This book introduces students to the unique challenges of working with children's literature, updated for this new edition. Unlike the rigidly chronological approach of many introductions to children's literature, the genre-based approach of this volume ensures that all the principal genres are covered in detail. These include fables, fantasy, adventure stories, moral tales, family stories, school stories and children's poetry. This edition includes, additionally, coverage of illustrated and picture books. Grenby shows how these forms have evolved over three hundred years and explores the continuing popularity of these specific genres for children's books. It offers extensive coverage across genres, continents and periods. It has coverage of theory, including: definition, dual audience, canonicity, the relationship between text and image, 'childist criticism' and 'crossreading'. It links close readings of texts with the context of their original production and reception. It offers an extensive bibliography, including internet resources for rare and out-of-print primary texts.