06386 - Children's Literature

Academic Year 2017/2018

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Educator In Childhood Social Services (cod. 8775)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student knows

  • the cultural context in which children's literature has historycally found itself;
  • the children’s books and the complexity and ambiguity that characterizes them;
  • knows and analyzes the imagery and interprets the textes;
  • knows and analyzes the classic and contemporary novels, picture books, fairy tales, and numerous examples of books for childrens.
  • knows how to propose the storytelling languages, and the student knows different comunication modes in the educational relationship.
  • is able to make informed choises in publishing children's books.

Course contents

 - Children's literature, childhood and representations of early childhood.

- Children's literature, lullabies and nursery rhymes, fairy tales, adventures, stories, characters, plots, literary genres, classical and contemporary authors.

- Childhood finds herself in the literary metaphors. The fairy tale: a special literary  genre with Hard themes; Anthropological and cultural roots.

- Childhood and steretyping; Childhood and the right to artistic research.

- The fairy tale: a special literary genre with hard themes; - Anthropological and cultural roots;

- Children's literature between education and artistic motivation;

- Children's literature and childhood point of view;

- Storytelling and reading;

- Film, theater and relations with the imaginary;

- Adults narrators and relationship to early chialdhood;

- Educational settings and storytelling;

- The stories, the body, the voice, the word, the expressive gesture, the symbolic play;

- Affective aspects of reading and storytelling.




The program includes:

- basic knowledge
- a monograph path chosen by the student

- the monograph path must be chosen according toa thematic thread that links the novel, the fairy tales, the picture book...


All students must study the following Critical essay + a short essay:


  1.   Milena Bernardi, Letteratura per l'infanzia e alterità. Incanti, disincanti, ambiguità, tracce. Franco Angeli Editore, Milano, 2016,

  2. M. Bernardi, All’improvviso qualcosa accade! Osservare il racconto, raccontare l’osservazione, in L. Balduzzi, T. Pironi, (a cura di),L'osservazione al nido, una lente a più dimensioni per educare lo sguardo, Franco Angeli, Milano, 2016

  3. and 2 critical essay chosen among the following ones 

    - M. Bernardi, Infanzia e metafore letterarie, Bononia University Press, Bologna, 2009

    - M. Bernardi, Infanzia e Fiaba, Bononia University Press, Bologna, 2007

    - E. Beseghi, G. Grilli, a cura di, La letteratura invisibile, Carocci, Roma, 2011

    - G. Grilli, Libri nella giungla, Carocci, Roma, 2012

    - E. Beseghi (a cura di), Infanzia e Racconto, Bononia University Press, Bologna, 2008

  4. The student must choose the novel for childrend (1), the fairy tales (10) and picture book (1), for a monografiphic research.

  5. For the selection of novels and fairy tales you should consult your teacher website

  1. Erasmus student must agree on the program with the professor.


Teaching methods

Lectures. Brainstorming, discussion and debate abaut literature, movie, theater, media. Storytelling.

Assessment methods


Oral test. The test will include the books indicated and, in addition, the student will have to prepare a personal reflection about a topic chosen among those treated.


- knowledge learned on discipline; the theoretical and interpretative references concerning children's literature;

- critical and methodological skills;

- interdisciplinary knowledge useful to analyze the children's literature;

- knowledge of educational contexts for early childhood.

Final score based on ../30 (18 is considered the minimum to pass the exam).

Inscription to the exam on Almaesami website.

If rejected at the exam, it is possible to have a second chance.


Teaching tools

Reading aloud, Storytelling, books, picture books, videos, etc

Office hours

See the website of Milena Bernardi