By Philip Nel

About Philip Nel

Philip Nel is Professor of English and Director of Kansas State University’s Program in Children’s Literature. His most recent books are Tales for Little Rebels (co-edited with Julia Mickenberg); The Annotated Cat; and Dr. Seuss: American Icon. His critical biography of Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss is forthcoming.

Welcome, Keywords for Children’s Literature

by Philip Nel, Lissa Paul

In the four years since the launch of Keywords for Children’s Literature in print (2011), we’ve learned a lot from scholars and students who have used it. As Raymond Williams did, we wanted to provide a shared vocabulary — but, in our case, specifically for the disciplinarily diverse group of people who work in children’s literature. The field draws scholars and writers from Literature, Education, and Library and Information Science. We knew that misunderstandings between disciplines arose because key terms were used in different ways. Recording the historical and etymological traces of each of the original forty-nine key terms, our contributors explained how these words came to be used in conflicted ways in different disciplines. In so doing, they drew a new map of our common vocabulary, locating its regional conflicts and contested terrain.

Since they contain only what the cartographer deems plottable, all maps invite revision. Greater familiarity with …

From the Editors
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