Elizabeth Waterston photo by Ellen DiPiazza, 2010

Elizabeth Waterston

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Waterston's informative study brings to life Canadian history and culture and illuminates a unique literary community in which acclaimed adult writers like Margaret Atwood, Margaret Laurence, and Mordechai Richler are also the authors of children's books. Waterston demonstrates the distinctly Canadian elements of such works as The Young Fur Traders (1856), Anne of Green Gables (1908), and Alligator Pie (1974). Part of the Twayne World Authors Series, Canadian books appropriate for each age, from pre-school to "Young Adult" are summarized and critiqued. This study builds on Jean Piaget's theory of child development and discusses the various literary genres that appeal to children at each stage, from picture books and nursery rhymes to historical tales and science fiction. In addition to her focus on the response of the child to various genres, Waterston provides sophisticated literary analysis of the works that have endured as classics, demonstrating how their continuing relevance is rooted in their literary merit. She examines literary styles, themes, and motifs and shows how many of the perennial favorites embrace quintessentially Canadian virtues: honesty, a strong will to survive, humor, passion, and genuine kindness. American and Canadian teachers, librarians, and parents will find in this complete guide a resource for expanding their young readers' literary universe.

Reviewers say:

Elizabeth Waterston surveys the recurrent themes and major genres of this literature from settlement in the eighteenth century to the present day in Children's Literature in Canada. The 16-page selected bibliography of primary works appended to Waterston's study not only provides a valuable resource for readers unacquainted with the rich variety of children's texts published in Canada, but also points readers well acquainted with the literature of the past few decades to the largely unknown but significant holdings of early children's texts in Canadian archives and libraries.

Mavis Reimer, “Charting the outlines of Canadian children's literature,” The Lion and the Unicorn - 19, 1, June 1995.


New Releases

Elizabeth Waterston: Railway Ties


Elizabeth Waterston: Readying Rilla


Elizabeth Waterston: Blitzkrieg and Jitterbugs


The Complete Journals of L.M. Montgomery: The PEI Years, 1901-1911


Fiction by Elizabeth Waterston

Plaid Around the Mountain

At the Corner of Hope

Passion Spent


Elizabeth Waterston's non-fiction

Elizabeth Waterston: Magic Island Elizabeth Waterston: Rapt in Plaid Elizabeth Waterston: Kindling Spirit Elizabeth Waterston: Children's Literature in Canada Elizabeth Waterston: The Travellers: Canada to 1900 Elizabeth Waterston: Anne of Green Gables: The Norton Critical Edition Elizabeth Waterston: Writing a Life
The Journals of L M Montgomery: Volume 1 The Journals of L M Montgomery: Volume 2 The Journals of L M Montgomery: Volume 3 The Journals of L M Montgomery: Volume 4 The Journals of L M Montgomery: Volume 5 The Complete Journals of L.M. Montgomery: The PEI Years, 1889-1900 The Complete Journals of L.M. Montgomery: The PEI Years, 1901-1911