A Celebration of Literature and Response: Children, Books, and Teachers in K-8 Classrooms (2nd Edition)

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9780131109025: A Celebration of Literature and Response: Children, Books, and Teachers in K-8 Classrooms (2nd Edition)
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Reinforced by teachers' experiences in actual classrooms, this book provides a wealth of ideas for projects, readings, and response-based activities that will engage all learners in the joy of reading and responding to literature. It blends an appreciation of children's books across all genres with an emphasis on meaningful instructional strategies for literacy programs. Coverage of multicultural/international literature helps illustrate the universality of themes in children's literature—providing a basis for establishing a library of literature that expresses the totality of children's experiences and speaks to children from all cultures and backgrounds. Coverage is based on Louise Rosenblatt's transactional theory of reader response, and organized around five main “celebrations” that the author uses as a framework for uniting the findings of reader-response theory with quality children's literature and exemplary reflective, literature-based practice. Includes expanded coverage on multicultural/international literature—including numerous examples of children's literature written and published in other countries. Includes extensive coverage of reader responses to literature—oral and written responses, as well as those made through the visual arts. For teachers of Children's Literature.

  • Introduces future teaches to the full range of children's responses to literature—encourages the use of a variety of strategies to elicit authentic, heartfelt, meaningful responses from pupils.
    • An appendix on children's literature awards.
  • Highlights exemplary children's literature across all genres—focuses students' attention on established standards and offers guidance for choosing literature that meets such standards.



1. Literature, Teaching, and Reader Response: Balancing Books and Readers in the Classroom.
2. Reader Response to Literature: From Rosenblatt's Theory to Research to Classroom Practice.


3. The Art of the Picture Book: The Balance of Text and Illustration.
4. Traditional Tales and Modern Fantasy: The Domain of Imagination.
5. Poetry: The Power and Pleasure of Language.
6. Realistic and Historical Fiction: The Boundary of Reality.
7. Nonfiction: The Realm of Biography and Informational Books.
8. Multicultural and International Literature: Appreciating Cultural and Global Diversity.


9. Talking About Books: From Oral Response to Literature Circles.
10. Literature Response Journals: Written Reflections during Reading.
11. Literature as a Model for Writing: Apprenticing the Author's Craft.
12. Drama, Art, and Music: Expressive Arts as Response.
13. Response to Nonfiction: Blending Efferent and Aesthetic Response.


14. Interdisciplinary and Intertextual Connections: Response through Literature Clusters, Theme Explorations, and Twin Texts.


15. Documenting Response to Literature: Authentic Perspectives.
Appendix A: Children's Book Awards and Recognition.
Appendix B: Professional Resources.
Appendix C: Children's Literature and Technology.

© 2004,

448 pp., Paper


Children's Literature / Methods


Children's Literature

Course Guide Page


Generic Supplements

  • ESOL Strategies for Teaching Content: Facilitating Instruction for English Language Learners (0-13-090845-2)
  • The Portfolio Planner: Making Professional Portfolios Work For You (0-13-081314-1)
  • Positive Behavioral Supports: Five Plans for Teachers (0-13-042187-1)
  • Surviving Your First Year of Teaching: Guidelines for Success (0-13-032573-2)


Jacobs/Tunnell, Children's Literature, Briefly, 3/E, 2004 (0-13-049924-2)

Norton/Norton, Through the Eyes of a Child: An Introduction to Children's Literature, 6/E, 2003 (0-13-042207-X)

Hillman, Discovering Children's Literature, 3/E, 2003 (0-13-042332-7)

Darigan/Tunnell/Jacobs, Children's Literature: Engaging Teachers and Children in Good Books, 2002 (0-13-081355-9)

Jacobs/Tunnell/Darigan, Children's Literature Database, A Resource for Teachers, Parents and Media Specialists, 2/E, 2002 (0-13-094618-4)

Ertmer, Education on the Internet: 2002-2003 update, 2003 (0-13-1126385)

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From the Back Cover:

This engaging book applies reader response theory to children's literature methods to help new and experienced teachers best involve kindergarteners through eighth graders in literature and literacy. Authentic student responses open chapters, book clusters and the accompanying CD database of children's literature provide guidance for involving students with literature, and Literature Resources on the Web guide users to lesson plans, standards, author interviews, projects, and other Internet resources to enrich teaching.For teachers of Children's Literature.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

A Celebration of Literature and Response is written for undergraduate and graduate courses in children's literature that blend an appreciation for children's books with an emphasis on the critical involvement of the reader. Whether the course resides in education, English, or library science, the blended perspective on both literature and the reader should have wide appeal. This text effectively balances the importance of both the literature and the reader from an educational perspective. The blended perspective of this text—literary appreciation and response-based instruction in K-8 classrooms—also makes the text useful in language arts or reading methods courses.

The scholarship for this text is grounded in Louise Rosenblatt's transactional theory of reader response. Its practicality, however, is reinforced by reader-response research and authentic classroom practice. A Celebration of Literature and Response adequately fulfills two purposes. First, it links the scholarship of reader response and a respect for quality children's literature with an appreciation for the response-based connections that involve the reader in that literature. Second, it provides both preservice and inservice teachers with an instructional perspective as they expand their knowledge of contemporary children's literature across literary genres while acquiring meaningful response-based strategies to include in literacy programs. The focus on both books and readers is a critical aspect of a response-based literature perspective and brings a unique quality to this text.

Organization of the Text

A Celebration of Literature and Response is organized around five main "celebrations" as a framework for building a bridge between reader-response theory, quality children's literature, and exemplary literature-based practice. Each celebration is meaningfully linked to the IRA/NCTE Standards for the English Language Arts to assist readers in connecting standards to literature-based classroom practice.

Part I, "Celebrating Literature, Response, and Teaching," invites reflection on the meaningful connections between children's literature, children as readers, and the role of reader response in literature-based instruction. Louise Rosenblatt's transactional theory of reader response, defined in understandable terms, provides a framework for sharing the rich, developmental parameters of response. Part II, "Celebrating Literature," offers substantial chapters that invite readers to appreciate the major literary genres and formats of children's literature, including a chapter on multicultural literature. Rich bibliographies of current book titles interwoven with selected children's classics form a sound foundation for later classroom connections. Part III, "Celebrating Response Connections," contains a blend of response-based strategies for eliciting a developmental range of reader response in K-8 children across oral, written, and artistic dimensions. In Part IV, "Celebrating Intertextual and Interdisciplinary Connections," the integration of content area instruction through literature clusters, literature-based theme explorations, and twin text/technology connections is explored. Part V focuses on "Celebrating Response Growth Through Assessment" by proposing authentic assessment for documenting growth in response, and by aligning literature and response-based instruction, to literary standards.

Key Features of the Text

The following list highlights some of the unique aspects of the second edition of this text that make it stand out from others in the field:

  • Reader-response focus. Reader response to literature is not only discussed in introductory chapters, but also integrated throughout the entire text. Each genre chapter concludes with connections to response-based chapters. Part III focuses on a developmental perspective across the spectrum of response options.
  • Links to the IRA/NCTE Standards for the English Language Arts. Reader response to literature meaningfully links to several of the national standards to assist preservice and inservice teachers in aligning practice to mandated standards.
  • Authentic voices of response. Fresh examples of authentic responses to literature by children, preservice teachers, and inservice teachers are interspersed throughout the text to bring life to the idea of reader response to literature.
  • Up-to-date literature. The text emphasizes current literature with many books from the late 1990s and early 2000s to add strength and excitement to the educator's repertoire of literature for classroom connections. In addition, treasured classics are woven throughout the chapters for a nostalgic response. Almost 1000 new titles grace the second edition.
  • Book clusters. In addition to the children's books cited within and at the end of each chapter, many chapters contain extended lists of recent children's books that emphasize a certain aspect of literature or provide additional response models for classroom use.
  • Developmental labeling of literature. Bibliographies throughout the text contain the designation of P (primary, K-2), I (intermediate, 3-5), and M (middle school, 6-8) to assist teachers in age-appropriate use of literature. These designations indicate the level(s) at which the literature will best elicit response.
  • Multicultural and international literature. Not only is multicultural children's literature woven throughout genre chapters and the entire text, but it is showcased in its own chapter that emphasizes selection criteria, outstanding literature across cultures, and a framework for effective classroom inclusion. International children's literature is featured as a means of eliciting response through a global perspective.
  • Interdisciplinary instruction. This edition suggests methods for selecting literature across genres to integrate instruction in multiage settings. The process and procedures for creating literature clusters and literature-based theme explorations are effectively articulated in step-by-step format. An extended emphasis on nonfiction is evident in both the nonfiction genre and the nonfiction response chapters.
  • Technology connections to literature. Technology enhances responses to and connections beyond literature through keypal literature circles and linking fact, fiction, and technological web sites. A rich appendix also lists quality web sites for author studies, book reviews, publisher web sites, and literature-based lesson plans.
  • Assessment focus. The text addresses assessment with a chapter that includes rubrics, checklists, response portfolios, and other response documentation strategies. The text addresses the important connections between assessment and response-based instruction while justifying the inclusion of literature in the classroom.
  • Appendixes. The extensive appendixes include lists of book awards, professional resources, and Internet sites of interest to educators. All information is current, well organized, and presented in a manner useful to preservice and inservice teachers as well as researchers in children's literature.
  • Website. A Companion Website is available as a resource for both instructors and students. It can be accessed at www.prenhall.com/hancock.

Those who select A Celebration of Literature and Response for preservice or inservice teachers are encouraged to align course assignments and practicum or classroom-based activities with the reader-response opportunities presented in the text. Although the genre focus suggests a traditional course, response connections to other chapters are predictably shared at the end of each chapter in Part II. This perspective allows a theory-into-practice approach and encourages meaningful connections between the text and authentic response in the college classroom. For example, a literature response journal with historical fiction, literature discussions on a work of realistic fiction, or dramatic reenactments of scenes from a traditional folktale replicate the response-based activities that inevitably will find their way into the K-8 classroom.

Although other highly respected, quality texts exist in the field of children's literature, A Celebration of Literature and Response merits consideration because of its dual focus on books and readers. Quality literature and a foundation of reader response theory build valid instructional possibilities for child-centered, response-based involvement through literature.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780136133940: A Celebration of Literature and Response: Children, Books, and Teachers in K-8 Classrooms (3rd Edition)

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ISBN 10:  0136133940 ISBN 13:  9780136133940
Publisher: Pearson, 2007

9780137402915: Celebration of Literature and Response, A: Children, Books and Teachers in K-8 Classrooms

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