Children's literature

A guide to children's literature including resources at the State Library and elsewhere

Literary criticism of children's literature

This guide will help you find electronic and print resources on the general subject of literary criticism in relation to children's literature. To find examples of specific aspects of literary criticism of children's books such as Aboriginality, gender or postcolonial literary theory, scroll down this page to the relevant heading.

To find resources on literary criticism of children's books search the Library catalogue using the terms children's literature criticism. Online resources are listed at the top of the results screen and Victorian registered users can access the online databases at home while non Victorian residents can access them within our Library. You can refine your results by scrolling through the options on the left hand side of the screen, such as further subjects, resource type or date, or you can browse the entire list of results. You can also sort the entire list by using the Sorted by drop-down menu in the centre of your screen.

Many of these resources will be on the shelves in the Redmond Barry Reading Room or the Domed Reading Room but others will need to be requested from storage. Registered users can request items from storage by clicking the 'Request' tab in the item record and following the prompts.

The following print resources may be a useful starting point for scholarly research.

Australian children's literature



Culture and Race



Gender and Sexuality




Romanticism and postmodernism


Visual analysis

Database searches

Academic criticism of children's literature enjoys a healthy representation in refereed magazines in electronic and print form. To find these articles begin your database search using keywords that reflect the specificity of your research, then broaden your search to capture related fields of research.

For example, you can search a database like JSTOR: the Scholarly Journal Archive about Aboriginality in Australian children's literature (using the terms in bold), then limit your search in a number of ways including keywords in the abstract only, a specific date range or identify the journal titles you want to search.

The following databases are useful in establishing a literary review of your research area. Victorian registered users are able to search these databases from home while other users can access them onsite in the Library and all are free.

From the Pictures Collection

End of the Book H96.160/148

The end of the book, H96.160/480

H96.46/36 Children Reading

Children reading books, H96.46/36