The Looking Glass : New Perspectives on Children's Literature, Vol 8, No 2 (2004)

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Alice's Academy

Elizabeth L. Pandolfo Briggs, editor


The Sociology of Children's Literature in the Arab World

Sabeur Mdallel


Sabeur Mdallel is currently a PhD student at the University of Tampere, Finland. He received an MA in translation studies from the University of Mons, Belgium. He is also an assistant at The University of Manouba, Tunisia, teaching translation and translation studies, and works as a freelance translator. His current research interests include translation studies, contrastive textology (English and Arabic), comparative stylistics, and translating children's literature. His doctoral research is about the strategies of ideological manipulation in translating English children's literature into Arabic.


In this issue "Alice's Academy" provides two perspectives on our special topic, Arab children's literature, that we hope will interest and inform our readers. This first article is a valuable introduction to Arab children's literature, its history, and its cultural context. This is indeed an important resource to anyone in the Western world hoping to learn more about Arab children's literature.

 

The sociology of literature is an umbrella concept that includes various approaches to the relationship between literature and society. Within the limits of the present paper, I am interested in the genesis of children's literature (i.e. how children's literature arises in society) and also how it affects society by affecting children. Bakhtin's dialogics serve to broaden the scope of such approaches to the sociology of literature by allowing researchers a better understanding of the dynamics of children's literature, where several factors like governments, parents, publishers, child images and writers play a major role in deciding which literature to produce for children. I also assume that what and how we write for our children determine, to a great extent, what and how we translate for them. I will proceed by focusing on how children's literature is perceived in the Arab world and subsequently what literature we produce for children.

The present paper rests on the theoretical premise that children's literature is a social product and a social force. Obviously the literature presented for children is far from similar; neither are children. Studies have shown that, in many countries, government censorship bodies shape the content and form of the literature to be presented for children. Gabriele Thomson-Wohlgemuth in her study emphasizes the importance accorded to children's literature by the communist East German regime and explains the dynamics of writing for children in the East German context and how the choice of the books to be translated was made (241-249). Such a choice was determined by the origin of the book, the ideas and themes it contained and how well it responded to the criteria set by decision-makers on children's literature in the regime. She argues that literature (...) played a key role within the socialist framework and was widely used as a tool for education and indoctrination. Literary policy quite blatantly demanded that literature be partisan, i.e. loyal to the party line (Thomson-Wohlgemuth 242). This tendency was clearer in totalitarian regimes, where propaganda was a powerful tool in the hands of politicians for shaping national points of view and bringing the population to support the official ruling ideology. Even today, great importance is given to children and the literature presented to them. More liberal countries are not exceptions, but the ideology in the literature they present to their children can be more subtle, unobtrusive and hidden, which makes it, in my opinion, more dangerous. It seems clear that there is no such thing as an unbiased book as Gillian Klein argues (1).

The oral tradition in the Arab World

Talking about tales as the legitimate descendants of myth, Brian E. Szumsky says the historical progression and manifestation of the tale can be seen in terms of its contextual relationship to its discursive environment (11). Fairy tales and other tales were never originally invented for the mere pleasure of them but were always a response to some need and the offspring of a dialogic situation with nature, human beings and animals as its elements.

The same could be said about the tales in the rich oral tradition in the Arab world. It is a collective imaginary, a reflection of the collective consciousness, and the tales generally display the same concerns and dreams. Tales in the oral Arab tradition are also a powerful means of regulating life within one tribe and the relationship with other tribes. The morality emerging from such tales served as models of correct behaviour. It was a tribe's way to control knowledge and power forces vis-à-vis the other communities (Jouili 20-22). In the same vein Mircea Eliade argues that myths and fairy tales were models for human behaviour [that,] by that very fact, give meaning and value to life (35). This was reinforced mainly by the act of storytelling itself. As it traveled from one tribe to another, a tale was constantly changed to fit first the direct audience, the narrators and second, the larger audience i.e. the tribe where the storytelling took place. The same story was told differently to an audience of children than to an audience of adults. A storyteller from one tribe would manipulate the events to suit the tribe to which he belonged. Heroic protagonists always belonged to one's own tribe and bad antagonists to other tribes.

There has been a general trend to print and publish all oral stories. This strategy, one that helped preserve and protect the oral heritage, has deprived these stories of their magic, the act of storytelling itself. Jouili points out that the act of storytelling and the setting where stories were told constituted intrinsic elements of the story itself (20-22).

Today, the oral tradition has almost entirely disappeared, to be replaced by reading. However, reading to children is not widespread in the Arab world, as literacy levels remain below European standards. Indeed, the illiteracy rate was between 50 and 59% in countries like Algeria, Egypt and Tunisia in the period 1980-1982 (Dupont and Ossandon 66). In 1992, 16.3 % of the male population in Tunisia aged between 30 and 34 was illiterate. This figure was much lower among the 15-19 year old male age group, with only a 3.5 % illiteracy rate. However, the figures were much higher among women: in the 15-19 age group 23.7% were illiterate and in the 30-34 age group 42% were (all statistics from the Tunisian National Institute of Statistics). This means that, in 1992, almost half of Tunisian mothers could not read to their children. Today almost all children living in rural and urban areas in Tunisia attend school when they reach the age of six, thanks to the great efforts made to eradicate illiteracy. Similar figures are found in other Arab countries, which explains to a great extent the boom that books published for children experienced in the 1990s; Al-Hajji's Bibliographical Guide to Arab Children's Books contains only a few entries before that date.

Reading for children today involves the same rituals as telling stories for them in the oral tradition, though the setting has changed. Though manipulation was easier within the oral tradition, since there was no written record against which the manipulated story could be placed, parents today resort to an equal or even greater amount of manipulation when they read to their children. They constantly keep intervening in the plot and the characterisation and the narration to manipulate the story and present it in an acceptable form fit for their children. Such manipulation strategies involve skipping whole passages, changing the names of places and persons, changing themes, altering character depiction, changing the end, adding new moral themes not found in the original text, etc. However, these strategies are not necessarily found at the same time in one reading activity. These strategies are not easily proven empirically for obvious reasons.

The history of writing for children in the Arab World

Though the tradition of storytelling is age-old, writing for children has not flourished until recently. Children's literature was not recognised as such in the Arab world until the late nineteenth century (Abu Nasr 789). Just like its western peer, though almost a century later, it took Arab-speaking children a long time to be considered a target audience (Mdallel 299). The pioneers of children's literature in the Arab world are Rifaa Tahtaoui, who wrote in 1870 Al-morshid Al-amin lilbanati wal-banin (The best guide for boys and girls; translation mine) and Mohammed Othman Jalel, who wrote in 1894 Al-uyun Al-yawakidh fil-amthali wal-mawaidh (The best morals and sayings; translation mine) (Halawa 23). These books were highly didactic, as was most of the subsequent literature for children.

However, many critics argue that the real history of children's literature in the Arab world dates back to the early twentieth century (Kadiri 27) with Kamel Kilani (Egypt), who started by translating children's international classics in 1928 and then wrote his own books for children. Indeed, Kamel Kilani's contribution to the Arab children's bookshelf is substantial. It includes comic stories for children, adaptations from The Arabian Nights , chosen Indian stories, translations from Shakespeare (like Julius Caesar , The Merchant of Venice , King Lear and The Tempest ), and many other stories like Gulliver's Travels and Robinson Crusoe . His contribution also includes scientific fiction and rediscoveries, old Arab stories rewritten for children and much more. In his thirty-year career he wrote and translated 200 books (Labadi 35).

Al-Hajji's Guide to Arab Children's Literature will serve as the basis for my investigation of the literature written for children in the Arab world. This bibliographical guide, published in three volumes, covers the period 1950-1999. The author admits that he was unable to find books published prior to that period and I believe that there was little book production for children before the 1950s with the exception of Kilani. Almost all the Arab countries are represented through their publishing houses. Countries like Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Iraq, for instance, produce most of the books published for children in the Arab World. Iraq, which was strongly present in the first volume of the bibliographical guide covering the period 1950-1990, is totally absent in the two subsequent volumes covering the period 1991-1999, which coincides with the first and second Gulf Wars and the embargo years.

Today, writing for children in the Arab world has proliferated, and the production of children's books has become an industry with a number of publishing houses specialising in children's literature and many book fairs that promote such literature. According to separate research by Al-Hajji and myself, 4,582 books for children have been published between 1995 and 1999, while only 7,741 were published between 1950 and 1995. These figures show that children's literature recently received a great impetus, and as such was a new phenomenon in the Arab world. However, these figures are well below the number of books published in European countries. These figures should be considered with great care since the author of the bibliographical guide admits that he only mentioned those books he was able to find.

Child images in the Arab World

The concept child varies as we move geographically from Asia to Europe or to Africa. The geographical move implies a much greater cultural move. Hunt asserts that concepts of childhood differ not only culturally but in units as small as the family, and they differ often inscrutably, over time (5). The cultural shift is very important since what a culture thinks of as childhood is reflected very closely in the books produced for its citizens (Hunt 5). Potential experiences a child in Europe goes through are not similar to experiences lived through by an African child. Maria Nikolajeva argues that the translation of Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are into Russian was difficult because of the numerous cultural differences that existed between the United States and the USSR of that time (3). The passage when the mother was angry with Max and told him to go to his room was unusual in the Russian context because children had no rooms of their own.

The Arab world itself is a mosaic of various cultures that differ in religion, ethnicity, social condition, democracy level, ruling ideology, role of women, literacy level, etc. We will see later that while some books are accepted and translated in one Arab country, the same books are rejected in another. Politics and ideology shape to a great extent the choice of books to be translated. Syria, for example, translated a lot of Russian children's literature and this was in line with the prevailing government ideology dominated by the nationalist Baath Party with its socialist views. Very few Russian books are translated in Saudi Arabia or in Tunisia, for example, where translations are mainly from English and French respectively, English being the second language in Saudi Arabia and French the language of the previous colonisers in Tunisia. Differences are acute even within the same country. Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Egypt, where various religious groups cohabit, present a mosaic of micro-cultures within the same cultural community. The literature presented to Christian minorities in these countries differs greatly in theme and register from that presented to the Muslim majority.

Different religions embrace different concepts of children and childhood. Undoubtedly, all religions have developed a certain notion of "child". Islam's concept of childhood is eloquently expressed in the prophet Muhammad's words: Play with your children during seven years, educate them during seven years, befriend them during seven years, then let them do what they like (translation mine). This shows clearly that Islam has recognised childhood a long time ago by recognising children's right to play. Since then, it has been widely agreed throughout the Arab world that children have wider capacities of learning when playing and that teachings will be better assimilated by children when presented in a playful form; hence the moralising tone that permeates children's literature in the Arab world. It is morality presented within a story.

The story frame in the Koran

The Koran relies heavily on the story frame. Numerous are the stories within the Koran that depict the struggle between good and evil. A moral always emanates from such stories. The stories in the Koran have all the constituent parts of a normal story or tale: characters, plot, setting, climax and denouement (Bakri Sheikh Amin 221).

The story pattern in the Koran was helpful to children's writers in that it provided a model for authors to follow in two ways. First, most of the stories mentioned in the Koran have been rewritten for children in a language and style judged fit for them. Second, most of the literature written for children in the Arab world is what we might label morality tales; most of the stories display a struggle between good and evil and there is always a moral in the story. It is made clear in the Koran through frequent repetition that Enjoining what is right, Forbidding what is wrong, And believing in Allah is a basic tenet of Islamic thought and theology (The Koran, Surat l-i-'Imrn, verse 110 pp. 173). A great part of children's literature in the Arabic and Islamic world is a response to this call; hence the dominance of morality in children's literature.

Ideology in Arab children's literature

Maria Nikolajeva argues that "children's literature has from the very beginning been related to pedagogics" and that children's literature has always been considered as "a powerful means for educating children" (3). Going through Al-Hajji's bibliographical guide, we find that children's literature in the Arab World is ideologically biased and has didactic tendencies. Titles like The Champions of October, Days in the Life of the Leader Saddam, Arab Days, Arab Tales and Umar Al-Mokhtar, The Beneficial Stories , Stories Loved by Everyone , Moral Stories , Morality Tales, and The Best Stories are common.

There is a tendency to make children aware of the political and military challenges that face the Arab Nation. Historical fiction is a major part of the literature written for Arab children. This genre has political themes like commemorating the glorious Arab past with stories about heroic Arab figures, just caliphs, major Islamic conquests and, more recently, victorious Arab wars. We also find children's literature about local political leaders like presidents and kings. This strong political trend in children's literature in the Arab world could, understandably, be explained by the tumultuous political events the region has experienced and the challenges the Arab countries have had to face. Moreover, children's literature in the Arab world is a powerful political propaganda tool in the hands of politicians and decision-makers.

Researchers in the field of Arab children's literature always define it in terms of its function, i.e. the sociology of children's literature in the Arab world (Mdallel 300, Kadiri 18, Halawa 122-129). One basic function on which all critics of children's literature agree is the spreading of Islamic moral values. Many writers for children in the Arab world see spreading Islamic moral values as the main purpose of the literature they are writing, according to the Arab scholar Aziza Manaa in a study published in 2001 (202). Religious, moral and political values are very important in Arab and Israeli children's literature.

In this the Islamic world and the state of Israel, two areas where religion plays a preponderant role at both political and social levels, stand in contrast to the secular Christian West. 12,323 books have been produced for Arab children, 9,300 fiction titles and 3023 non-fiction titles (Mdallel 300). More than 25% of the total number of books labelled as fiction have a direct religious theme relating either to the prophet himself or to his companions (see the above mentioned table). Much of the literature which has no direct religious theme has morality as its main theme.

One of the reasons behind the persistence of morality in Arab children's literature is the fact that having such a moral value confers legitimacy and maybe canonicity on a literature which is still seeking legitimacy and has long been the stigma of literary shame, being considered a simplistic literary genre which is not even worth its name. The figures show that 1,457 publications (11.80%) of the 12,323 books published have explicit religious themes like the prophet Muhammad's life, tradition, and deeds (Mdallel 300). Other publications relate to other prophets acknowledged by Islam such as Moses and Jesus. In the category of nonfiction, we find other publications about Islam that teach Arab children how ideal Muslims should behave. Of the total number of publications, 956 (7.75%) are historical fiction and have generally religious or national themes, since they tell about outstanding Islamic figures, such as the prophet Muhammad's companions and the heroes of the Islamic conquest like Khalid ibn al-Walid, Ubeida ibn al-Jarrah, Ali ibn Abi Talib and many others. Nine biographies tell about Saladdin and his war against the crusaders. There are also books about other figures, such as Umar ibn al-Khattab, the second of the Caliphs, under whose reign Islam was taken to faraway countries and the Islamic empire was made larger than ever before.

There is a major concern in the Arab world, and more specifically in the countries whose lands are being directly occupied by Israel or the United States, to create a resistance culture among the young. Hence, children's literature plays a major role in the political socialisation of children.

Steel Aircraft and Paper Aircraft (Yassine rifaiya) is a children's book I came across recently which displays a clear ideological concern about the Arab/Israeli conflict and is representative of the available literature. In this story, Tarik, a young boy, asks his father why are these aircraft raiding and destroying our village?" The father answers These are our enemy's aircraft. They are bombing us because they think that we are giving shelter and refuge to the militants. Tarik asks Who are these militants, father? The father answers the militants are our brothers... and we help them because they are defending our land too. (translation mine) (Rifayia 1-2). The story goes on and the child asks his father Why don't we fight this enemy? The father answers: We are fighting him with all we can and he is fighting us with the help of the most powerful country in the world (ibid.).

Historical fiction is another genre directly linked to religious and national themes. This concern with celebrating the glorious Arab past and heroic Arab figures, along with the moralising tone that permeates most of Arab children's literature, is a reaction to the frustration in the Arab world due to the Middle East conflict and the marginal role Arabs play on the international scene.

Asma Abou Gharib (2002) discovered in her comparative study of Israeli and Egyptian literature for children that in both there was a basic system of values promoted to varying degrees. While political values have a recurrence rate of 50.19% in Israeli children's literature, their rate of recurrence in Egyptian children's literature is 26%. Religious values have almost the same recurrence rate, with 2.79% in Israeli and 2.43% in Egyptian children's literature. Individual values have the highest recurrence rate in Egyptian children's literature, with 32.16%, while the same value has a recurrence rate of 21.98% in Israeli children's literature (Abou Gharib 103). I think that these differences are due to the different dialogical contexts surrounding the literature. High on the list of the elements making up the dialogics of every context is the political agenda in each country.

Modern children's literature in Arab World

Children's literature in the Arab World is not exclusively impregnated with morality, ideology and didacticism. Indeed, there are also those who defend a child's right to read for mere pleasure. Faiza Nawar in her article "Imagination in children's Fiction" (published in Arabic), brings to the fore the role of the imagination in the development of child psychology (34-35). An illustrator of children's literature who works in various Arab countries, Nawar laments the lack of the imagination, due to "the multiple taboos and the traditional educational and religious concerns" that govern writing for children in the Arab world (24). The corpus for her study was the Arabic translation of Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. She was highly critical of Abdel Tawwab Youssef's comments in the introduction to the translation of Sendak's book: "Who bought the wolf disguise for that child? Who let him make such mistakes? How come that a mother says a word like 'wild'? How can a writer have a child tell his mother 'I'll eat you up', and then the word 'Wild' should never have been mentioned'' (Nawar 25).

In the same vein, a great many books have been written for children to give them pleasure, like the various stories from The Thousand and One Nights such as Sinbad's travels, where the focus is on adventure. The Arab bookshelf for children contains series like The Entertaining Stories , whose main aim is, as the title shows, to entertain. As a whole, we can find a great many adventure books among the literature written for the Arab children. This is shown in the third volume of al-Hajji's Bibliographical Guide where there are, for example, more than twelve series of adventure books listed.

Adventures and comic stories form a major part of the literature presented to Arab children. Most of the literature translated for children in the Arab world falls within this category, as do most of the international classics for children. This trend is, at present, becoming stronger. A new wave of writers is emerging and they support the idea that children should be able to read for mere pleasure. Many series recently written for children are in line with this approach called for by Nawar and others. Such stories include Birds are Dreaming ( Ahlamu Al-assafir ), The Little Roses ( Al-wurudu As-saghira ), The Misers ( Al-Bukhala ), The Adventures of Saad ( Hikayatu Saad ) and many others (all translations mine).

Modern literature for children in the West displays a great variety of genres and themes, because it is the offspring of a dialogic situation characterised by its liberalism, where the rights of minorities such as homosexuals and ethnic groups are recognised and where problems are generally dealt with rather than ignored. New artistic trends are easily accepted within such societies due to their liberalism. Most Western societies (with the notable exception of the United States) also rely heavily on translations to produce books for their children. In Finland, 80% of the books presented to Finnish children are translations (Oittinen xiii). Translation allows a great openness to the other and the acceptance of other literary genres and themes. Problem-solving literature for children dealing with drug addiction, juvenile pregnancy, divorce, death of a family member, ugliness, etc., topics so popular in the United States (Nikolajeva 3), is not popular in Arab societies, although it might be welcomed by some liberal families. Carnivalesque literature, where the teacher figure is mocked, as in Morris Gleitzman's Sticky Beak (1993), has little chance of being translated into Arabic. "In Sweden, where sex education begins in nursery school and where masturbation and homosexuality are frequent topics in the magazine Kamratposten read by elementary school children, there is nothing extraordinary or controversial in similar books" (Nikolajeva 31). Such a magazine would never be published in Arab Islamic societies (al-Hajji's Bibliographical Guide, does not include one such book). Similarly, books like Aidan Chamber's Dance on My Grave or Lesléa Norman's Heather Has Two Mommies dealing with taboo subjects like homosexuality, present but controversial in the West, are inconceivable in the Islamic world, not because such problems are alien to Islamic societies but because it is believed that talking openly about such problems in children's literature is far more harmful than beneficial, and it is believed children should be spared such problems.

Although children's literature has long been imbued with ideology and didacticism, there has also been a great interest in writing a literature for children that they could read for mere pleasure. This tendency is becoming stronger in recent years. However, I allow that children's literature will remain permeated with ideology, didactics and morality because it is a true reflection of Arab societies, which are facing so many challenges and there is a sound conviction that children should not be spared such challenges since they will be the future decision-makers.

 

Works Cited

Abu Nasr, Julinda. The Arab World. In The International Companion Encyclopaedia of Children's Literature . Eds. Peter Hunt &Sheila Ray. London: Routledge, 1996. 789-794.

Al-Hajji, Faissal Abdallah. al-Dalil al-Biblioghrafi Likitab at-Tifl al-'Arabi ( Bibliographical Guide to Arab Children's Books ). Sharjah:Dairatu al - Thakafa wal-I'ala, 1990.

______ al-Dalil al-Biblioghrafi Likitab at-Tifl al-'Arabi ( Bibliographical Guide to Arab Children's Books ). Sharjah: Da'iratu al-Thakafawal-I'alam , 1995.

_______ al-Dalil al-Biblioghrafi Likitab at-Tifl al-'Arabi ( Bibliographical Guide to Arab Children's Books ). Sharjah: Da'iratu al-Thakafa wal-I'alam, 1999.

Bakhtin, M.M. The Dialogic Imagination . Austin: University of Texas Press, 1981.

Bakri, Sheikh Amin. i ( Figures of Style in the Koran ). Beirut and Cairo: Dar Ach-uruk, 1976

Dupont, Pol &Ossandon, Marcelo. Théorie du Capital Humain et Education dans les Pays en Voie de Développement . Mons: Presses Universitaires de Mons, 1991.

Eliade, Mircea. Aspects du Mythe . Gallimard, 1963.

Gharib-Bayoumi, Asma. At-tarbia As-siassia fi Adab At-tifl . ( Political Socialisation in Children's Literature ). Cairo: Arab Civilization Center, 2002.

Halawa, Mohammad Sayid. Kutub wa Maktabatu Al-atfal ( Children's Books and Libraries ). Alexandria: Horus International, 2000.

Holy Koran, The. English Translation of The Meanings and Commentary. Revised and Edited by the Presidency of Islamic Researches, Ifta, Call and Guidance. King Fahd Holy Koran Complex. 1410 H.

Hunt, Peter. An Introduction to Children's Literature . Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.

Jobe, Ronald. Translation. In The International Companion Encyclopaedia of Children's Literature . Eds. Peter Hunt &Sheila Ray. London: Routledge, 1996. 519-529.

Jouili, Mohamed. Anthrupulugia al-Hikaya ( Anthropology of Tales ). Tunis: Imprimerie Tunis Carthage, 2002.

Kadiri, Mamduh. Adab At-tifl Al-arabi: baina al-waqia wal-mustaqbal ( Arab Children's Literature: the present and the future ). Cairo: Marqaz Al-hadara Al-arabia, 1999.

Klein, Gillian. Reading into Racism: Bias in Children's Literature and Learning Materials . London: Routledge. 1985.

Labadi Wasfi, Nizar. Adab At-tufula wakii wa Afak ( Children's Literature: Present and Future ). Al-Ain (UAE): Dar Al-Kitab Ak-Jamii. 2001.

Manaa, Aziza. al-Adab al-Mutarjam li-Tifl: dirasa tahlilia lil-Madhmun at-tarbawi ("Translated Literature for Children: An Analytical Study of the Educational Content"). Arab Journal of Education 21: 2 (2001): 201-226.

Mdallel, Sabeur. Translating Children's Literature in the Arab World: The State of The Art. Meta 48: 1-2 (2003): 298-306.

Nawar, Faiza. al- Khayal fi Qisas al-Atfal ( Imagination in Children's Literature ). Khatwa 11 (2001).

Nikolajeva, Maria. Children's Literature Comes of Age: Toward a New Aesthetic . New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1996.

Oittinen, Riitta. Translating for Children . New York and London: Garland Publishing, 2000.

Rifayia, Yassine. Tairat min Waraq wa Tairat min Fuladh ( Paper Aircraft and Steel Aircraft ). Beirut and Tunis: Dar Al Masira, 1990.

Szumsky, Brian E. "The House That Jack Built: Empire and Ideology in Nineteenth-Century British Versions of 'Jack and the Beanstalk' . Marvels and Tales . 13: 11 (1999): 11-29.

Thomson-Wohlgemuth, Gabrielle. "Children's Literature and Translation under the East German Regime." Meta 48: 1-2 (2003): 241-249.

See Routh, Jane and Wolff Janet eds. "The Sociology of Literature: Theoretical Approaches". Sociological Review Monograph 25. University of Keele, 1977.

 

For more information see Mdallel, Sabeur. Translating Children's Literature in the Arab World: The State of The Art. Meta 48: 1-2 (2003): 298-306.

For further details about children's literature and didacticism in the Arab World also see Inani, H. Adab Et-tifl ( Children's Literature ). Amman: Dar Al-Fikr. 1999.


Sabeur Mdallel


Volume 8, Issue 2 The Looking Glass,April, 2004

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The Looking Glass: new perspectives on children's literature

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