Teaching and Studying Children’s Literature at Simmons College

There’s still a little bit of time for nondegree students to enroll in Simmons College graduate courses in Children’s Literature at The Carle: The Picturebook with me and Writing for Children I with author Jeannine Atkins. Let me know if you’re interested in finding out more, and take a peek at this new video about our program:

I’m about to start my eighth year of full-time teaching at Simmons, which is also where I earned my MA in Children’s Literature. I am so very grateful for all I’ve learned at Simmons–as a student and a teacher–and I know how fortunate I am to do work I love. This fall I’m teaching two sections of my course on The Picturebook, one on our main campus in Boston, and the other at our satellite site at The Carle in Amherst, and I am also teaching a course I designed called The Child and the Book in Boston. In this class we mainly focus on early reader and chapter book texts, with a critical approach rooted in Reader Response Theory. We examine the roles of adult mediators in children’s reading transactions in school, library, and home contexts, and we also interrogate the construction of childhood itself and think about the child as critic. I haven’t taught this course in two years, and I did a lot of work over the summer to update the syllabus with more diverse readings and updated scholarship. To say I am excited about diving in with my committed, bright students is an understatement.

Here’s a peek at the books I read this mochild and the book readingnth, many of which show up on my Child and the Book syllabus, while others were pleasure reads. Really, though, even so-called “work-reading” is pretty darn pleasurable, and that’s one of the many, many reasons I am very lucky to teach at Simmons.


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