(8/31/00 12:08:39 pm)
Oh, Napoli! Talking about her best books can make me sound half-crazed. I adore Magic Circle and Zel. She has "Beast" coming out this fall and I am eager to read it. Spinners and Crazy Jack are fine, but they don't bowl me over. Magic Circle gave me the "reader's high" the first time I read it.
Critical literature, hmmm... Full book publications are scarce but there is much out there and mostly in two regular publications, Children's Literature and Children's Literature Quarterly. These used to average at least one article on fantastical literature per issue. I cannot remember which databases index these, but they are two of the best for articles. The biggest problem is that many universities don't carry these periodicals. The authors that are most commonly written about are in the YA and middle reader field such as Susan Cooper, Lloyd Alexander, C. S. Lewis, Lewis Carroll, Frank Baum, Madeleine L'Engle, Robin McKinley, Roald Dahl, Natalie Babbitt (for Tuck Everlasting) and Jane Yolen--all either individually or collectively. I haven't seen much about Napoli or Gail Carson Levine (for Ella Enchanted) since they are more recent, but I imagine there is more out there since I last searched.
I just checked out the book "Christian Mythmakers" which discusses Lewis, L'Engle, Tolkien, George MacDonald, and some others, but I haven't read it yet.
Perry Nodelman is the "Jack Zipes" of children's literature and academia. I would also do some keyword searches for articles by him. He has written countless articles on many topics. He has a great book, "Words About Pictures", on picture books which also discusses fantastical books if memory serves me well. His forays into fiction writing have been fantasy primarily, so I know the area interests him.
Also, don't forget Yolen's "Touch Magic."
Other possible titles which I found in a preliminary search, but I am not very familiar with:
1. Worlds Within : Children's Fantasy from the Middle Ages to Today
by Sheila A. Egoff
2. When Toys Come Alive : Narratives of Animation, Metamorphosis, and Development
by Lois Rostow Kuznets.
3. Presenting Young Adult Fantasy Fiction (Twayne's United States Authors Series, No 699)
by Cathi Dunn MacRae
4. The Natural History of Make-Believe : A Guide to the Principal Works of Britain, Europe, and America
by John Goldthwaite
5.A Century of Welsh Myth in Children's Literature
by Donna R. White
6. The Fantastic Sublime : Romanticism and Transcendence in Nineteenth-Century Children's Fantasy Literature (Contributions to the Study of Science Fiction)
by David Sandner
7. Inventing Wonderland : The Lives and Fantasies of Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear, J.M. Barrie, Kenneth Grahame and A.A. Milne
by Jackie Wullschlager
8. Fantasy Literature for Children and Young Adults : An Annotated Bibliography (Fantasy Literature for Children and Young Adults, Ed 4)
by Ruth N. Lynn(Editor)
9. Mere Creatures : A Study of Modern Fantasy Tales for Children
by Elliott Gose
10. Values in Selected Children's Books of Fiction and Fantasy
by Carolyn W. Field, Jaqueline S. Weiss
11. Children's Fantasy (Starmont Readers Guide 33)
by Francis J. Molson
There is more, but I will need to dig out my notebooks. Be back later....