The first children's room in a public library may have been in Hartford, Connecticut. The head librarian here, Caroline Hewins was an early advocate for taking seriously the reading needs of children starting in the late 19th century. Prior to that children's lit wasn't really treated as a genre that could stand on its own two feet.
Today, of course, it's massive and diverse. Its themes range from light to darkness, its language may be mannered or naturalistic, its art may be glorious or crude. And, there really seems to be a readership for all those possibilities. But, some would say we need more diversity.
Today on the show, we talk about children's books, first from the perspective of two authors and then with a scholar and a librarian.