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Digital Literature for Children

Texts, Readers and Educational Practices


Edited By Mireia Manresa and Neus Real

This book is the result of a research project carried out by the research group GRETEL from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) on children’s and adolescents’ digital literary education. It offers some of the outcomes of this project and combines them with other contributions from internationally renowned authors to address the three pillars of digital literary reader training: the texts themselves, the responses they generate in children and adolescents and digital reading practices at home and at school.
This work is intended as a contribution to international research on digital literature for children and young adults and its impact on the teaching practices of literary education. Its main goals are to guide the inclusion of this training in classrooms and to investigate strategies for accessing multimedia, interactive and hypertextual messages and products that form a part of fictional products today.
The volume begins by contextualising electronic literary reading and specifying the new research framework of digital literature for children and adolescents. It then provides an overview of the relationships between the electronic medium and children and young adult production on the one hand, and of the digital works and their features on the other, to reflect on their potential for literary education. Subsequently, it tackles the effective contact of children and adolescents with this literature in order to determine what happens when different electronic works are made available to children readers without eliminating printed literature from their environment. Finally, the floor is given to two leading creators.


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Part II. Digital Literature for Children and Young Adults


Part II dIgItal lIterature For ChIldren and Young adults 57 The Impact of New Digital Media on Children’s and Young Adult Literature Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer Universität Tübingen “Very good! Click on the white button…”. This sentence appears in Hervé Tullet’s picturebook Un livre (A Book, 2010), translated into English as Press Here (2011). The storyline consists of requests and comments, complemented by simple illustrations of small circles in red, yellow and blue in different arrangements. Comparable to computer games and interactive picturebooks, the reader is asked to do something before turning the pages, for instance, rubbing the circles, tapping on a specific circle five times, or tilting the book. The subsequent doublespread shows the result of the reader’s action, sometimes with surprising effects. Tullet’s unusual picturebook obviously refers to the increasing impact of digital media on children’s literature, but might also be interpreted as a book that makes fun of these new trends. Although digital media for children have flooded the international market for several years, there is scant research on the history, the reception and the aesthetic and cognitive challenges of these media formats that definitely scrutinises the further development of children’s and young adult literature. This chapter focuses on the question of how digital media influence the content and narrative structure of children’s literature and even generate innovative genres and interactive storytelling formats. Moreover, particular emphasis is put on the increasing significance of fan fiction that leads to a new perception of the relationship between author...

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