lunes, 29 de octubre de 2012

Welcome to my BLOG!

If music be the food of love, play on. 
William Shakespeare 

Propp´s taxonomy

According to Vladimir Propp in fairy tales there must be a princess and her father (Snow White and her father), a villain (Snow White´s step-mother), a hero (the Prince), a helper (they are the seven dwarves). All these points, which are called functions, are not always in all the tales.For instance, in Snow White ABSENTATION is described by the absence of her mother and careless masculine role that her father had in the story, INFORMATION function is represented by the moment when the step-mother is said that Snow White is the most beautiful woman in the kingdom so she represented a future rival for her, COMPLICITY is mainly depicted in two moments in the tale, the victim is deceived by a woodcutter and then by her step-mother dressed up as a sweet and old woman. Another function is VILLAINY which is carried out at the very beginning in the story when the evil step-mother decided to kill Snow White because of her beauty. The LIQUIDATION is the moment which the villainy is repaired, for example when the loyal woodcutter became disobedient and let Snow White to go away in order to preserve her life. Another one function is the RETURN, at just the end of the tale the hero went back to the Kingdom, and got the RECOGNITION of the dwarves when the prince kissed Snow White and suddenly, she woke up surprisingly. PUNISHMENT takes place at the end of the fairy tale when the merciless step-mother fell down to precipice while she tried to escape from the dwarves´pursuit. Finally, the WEDDING is the most typical characteristic and the last one point to be consider, here our hero marries the princess and they lived happily for ever after.

domingo, 28 de octubre de 2012

In literature for children there are many important names:
Charles Perrault:
French poet and writer Charles Perrault was born on January 12, 1628, in Paris, France. Though he began his career as a lawyer in charge of royal buildings, by around 1660, Perrault had earned a positive reputation for his poetry. In 1671, he worked in the Académie Française, and played a prominent role in a literary controversy known as the dispute between the Ancients and Moderns. Perrault is perhaps best known for his Mother Goose fairy stories, including Little Red Riding Hood and Puss in Boots, which he wrote for his children. Perrault died on May 16, 1703, in Paris, France.

Grimm Brothers:
The Brothers Grimm (German: Brüder Grimm or Die Gebrüder Grimm), Jacob (1785–1863) and Wilhelm Grimm (1786–1859), were Germanic academics, linguists, cultural researchers, and authors who together collected folklore. They are among the most well-known storytellers of European folk tales, and their work popularized such stories as "Cinderella" (Aschenputtel), "The Frog Prince" (Der Froschkönig), "Hansel and Gretel" (Hänsel und Gretel), "Rapunzel", "Rumpelstiltskin" (Rumpelstilzchen), and "Snow White" (Schneewittchen). Their first collection of folk tales, Children's and Household Tales (Kinder- und Hausmärchen), was published in 1812.

The popularity of the Grimms' collected folk tales endured well beyond their lifetimes. The tales are available in more than 100 translations and have been adapted to popular Disney films such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella. In the mid-20th century the tales were used as propaganda by the Third Reich; later in the 20th century psychologists such as Bruno Bettelheim reaffirmed the value of the work, in spite of the cruelty and violence in the original versions of some of the tales that were sanitized.

Hans Christian Andersen:
Born in a slum in 1805, Danish storyteller Hans Christian Andersen achieved worldwide fame for his highly original and innovative fairy tales. Many of his classics, including The Ugly Duckling and The Princess and the Pea, remain popular with adults and children worldwide. He died in 1875.

Best known for Danish storyteller Hans Christian Andersen wrote many books and plays, but he is best known and loved for his innovative fairy tales.


Charles Perrault. (2012). Retrieved 06:59, oct 29, 2012 from

Hans Christian Andersen. (2012). Retrieved 07:02, oct 29, 2012 from

(2012). Grimm Brothers. [ONLINE] Available at: [Last Accessed 29 October 2012]

What is literature for children?

Children's literature consists of the books, stories, and poems which are enjoyed by children. Modern children's literature is classified in different ways, including by genre or the intended age of the reader: fiction, poetry, biographies, history, fables, legends and fairy tales.
Children's literature has its roots in the stories and songs that adults told their children as an oral tradition. Even since widespread printing, many classic tales were created for adults and have been adapted for a younger audience. 

Children's literature by genre:

Genres may be determined by technique, tone, content, or length. The categories or sub-genres are: 
  • Picture books: Some modern examples: 
    Abe Lincoln: The boy who loved books by Kay Winters, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter (Simon & Schuster, 2003). 
    Chicken soup by heart by Esther Hershenhorn, illustrated by Roseanne Litzinger (Simon & Schuster, 2002).  
    Henry and the buccaneer bunnies by Carolyn Crimi, illustrated by John Manders (Candlewick, 2005).
  • Traditional Literature: is also referred to as Folklore or folk Literature.  It encompasses the rituals, customs, superstitions, and manners of a particular group that are passed orally or in writing from one generation to the next.  It is described as being “a window through which children in today’s world may view cultures of long ago.”  The retellings of a tale may differ from the tale due to the oral traditions.
    The Princess and the Pea. Adapted and illustrated by Janet Stevens. A Holiday House Book (1982)
    Puss in Boots. Charles Perrault. Illustrated by Fred Marcellino. Farrar, Straus & Giroux  (1990)   
    The Tortoise and the Hare. Adapted and illustrated by Janet Stevens. Holiday House (1984)
  • Fiction, including fantasy, realistic fiction and historical fiction.
    Goodbye to Griffith street by Reynolds, Marilynn. (1940)
    The Roman twins by Gerrard, Roy. (1988)
  • Non-fiction:
    The Marshall Plan Workbook: Writing You Novel from Start to Finish by Evan Marshall
    Queen Victoria: A Personal History by Christopher Hibbert.
  • Biography and autobiography:
    Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Frank, Anne.
    Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life of Discovery by Freedman, Russell.  
  • Poetry and verse: 
    A Child's Garden of Verse by Robert Louis Stevenson.
    A light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein.

    Children's literature by age category:Books for younger children tend to be written in very simple language, use large print, and have many illustrations. Books for older children use increasingly complex language, normal print, and fewer, if any, illustrations.
    • Picture books appropriate for pre-readers or ages 0–5.
    • Early Reader Books appropriate for children age 5–7. These books are often designed to help a child build his or her reading skills.
    • Chapter books appropriate for children ages 7–12.
      • Short chapter books, appropriate for children ages 7–9.
      • Longer chapter books, appropriate for children ages 9–12.
    • Young-adult fiction appropriate for children age 12–18.

    "Children’s literature is the early foundation for our imagination, understanding of others, and the way we approach the world" 

    Cynthia Leitich Smith (1998-2012). Children's Picture Books. [ONLINE] Available at: [Last Accessed 28 October 2012].
    (). TRADITIONAL LITERATURE. [ONLINE] Available at: [Last Accessed 28 October 2012].

    The importance of children literature. [ONLINE] Available at: [Last Accessed 28 October 2012].
    (2012). Children's literature. [ONLINE] Available at: e.g. [Last Accessed 28 October 2012].

viernes, 26 de octubre de 2012

How did all these people contribute to the analysis of literature for children?

Vladimir Propp, Bruno Bettelheim, Maria Tatar and Kieran Egan were who  studied a specific area or psychological aspects of kids' mind to know in details their reactions, thoughts as well as feelings while reading fairy tales. 

Vladimir Propp:   

He was born on April 17th in St. Petersburg in 1895, Vladimir developed a Russian Formalist Approach to study and analyse fairy tales. Propp also argued that all fairy tales were constructed of certain plot elements, which he called "functions" that occurred in an determined sequence. These "functions" were reconnaissance, delivery, trickery, complicity, villainy, mediation and the different roles of heroes and villains could play in a story. Each function explained how they worked jointly, however, fairy tales also needed several other elements such as their respective plot, settings, tone, and characters in order to gain a cohesive and well-written tale for children.

Bruno Bettelheim: 

He was born on August 28th in Viena in 1903. He was a controversial Austrian Psychoanalyst and during his studies in Viena, Bruno was influenced by World War I, the Bolshevik Revolution, and Sigmund Freud.
In the United States,  he worked as a Psychologist and Psychiatric Professor at the University of Chicago, he viewed children's behaviour as resulting from overcame negative parents interacting with them during critical early stages in their Psychological development. He wrote a book called "The Uses of Enchantment", which had a popular Psychoanalytical look at fairy tales. Bruno contributed that classic fairy tales had an unique importance and impact on children's development, which could be explored by studying their styles, characters and themes.
Styles were related to happy endings in which good was rewarded and evil was punished. Bruno mentioned that happy endings satisfied children's spiritual desires.
haracters seemed to be a significant element in every fairy tale. They could be heroes or heroines . According to Bruno Bettelheim, children tried to imitate their manners as well as their qualities to be successful in life. He denied that the evil played  negative effects, because kids learnt that they must not do bad things to appeal punishments and they also learnt how to deal successfully with their fears.

The theme also played a primordial role in fairy tales. From Bruno's point of view, the theme depended on what the story was about and it transmitted a meaningful message for kids to develop independence for the future.

Maria Tatar:
 Tatar was interested in how the fairy tales were first written down, the ways in which the texts reflected the historical realities of another time and place and the Psychological effects.  Maria showed, these tales helped children to survive in the world ruled by adults. Maria also believed that fairy tales were connected with all kind of adult secrets for they told children about death, romance, marriage and, in some cases, they would speak about sex and violence. As regards violence, Fairy tales were often violent but they acted as a therapy  for kids. Maria Tatar added that  violence helped little ones to face their fears, for which they did not yet the exact language developed. 
Maria Tatar expressed that stories shared moral aspects, giving life's lessons and transmitting wonderful messages for kids. Nevertheless, she explained that moral was added to fairy tales when they were rewritten for children.

Kieran Egan:
He was born in Ireland in 1942. He found out Education involved some kind of development on children, especially intellectual tools, like Language for example. 
Egan developed an Imaginative Approach to Teaching to help kids to become more knowledgeable and more creative in their thinking. In fact, that new approach offered an understanding of how children's imagination worked in learning and showed how children acquired cognitive tools to promote creativity in the classroom Kieran proposed the use of intellectual tools, particularly Language or Literacy to generate successive kinds of understanding  like somatic, mythic, romantic, philosophical, and ironic. Egan concluded that if teachers put into practice them, their way of teaching would change completely and children would be more engaged in the classroom.
Eventually, Egan focused on Teaching Core Literacy Skills,  kids internalized and retained material to interpret through their imagination and emotions pieces of reading and writing.

To put it briefly, each of these well-known professionals contributed through different techniques to the analysis of literature for children.


Maria Tatar. [ONLINE] Available at: [Last Accessed 26 October 2012].
Ana moreno (1997). El caso de Bruno Bettelheim. [ONLINE] Available at: [Last Accessed 26 October 2012].

Molly Finn (1997). In the Case of Bruno Bettelheim . [ONLINE] Available at: e.g. [Last Accessed 26 October 2012].

(2001). . [ONLINE] Available at: [Last Accessed 26 October 2012].


The folktale is a story, passed down verbally from generation to generation. Each storyteller told the stories a little differently, making them more interesting and fascinating as the ages passed. Different folktales bear the characteristics of the culture, folklore and customs of the people from which they originated.

African Tales:
African tales are means of handing down traditions and customs from one generation to the next. This tales has been retold because of the absent of printed material.
This tales prepare people for life, they reflect the culture where animals abound, monkeys, elephants, giraffes, lions, zebras, rhinoceros and a wide variety of birds (eagles and ostriches included) are mentioned.
The main specific point is that animals take human characteristics of greed, jealousy, honestly, loneliness, etc. The surroundings in which tales take place describe the vastness of the land, and climate is described focusing on dry or rainy seasons.
The most famous African tales are: Tortoise and the hare, Clever jackal gets away, Anansi the spider who has got eight thin legs, etc.
The collection of folktales from Africa consists of four books with 88 folktales: 28 South African folktales, 40 Nigerian folktales and 10 Tanzanian folktales.
South African folktales:
- Outa Karel's Stories South African Folk-Lore Tales by Sami Metelerkamp, published in 1914.
- Old Hendrik's Tales by Captain Arthur Owen Vanghan, published in 1904.
Nigerian folktales:
- Folk Stories from Southern Nigeria by Elphinstone Dayrell, published in 1910.
Tanzanian folktales:
- Zanzibar Tales, by anonymous author published in 1901.

Latin-American Tales:
In Latin-American tales children are introduced to characters who reflect their own diverse culture. These folktales are full of rich and culture. The themes are hospitality, tradition, leadership and decision-making.
Folktales from North America consist of six books with 136 folktales: 50 Native American folktales, 60 US folktales and 26 Canadian folktales:
-         -  Old Indian legends, contains 14 Native American folktales by Zitkala-Sa, published in 1901.
-         -  A Treasury of Eskimo Tales, contains 31 folktales by , published in 1922.
-          - The Indian Fairy Book, contains 26 Native American folktales by Cornelius Mathews, published in 1869.
United States folktales:
-         -  Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land. Vol. I The Hudson And Its Hills, contains 45 US folktales by  Charles M. Skinner, published in 1896.
-         -  Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land. Vol. II The isle of Manhattoes and nearby, contains 15 US folktales by Charles M. Skinner, published in 1896.
 Canadian folktales:
-          - Canadian fairy tales, contains 26 Native American folktales gathered from Canada by Cyrus Macmillan, published in 1922.

The collection of folktales from South America consists of two books with thirty Brazilian folktales.
-        -  "How and why tales from Brazilian folk-lore", this book contains 18 Brazilian folktales by  Elsie Spicer Eells, published in 1917.
-         - Tales of Giants from Brazil by Elsie Spicer Eells, contains an additional 12 Brazilian folktales, published in 1918.

Asian tales:
This tales are told in their local dialects (Japanese folktales for example) which may be difficult to understand because of intonation and pronunciations differences, conjugations and vocabulary.
The animals or creatures are known by their abilities, foxes are mentioned frequently for instance. Another characteristic that these tales contain is marriages between humans and non-humans.
The Asian tales allow children to experience the culture and heritage or tradition.
The collection of folktales from Asia consists of thirteen books with 292 folktales: 55 Arabic folktales, 104 Chinese folktales, 69 Indian folktales and 69 Japanese folktales.
Arab folktales:
 - The Arabian Nights /One Thousand and One Nights/. Author: Anonymous, published in 1918.
-          -  Folk-Lore and Legends: Orietal, contains 13 folktales from the Orient by Charles John Tibbitts, published in 1889.
-          -The Oriental Story Book, with 7 long Oriental folktales by  Wilhelm Hauff , published in 1855.
Chinese folktales:
-          - A Chinese Wonder Book by Norman Hinsdale Pitman, published in 1919.
-          - The Chinese Fairy Book, contains 74 Chinese folktales, sorted into several categories. Author: Various. Published in 1921.
-          - Chinese Folk-lore Tales by  Rev. J. Macgowan, D.D. Published in 1910.
 Indian folktales
-          - Indian fairy tales. Author: Various. Published in 1910.
-          . Hindu Tales from the Sanskrit. Translated by S. M. Mitra. Published in 1919.
-          - Tales of the Sun or Folklore of Southern India, the book holds 26 Indian folktales by Mrs. Howard Kingscote and Pandit Natesa Sastri. Published in 1890.
Japanese folktales:
-          - Japanese fairy tales, contains 22 Japanese folktales by  Yei Theodora Ozaki , published in 1908.
-         -  Green willow and other Japanese fairy tales, which contains 38 Japanese folktales, by Grace James, published in 1912.
-         -  Child-Life in Japan and Japanese Child Stories, this book features seven Japanese folktales, by Mrs. M. Chaplin Ayrton, published in 1901.

                                                                                   Australian tales:
Are based on both Indigenous and also non-Indigenous people's knowledge and experience of history in Australia.
The Indigenous Australians' knowledge base goes back tens of thousands of years. Indigenous knowledge, law, and religion, which provide the basis of their folklore, are rich in stories of the land, its animals and plants.

The collection of folktales from Australia consists of one book with 31 folktales:
-         -  Australian Legendary Tales, which contains 31 Australian folktales, by Mrs. K. Langloh Parker, published in 1896.

What is a Myth, Legend, Fable ,Folk Tale or Fairy Tale?


Myths are made up stories that try to explain how our world works and how we should treat each other. The stories are usually set in times long ago, before history as we know it was written. People have always asked questions like “How did our world come to be?” or “Why do tornadoes happen?” Some myths answered these questions.

In other myths, gods or “super-beings” used their powers to make events happen. Or the stories were the adventures of gods, goddesses, men and women.

These myths described the big things that happened to people and the choices they made. They might be about triumph (achieving something), tragedy (losing something), honour (doing the right thing), being brave even when you are frightened, or being foolish and making mistakes. People might be heroes in these stories and gods and goddesses could use their powers to help them or make things more difficult for them.

Around the world, myths were shared by groups of people and became part of their culture. Storytellers have passed the stories on from generation to generation and through families. Some myths are told in many cultures, but with variations in the events or characters. For example, most cultures, tribes or groups of people have their version of how our world came to be.

For early people, myths were like science because they explained how natural events work. Today we do not always know if myths are true or not. Some of the stories or characters may seem impossible, and science gives us different explanations for some of our questions. But people all over the world still like to read myths and we all like to think about what they might mean.

“Myth” comes from the Greek word “mythos” which means “word of mouth”.


Legends are also stories that have been made up, but they are different from myths. Myths answer questions about how the natural world works, and are set in a time long-ago, before history was written.

Legends are about people and their actions or deeds. The people lived in more recent times and are mentioned in history. The stories are told for a purpose and are based on facts, but they are not completely true.

Either the person never really did what the story says, or the historical events were changed. The purpose was to make the story more interesting or convincing, or to teach a lesson, like knowing right from wrong.

Examples of people in English legends are King Arthur, Robin Hood and Queen Boadicea. 

 Like myths, legends are passed down from generation to generation... today people use the word ‘legend’ in a different way when they talk about people and their deeds. They may describe a basketball player, football player or runner as a “sporting legend”, or an actor as a “film legend”. What they mean is the person is famous because of their skills or things they have done. This is similar to the earlier use of the word, and the legend stories.


A fable is another type of story, also passed down from generation to generation and told to teach a lesson about something.

Fables are about animals that can talk and act like people, or plants or forces of nature like thunder or wind. The plants may be able to move and also talk and the natural forces cause things to happen in the story because of their strength.

The most famous fables were written by a man called Aesop. We know them as Aesop’s Fables, and he wrote more than 600 of them.

Folk and fairy stories:

Folk and fairy tales are stories written specially for children, often about magical characters such as elves, fairies, goblins and giants. Sometimes the characters are animals.

Hans Christian Andersen is famous for writing fairy tales. He was born in Denmark in 1805. Examples of his stories are “The Little Mermaid”, “Thumbelina” and “The Red Shoes”.

Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm were brothers, born in Germany in 1785 and 1786. They are famous because they collected together many old fairy tales from different parts of Germany and wrote them down for people to read. We know them as the Brothers Grimm and their collection includes “Cinderella” and “The Frog Prince”.

 A favorite Greek Myth, one of Echo who fell in love with Narcissus and two; of Narcissus who fell in love with his own reflection

Fairy Tales Of The Brothers Grimm:Hansel & Gretel:


Aesops fables:

(2012). African folk tales. [ONLINE] Available at: [Last Accessed 26 October 2012].
Asian folktales. [ONLINE] Available at: [Last Accessed 26 October 2012].
Big Black Dog Communications Pty Ltd (25th February 2008). Australian Folklore. [ONLINE] Available at: [Last Accessed 26 October 2012].

(2008-2012). Welcome to the African folktales. [ONLINE] Available at: [Last Accessed 26 October 2012].

(2008-2012). Welcome to the Asian Tales. [ONLINE] Available at: [Last Accessed 26 October 2012].
(2008-2012). Welcome to the Australian folktales page. [ONLINE] Available at: [Last Accessed 26 October 2012].

(2008-2012). Welcome to the North American folktales page. [ONLINE] Available at: [Last Accessed 26 October 2012].

(2008-2012). Welcome to the South American folktales page. [ONLINE] Available at: [Last Accessed 26 October 2012].

Shephard (2012). What is a Myth, Legend, Fable ,Folk Tale or Fairy Tale?. [ONLINE] Available at: [Last Accessed 28 October 2012].

miércoles, 17 de octubre de 2012

Traditional Tales:
History and Genre

Carmen Milagros Torres, (2003). Tradictional tales: History and genre. 1st ed. University of Puerto Rico at Humacao Center of Communication Competencies (CCC): .

sábado, 29 de septiembre de 2012

Analysing an ad: "Devil Clio"

As regards things that I have bought recently, nothing influences on me when I go  shopping or to the market. I attempt not to buy expensive clothes and brand loyalty is not my case. Personally I reckon durability depends on the buyer and product guarantee as well, so I am not influenced by ads. However this advertisement caught my attention, it is very creative and humorous.
The product is a car, a new one called “Devil Clio” which belongs to the famous brand "Renault"; this advertisement had been done in 2006 in order to promote this auto mobile with a new and renovated design.

The ad catches the attention of the viewer with an amazing landscape at the cliff edge, a violent and quickly scene shows a risky route and two huge lorries in a hurry coming near a tiny car. The ad accounts with a good sense of humour, a funny dialogue between a young man, who is not afraid of the situation and shows himself confident, and a shadowy devil. In a way the ad can be considered sexist since is targeted to men as if only could men drive. It is relevant to say that advantages or disadvantages of the product are not specified, it is only focused on dialogue between a man and the devil. 

The ad wants to promote a vehicle faster and cooler than others; it is just a short story that leaves a moral. The message is based on temptation, money, women and all that any mortal man would want, but all temptations are avoided because in fact it is more important being confident and sure about our desire . If you are confident, you will achieve whatever you want.
To sum up, I like the ad, it is original. I love cars´ advertisements.  

Renault (2006). Clio diablo. [ONLINE] Available at: [Last Accessed 29th September].