What characteristics define children's literature?

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bmadnick eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There is debate regarding what constitutes children's literature, but defined broadly, it is those books that are deemed appropriate for children up to the age of twelve by teachers, reviewers, librarians, parents, etc. Many also feel children's literature includes books written by children and for children. Illustrations are often included in children's books. Sometimes, young adult fiction is included under the umbrella of children's literature and these books are for teens from ages thirteen through eighteen. Types of children's literature includes picture books, fairy tales, nursery rhymes, myths, legends, and shorter chapter books. Another type of children's literature is the book series, such as the Nancy Drew or Harry Potter series.

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