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ENGLISH 3Y03 Childrens Lit

Academic Year: Winter 2018

Term: Winter

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Jeffery Donaldson


Office: Chester New Hall 308

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 24132


Office Hours: Thursday 11:30-12:30pm

Course Objectives:

Children’s literature is normally taken to mean literature for children. What does it mean for a literature to have a certain reader in mind? A certain listener? What changes in style and form do we find when accommodations are made to the state of mind and emotional experience of young human beings. Children’s literature can also mean literature about children, works in which their intellect and emotional experience are explored from the other side of the mature divide, with telling consequences. Our course will warm to these issues via a selection of works from the literary tradition of literature for and about children.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Donaldson, Children’s Literature: Identity and Romance

Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Broadview Press

Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Broadview Press

Cather, Shadows on the Rock, Knopf

Saint Exupéry, The Little Prince

CS Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Method of Assessment:


Essay 1 (1000 words, Feb 8)               25%

Essay 2 (1500 words, Mar 15)             30%

Exam Question Assignment                 3%

Reading Quizzes 7 x 1%                      7%

Final Exam                                           35%

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Late Assignment Policy:

Written assignments are due at the beginning of lecture on the date indicated. Unauthorized late papers are penalized two percentage grades per day (78 to 76 to 74 etc). Graders reserve the right to omit commentary on late papers.

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:


Week 1           January 4

Introduction: Children’s Literature & Children Literature

Week 2           January 8

Introduction, Children’s Literature, history

                       January 9

Perrault & Grim, Red Riding Hood

                       January 11

“Hansel & Gretel”

Week 3          January 15


                       January 16

Wordsworth, “Ode: Intimations of Immortality”

                       January 18

Stevenson, Child’s Garden of Verses

Week 4          January 22 (Collodi Quiz: 9:30 am, Jan 20 – 9:30 am, Jan 22)

Collodi, Pinocchio

                      January 23

Collodi, Pinocchio

                       January 25

Collodi, Pinocchio

Week 5          January 29

Kipling, Just So Stories

                      January 30

Kipling Just So Stories

                      February 1

Wilde, “The Happy Prince”

Week 6         February 5 (Saint Exupéry Quiz: 9:30 am, Feb 3 – 9:30 am, Feb 5)

Saint Exupéry, The Little Prince

                      February 6

Saint Exupéry, The Little Prince

                      February 8 First Essay due

Saint Exupéry, The Little Prince

Week 7         February 19 (Lewis Quiz: 9:30 am, Feb 17 — 9:30 am, Feb 19)

CS Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

                     February 20

CS Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

                     February 22

CS Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Week 8         February 26

Blake, “Songs of Innocence & Experience”

                     February 27

Blake, “Songs of Innocence & Experience”

                     March 1

Carroll, “Jabberwocky”

Week 9         March 5 (Baum Quiz: 9:30 am, Mar 3 — 9:30 am, Mar 5)

Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

                     March 6

Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

                     March 8

Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Week 10      March 12 (Carroll Quiz: 9:30 am, Mar 10 — 9:30 am, Mar 12)

Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

                    March 13

Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

                    March 15 Second Essay Due

Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Week 11      March 19 (Cather Quiz: 9:30 am, Mar 17 — 9:30 am, Mar 19)

Cather, Shadows on the Rock

                    March 20

Cather, Shadows on the Rock

                    March 22 Exam Question Assignment Due

Cather, Shadows on the Rock

Week 12      March 26 (Twain Quiz: 9:30 am, Mar 24 — 9:30 am, Mar 26)

Robert Lowell, “My Last Afternoon with Uncle Devereau Winslow”

                    March 26

Bishop, “In the Waiting Room,” “First Death in Nova Scotia”

                    March 28


Week 13      April 2

Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

                    April 3

Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Other Course Information:

Students will be asked to fill out a online course evaluation upon completion of the course.