Response Paper: Charlotte's Web, The Pleasures of Children's Literature and/or the Child_lit list serve debate

You may want to start by reading Perry Nodelman's chapter How to Read Children's Literatur before reading Charlotte's Web or read the two in tandem. Perry Nodelman's chapter contains several exercises or "explorations" that you can apply to Charlotte's Web. For example, on page 26, after providing theoretical background on the idea of "pleasure", Nodelman invites you to think about the particular pleasures you experience while reading.

Read sections of Charlotte's Web aloud to your room mate, a younger sibling, etc. and/or ask someone to read to you. Remind yourself of the pleasures of reading children's books as you experienced them as a child and become aware of the pleasures you experience now as you (re)read Charlotte's Web as an adult. Again, Perry Nodelman provides you with theoretical background and a list of potential "pleasures".

Your response paper can be about any or all of the assigned readings: Charlotte's Web, The Pleasures of Children's Literature and/or the Child_lit list serve debate on whether all children's books teach. It's perfectly o.k. to comment on only one of these readings but I hope you will discover how the various texts connect to one another.

Here is what will happen in Tuesday's class: We will first discuss your response papers. We will then systematically talk about the concepts that Nodelman introduces and how they apply to Charlotte's Web (implied reader, pleasure, etc.). You will then create a concept map that shows how you envision the relationships between implied reader, author intention, actual reader, text, and a text's "message." Finally, we will discuss how your maps relate to the positions held in the debate on the child_lit list serve.

Have fun exploring!