Child literature is all printed materials aimed at the preschool child like stories, nursery rhymes, songs, comics and illustrations (Van der Merwe, 1992:1). Child literature supports the parent, teacher and caregiver in the transfer of knowledge to the child.
According to Bornstein and Putnick (2012:46), the parent, guardian and teacher are able to teach and help the child socialize and adapt through stories according to their age level in the various life roles that the child encounters when he grows up.
The Value of Child Literature
Stories depict different types of events and provide explanations in an informal way within the context of a story through which the child can make it applicable on his own field of experience.
Children like to listen to stories. Cognitively the child is stimulated by the development of language skills and the repeated use of vocabulary during storytelling. During game play and general communication with adults or his peers the child will often use these newly acquired words (Caravette, 2011:52-53; McVicker, 2007:19; Van der Merwe, 1992:6). Creative use of language is further introduced to the toddler through nursery rhymes, quibble and descriptions.
The child will cognitively develop through the realization of methods of learning, such as awareness, attention, observation, fantasy and memory. These aspects will be discussed in the next short article, “The Value of Child Literature”.
Bornstein, M. H. & Putnick, D. L. 2012. Cognitive and socio-emotional caregiving in developing countries. Child Development, 83 (1):46–61.
Caravette, L. 2011. Portrait of the reader as a young child. Assisting the new reader. The Journal of the Association for Library Service to Children, 9 (2):52-57.
McVicker, C. J. 2007. Young readers respond: The importance of child participation in emerging literacy. YC Young Children, 62 (3):19.
Van der Merwe, M. 1992. Kleuterliteratuur: Doelstellings. Klasnotas (Wording van die kleuter). Pretoria: Teacher’s College of South Africa.