Children's literature

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Children's literature is a term used for fiction and poetry written specifically for children, entertaining rather than didactic.

In Britain

It was only in the 18th century that authors began to write books for children that were neither obviously moralising nor obviously didactic. Some of the moralising continued, and was parodied by Lewis Carroll in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. The 19th century began to produce classics, catering for a range of ages: adventure stories produced by Marryat, Ballantyne, and later Stevenson; school stories such as Tom Brown's Schooldays by Thomas Hughes; and animal stories such as Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. By 1855 the fairy story had become sufficiently well established for Thackeray to parody it in The Rose and the Ring. Stevenson also published A Child's Garden of Verses, and Kipling wrote variants on the animal theme, accompanied by poems, in the Jungle Books and the Just So Stories. The Victorians established a strong tradition, accompanied by a strong demand, which was carried on into the next centuries with such books as The Wind in the Willows.