While some of these pieces were published long ago, they’ve only recently become available here on my website as downloadable PDFs.
I’m not able to provide links to PDFs of more recent essays. There Is a list of them HERE
The Durability of Innocence: The Endless Childhood of Children’s Literature Criticism (a discussion of the reviews of critical books about children’s literature I had written over the decades, focussing on their common themes–especially the ways in which they reveal ongoing assumptions about children’s literature and about the supposed absence of previous criticism about it)
From 1985, Why some people think it is anti-democratic and elitist to believe that some views of literary texts are more worthwhile than others, and why having opinions about literature is different from having prejudices about it.: Editor’s Comment: Is Democracy Good for Literary Criticism?
Thirty Writers Talk about Writing (an exploration of how children’s writers talk about their work and why a focus on what they have to say about it might be counterproductive )
Humane Ideology (a review of John Stephens’s Language and Ideology in Children’s Fiction, and an exploration of the relationships between ideology and individual personality)
Editor’s Comments: Facts as Art (on the need for literary criticism of children’s non-fiction; includes a list of recommended non-fiction titles provided by Milton Meltzer)
Editor’s Comments: Is Democracy Good for Literary Criticism? (from 1985: Why some people think it is anti-democratic and elitist to believe that some views of literary texts are more worthwhile than others, and why having opinions about literature is different from having prejudices about it)
How But Not What or Why (a review of Nikolajeva and Scott’s How Picturebooks Work)
The Second Kind of Criticism (from 1992, a review of Peter Hunt’s Criticism, Theory, & Childrens Literature (1991) as a productively infuriating book)
Toy and Dress Porn (some thoughts about the moral and sexual implications of photographic and other visual depictions of clothed and naked children)
Defining Children’s Literature (very early steps towards what eventually became my book The Hidden Adult: Defining Children’s Literature)
“Canadian”? “Children’s” “Literature”? (an editorial questioning the meanings and implications of the three words in the name of the journal it was published in)
Sneaking Past the Border Guards (a consideration of a range of borders that relate to children’s literature studies: between children’s and adult literature, between children’s literatures produced in different countries, between children’s and YA literature, between the kinds of children’s books deemed eligible for various awards. etc.)
E.L. Konigsburg (a literary biography of this writer, from American Writers for Children since 1960: Fiction)
Louise Fitzhugh (a literary biography of this writer, from American Writers for Children since 1960: Fiction)