents again and if he stays on the streets alone he might not survive as dangers are eminent.

According to evaluation criteria it is a short and simple novel, and it is written for all ages as all can enjoy reading it, the book deals with the darkness and dangers of the night the child has to face, as Clay is left alone to survive he reaches a park where homeless people live and this is scornfully called ‘The Monkey Island’. Clay is a sensitive child who is facing harsh realities of life; he has to face hunger, fear and illness, he gets pneumonia and is in the hospital for ten days and then sent to a foster home and is reunited to his mother and baby sister.

According to evaluation criteria this novel intrigues the mind of the child and young adults the title also fascinates the child; it is a simple straight, short novel which shows the harsh realities of life faced by the eleven year old. This novel has all the qualities of a good literature for children, in the view of evaluation, as the features of the book help to analyze the pure and clear title of the book that is composed into a quality literature for children and young adults.

Q (4) The answer to this question, ‘who should write science books for children’ has an unlimited answer. Basically scientists should write science books for children, writers who write science books for children should be very clear in explaining and they should use accurate facts and figures, complicated writings scare the children as a result the child looses interest and shies away, science should not be complicated, facts must be presented in such a way that the child is encouraged to indulge in furthering reading.

Every topic must have pictures to explain. The science books should be based on topics of universal and international appeal, so that it can be read by all the children over the world without clashes of cultures; the authors should write the text that is within the reach of the understanding power of the child; as illustrations immediately attracts the young mind it also sharpens the appetite of the child’s mind to grasp more and read more.

The authors suited for writing science books for children should be aware of the needs and intellectual level of the young mind, therefore they should write about things that are interesting to the imagination of the child’s mind, as scientists are best suited to write science books for children they should emphasize and lay stress on meaningful observations, as it helps the student to master his patience through daily observation classes and become a good observer which is the main part of learning science, which also produces a spark of inspirational power to the reader.

The science book must inform the reader not only of facts but must explain the beauty of complicated physical life; science books that teach the child to develop scientific language skills are of great help, in helping the child to discover the natural world around us.

Authors who write scientific books for children must use easy and graceful language, they must have expertise on descriptive powers of the verbal text, and the design of the book cover is a source of great attraction for the child, writers must depend on illustrations for explanations, the book should be non-fictional and based only on facts that can be understood by the intellectual level of the young readers, accuracy of facts is the main point on which science books can depend so that a child does not have a con fused orientation of science.

Authors who write with such accuracy and are careful in presentations and explanations in the books that are for the young mind, are suited to write science books for children, the books must present simple things for children to do alone and in a group as well, then there are things that the child must work on with the help of parents and together they create fun in learning for all ages, the last part of the book must have questions to be answered by the child, so that the child starts thinking about science around us in this world, and the science book should be appealing to the imagination of the child’s mind, the seventh edition of the text is a tool that can help the writers to be updated in research and utilization of technology, these help resources help to make the most of media available with text, as C. D. ROM; and online activities must be encouraged which help greatly in learning. Q (5) Books for children and young adults are banned and censored due to many reasons in some cases it creates awareness to avoid clashes of cultures and beliefs and sentiments of certain society.

There are many reasons for banning a book; it depends on the material of contents which are not ‘anti Christian’ or the language used is objectionable and against the religious beliefs, these can be unsuitable for the young mind, books can be banned due to many reasons such as political reason or social grounds, or books are banned when a certain group of people or an influential person considers it to be controversial, immoral or inappropriate, corrupt, vulgar, violent or wicked, generally if the book contains socially unacceptable ideas, such books are banned as these views are made public. These books sometimes contain racial differences such racial slurs, some books contain depressing and alien material which is not good for the development of the young mind; some facts of history show disrespect to adults and elders which is not acceptable to the society, some books confuse fantasy with reality which is very confusing to the young mind, books depicting witchcraft such as J. K. Rowling’s book is under challenge as it creates confusion in the mind of the young, as the book mixes reality with fantasy and witchcraft.

Parents play a significant part in banning books as they according to their own thinking accept or ban certain books and they also have their own reasons and view points, parents tend to over protect their children and think that reading certain bad books will lead the child to do bad things which may not be the case, some books are banned if the young try to copy certain acts mentioned in the book which are not acceptable in society, such as suicide stories. The text book on ‘through the eyes of a child’ is an introduction to child literature and is an excellent source of literature for children, no person can justify banning a book it simply depends on personal views and reasons. Today the society has changed and many controversial books are now regarded as classics, today people cannot be stopped from thinking, if thinking is allowed, they will speak and if they speak will write and what is written can be printed and published.

Society has changed with time and people are becoming liberal minded and have started accepting books that were once banned. Every person has a right to freedom of thought, the young adults and children have the freedom to read and express their opinions and thoughts, people have different thoughts and these thoughts are valuable only to the individual himself but putting ban on such opinions will deprive the human race and society of its freedom rights. Today the society plays a great role in the development of the mental capabilities of the young, as thinking changes the society has also changed and allows the child some freedom, writing books for children and young adults is not an easy task as the writer has to see through the eyes of the child.

Writing books for children and young adults is not an easy task as one has to see through the eyes of the child, books are ways to help the young to understand and appreciate their world. Today books are an integral part of young and children and adults alike each in their own capacity. The society has become more open minded, as less content is censored for viewing by the young, it is preferred that children be informed about all issues related to individuals and society itself, this is done so that children be able to have an understanding which would lead them to formulate their own opinion, excess to all information is important so that may be promoted amongst the young.

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