Saturday, February 11, 2006

Evaluating Folktale for Children to Read

I came across this wonderful book on Children's Literature in the library of UP ILIS. It's written by Dianne Mitchell and as far as coverage is concerned, it is very comprehensive. Each genre of Children's Literature is identified - from realistic fiction to fantasy; concept books to biography. Add to that are the elements to evaluating a particular genre. Since I had a recent brush with a prominent publisher on folktale, I thought of posting the nature or characteristics that folk literature embody.

Folk literature reflect a people's culture and its perspective of the world.
1. It is a literature where a reader encounters the source of power in nature and in the world;
2. It contains a people's ethical codes and values;
3. Heroic images and roles of male and female are presented in folk literature;
4. It reveals how animals, nature and earth elements are regarded by a group of people or culture;
5. It offers the reader or listener assumptions about the world;
6. It is a source of wisdom;
7. It is a place of spirituality;
8. It reflects how a race or culture give importance to the accumulation of materials possession;
9. It emphasizes the beauty of the world, of music and movement.

If I may add the tenth -

10. Folk literature traces its origins in oral traditions. It is meant to be told and heard.

Should a folk tale find its way to the printed format, it should be something that is pleasing to the ear. I've encountered and read many folk tales that are very prosaic. I suppose these are not written for children. And that, the purpose of
publishing them is for posterity. Given these qualities of the folk literature, chidlren deserve to read and hear more of these kind that gives them insights to different world views and a rediscovery of their own culture.

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