lunes, 22 de junio de 2009

"These famous people wrote for children"

Charles Perrault was born in Paris in 1628. He was a french author who took part in a French Academy where he made a comparison between antique authors and modern writers who did not believe in magic tales and fantasy as he did.
Perrault had peculiar characteristics; he was able to take some English stories and translate them into French language, such as "The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood", "Little Red Riding Hood", "Blue Beard", "Cinderella", among others. Another one was whenever he published a book, he wrote his son's name, Pierre, and not his own name.
Charles published his first book in 1697, which contained eight simple stories called "Stories or Tales from Times Past with Morals adding at the front " Tales of Mother Goose". All his stories were well- known as well as his narratives, which belonged to stories-telling tradition transmitted and shared by a large number of generations. Charles Perrault also wrote verse narratives, for instance "Griselda", "The Ridiculous Wishes and Donkey Skin". Each of them was published separately, in 1691, 1693, and 1694 respectively.
Charles Perrault died in 1703.

Jacob Ludwig Carl Grimm and Whilhem Carl Grimm were brothers. The first one was born on January 4th in 1785 and the second one was born on February 24th in 1786, both in Hanau, Germany. The whole family moved to Steinau but then, both brothers moved to Kassel to stay with their aunt to start secondary school. Four years later, they studied law at the University Of Marburg where they recieved a prize for their tremendous scholarly work on linguistics, Folklore and mediaval studies to be published later on.
From 1842 to 1852, the Grimms continued their scholarly work and political activities, however, they gave up thier formal appoitments at the University Of Berlin in order to dedicate themselves to their own studies and research on what they were really interested in, "Folktales".
Grimm's brothers published their first volume called "Children' and Household Tales", which contained eighty six folktales. In 1814, they published the second volume with the same name, including seventy stories. There were also more than two hundred stories together with ten children legends in thier final version. It became the best known and most influencial book ever created in the German language. Then, they published two volumes about German legends called "Deutsche Sagen".
Jacob and Whilhem wrote many stories in German language since they wanted to preserve such material as part of German cultural and literary history, so that their tales came into the posession of the youngest readers.
Jacob died on September 20th in 1859 and Wilhelm died on December 16th in 1863.

Hans Christian Andersen was Danish who was born on April 2nd in 1805. When he was a child he lived in a small but self- satisfied provincial centre of Odense, his native town, where he spent his first fourteen years of his life. In the authography of his youth, "Levnedsbogen", Andersen emphasised the way of living in Odense, for instance the perservation about popular old customs and superstition unknown in Copenhagen. Apart from that, he wanted to appeal the disturbing social experiences from the lowest ranks of society in order to cast off the trammels of poverty, break with his social inheritance and just focus on what he was fond of "the world of art".
Once an ederly woman told Andersen that the folk tales would provide him a starting- point for his paraphrases of the old stories and for the tales he created himself. As his father had contact with the theatre, Andersen could acquire knowledge and fulfil his dreams and aspirations as well. There, he was the author of numerous plays, translator and adapter of foreign plays. In fact, he became famous in the mid of 1830`s when his novels and fairy tales enjoyed widespread circulation in Germany. His first text Andersen called a "fairy tale, giving it the title "From the Botton of the Ocean" which appeared in 1827 in Johan Ludvig Heiberg's literary magazine. However, it was not a real fairy tale but a fantastic story, a comic fantasy in verse. Then, the text was later incorporated as chapter twelve in his first book "Fodriese" in 1829. He published his first real fairy tale "Døgningen" (The Dead Man) together with his first collection of poems called "Digte"in 1830. Five years later, he completely rewrote a tale called "The Travelling Companion", using a style and narrative technique and then, his first two booklets appeared, which he called "Fairy tales told to the children".
Hans Andersen published six novels such as "The Improvisatore" (1835), "O.T" (1836), "Only a Fiddler" (1837), "The two Baronesses" (1848), "To be or not to be" (1857) and "Lucky Peer" (1870). Each of them was great hits and translated into many languages for all over the world. Andersen also published several collections of poems like "Phantasier og Skizzer" (Phantasies and Sketches - 1831), "Samlede Digte" (Collected poems - 1833), "Murersang" (1836). "Rosenknoppen" (1842), among others. Many Danish composers set music to Andersen's poems as did Edvard Greig and thus, children could enjoy all his poems as well as his fairy tales.
Ater several years of suffering from a serious illness, Hans Christian Andersen died on August 4th at "Rolighed", the country where he lived his final period of life.

miércoles, 17 de junio de 2009

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jueves, 11 de junio de 2009

What is " literature for children"?

Young children love fairy tales, even more if their parents tell one before going to bed since they imagine they become a beautiful princess or a brave prince for some minutes until they fall asleep. While parents are telling a famous one, they do not think if this kind of fairy tale is suitable or not for them.

Literature for children includes fiction, legends, myths, poems, fables, riddles, oral folktales, ballads and things of the sort. Most of them written for young readers are illustrated.

However, in the XVIII century childhood was not considered an important period in human life, so children had not access to many literature's books. They only read those books that their teachers selected to deliver the lessons. Thus, children were mostly in touch with books focused on history, politics, science or religion.

In the XIX, childhood was discovered and a new emotional attachment, philosophical interest and investment in children were developed. Besides, the print was invented so kids were able to begin reading those stories that they had listened to for years.

In the XXI century, many writers believe that children develop a higher intellectual capacity through reading since literature allows them to learn how to express their own ideas, feelings and fears in a tremendous way. The most typical phrase that catches children attention is "Once upon a time". Literature can be explored by studying the different styles, the characters and the themes involved in stories.

To begin with, styles are represented by inevitable happy endings in which good is rewarded and evil is punished or by sad stories which leave the reader an important lesson or moral. For example, happy endings such as the one showed in “Little Red Riding Hood” compensate sad, anxious and painful feelings of readers and create confidence and hope in them.

In the second place, characters have a very important influence in literature. Some characters become heroes or heroines for children. Kids want to take after them and believe they will overcome difficulties, challenges or obstacles by acting as heroes. The idea that they will triumph in life is latent when they think and behave as heroes. Following heroes’ steps may be one of the most important goal children tend to pursue. An example of this appears in “Sleeping Beauty” where the moral shows that nothing is impossible if you have a valuable training before you get into society.

Last but not least the theme also plays a primordial role in literature books. The theme depends on what the story is about and it transmits a meaningful message. An example of theme is clearly seen in “The Frog King” where parents are taught not to treat their children like “pets”. The message conveyed by this story is to encourage kids to deal with their problems when they come up and to become more mature and independent for the future.

To conclude, writers assure that literature is an amazing hobbie for children since books give them the opportunity to discover and experience others aspects of language through different genres and not only by focusing on grammar exercises. Most of the students enjoy reading, especially fairy tales, poems and legends. When they read they spend a wonderful time with their partners. After reading, children usually share what they have read in class with their parents. In this way they discuss the style, the theme and the characters of the story and thus, they try think and understand how the world works and connect fantasy or non- fiction with reality.

jueves, 4 de junio de 2009

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