Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Children's Fantasy Literature
An Introduction


Award Winner
  • Date Published: April 2016
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107610293

£ 17.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Fantasy has been an important and much-loved part of children's literature for hundreds of years, yet relatively little has been written about it. Children's Fantasy Literature traces the development of the tradition of the children's fantastic - fictions specifically written for children and fictions appropriated by them - from the sixteenth to the twenty-first century, examining the work of Lewis Carroll, L. Frank Baum, C. S. Lewis, Roald Dahl, J. K. Rowling and others from across the English-speaking world. The volume considers changing views on both the nature of the child and on the appropriateness of fantasy for the child reader, the role of children's fantasy literature in helping to develop the imagination, and its complex interactions with issues of class, politics and gender. The text analyses hundreds of works of fiction, placing each in its appropriate context within the tradition of fantasy literature.

    • A comprehensive examination of children's fantasy from its origins in the sixteenth century to the present day
    • Deals with a very wide range of texts, evaluating them critically and placing them within a worldwide context
    • Discusses the work of key writers including Hans Christian Andersen, Lewis Carroll, Frank Baum, J. M. Barrie, A. A. Milne, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis and J. K. Rowling
    Read more


    • Winner, 2017 Special Award - Professional, World Fantasy Convention

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Levy and Mendlesohn give a convincing explanation for a distinctively post-Second World War literature where children are unprotected, where they have agency and responsibility, where they face true and terrible evil. As time goes on, the stakes continue to rise. Compare Nesbit's world to Narnia - do our young protagonists have a small, limited quest to complete, or do we expect them to save the world?' Daniel Hahn, The Spectator

    'Children's Fantasy Literature: An Introduction is an immense work in scope and scholarship. As befits its authors, Michael Levy and Farah Mendlesohn - two prominent figures in the world of children's literature criticism - this latest work is a far-reaching feat that grasps the tenuous strings of the inception of both fantasy and children's literature and weaves them from the sixteenth through the twenty-first centuries into a tremendous narrative tapestry.' Joli Barham McClelland, Children's Literature Association Quarterly

    'Sharing their extensive knowledge of the topic, Michael Levy and Farah Mendlesohn have made a relevant contribution to the study of this field with their monograph Children's Fantasy Literature: An Introduction. Published in 2016 by Cambridge University Press, the book is a result of the continuing collaboration of the authors, their colleagues, and students … Levy and Mendlesohn have succeeded in finding a manner of expression which can easily be understood by scholars and experts, but also those whose knowledge of fantasy is not yet extensive.' Katarina Kralj, Libri & Liberi

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2016
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107610293
    • length: 282 pages
    • dimensions: 227 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.41kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. How fantasy became children's literature
    2. Fairies, ghouls and goblins: the realms of Victorian fancy
    3. The American search for an American childhood
    4. British and Empire fantasy between the wars
    5. The changing landscape of post-war fantasy
    6. Folklore, fantasy and indigenous fantasy
    7. Middle-earth, medievalism and mythopoeic fantasy
    8. Harry Potter and children's fantasy since the 1990s
    9. Romancing the teen
    Further reading.

  • Authors

    Michael Levy, University of Wisconsin, Stout
    Michael Levy is Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin, Stout. He is the author of Natalie Babbitt (1991) and Portrayal of Southeast Asian Refugees in Recent American Children's Books (2000), editor of The Moon Pool by A. Merritt (2004), and co-editor of the peer-reviewed journal Extrapolation. Levy was awarded the Clareson Award for Distinguished Service to the fields of science fiction and fantasy in 2007.

    Farah Mendlesohn, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge
    Farah Mendlesohn is Head of the Department of English and Media and Professor of Literary History at Anglia Ruskin University. She is the author of Rhetorics of Fantasy (2008) and The Inter-Galactic Playground: Children, Teens and Science Fiction (2009), co-author of A Short History of Fantasy (2009), and co-editor of the Hugo Award-winning Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction (Cambridge, 2003) and The Cambridge Companion to Fantasy (Cambridge, 2012).


    • Winner, 2017 Special Award - Professional, World Fantasy Convention
    • Winner, 2018 Mythopoeic Scholarship Award for Myth and Fantasy, Mythopoetic Society

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.