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Children's Literature

This is a guide to children's literature

Looking @ Genres in Children's Literature

Below is a chart from Cullinan and Galda's Literature and the Child; it provides brief discriptions of several children and young adult literature genre's (Cullinan & Galda, p. 7).  When searching for children's books in the WSU Library Catalog, just click on a category below. 



Brief Description: Genres in Children's and Young Adult Literature

Picture Books Interdependence of art and text. Story of Concept presented through combination of text and illustration. Classification based on format, not genre. All genres appear in picture books.
Poetry & Verse Condensed language, imagery.  Distilled, rhythmic expression of imaginative thoughts and perceptions.
Folklore Literary heritage of humankind. Traditional stories, myths, legends, nursery rhymes, and songs from the past. Oral tradition; no known author.
Fantasy Imaginative worlds, make-believe. Stories set in places that do not exist, about people and creatures that could not exist, or events that could not happen.
Science Fiction Based on extending physical laws and scientific principles to their logical outcomes. Stories about what might occur in the future.
Realistic Fiction "What if" stories, illusion of reality. Events could happen in real world, characters seem real; contemporary setting.
Historical Fiction Set in the past, could have happened. Story reconstructs events of past age, things that could have or did occur.
Biography Plot and theme based on person's life. An account of a person's life, or part of a life history; letters, memoirs, diaries, journals, autobiographies.


Facts about the real world. Informational books that explain a subject or concept.

Cullinan, B.E. and Galda, L. (1998). Cullinan and Galda’s literature and the child (p. 7). Fort Worth:   Harcourt Brace College Publishers.