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Some of the most innovative and spell-binding literature has been written for young people, but only recently has academic study embraced its range and complexity. This Companion offers a state-of-the-subject survey of English-language children's literature from the seventeenth century to the present. With discussions ranging from eighteenth-century moral tales to modern fantasies by J. K. Rowling and Philip Pullman, the Companion illuminates acknowledged classics and many more neglected works. Its unique structure means that equal consideration can be given to both texts and contexts. Some chapters analyse key themes and major genres, including humour, poetry, school stories, and picture books. Others explore the sociological dimensions of children's literature and the impact of publishing practices. Written by leading scholars from around the world, this Companion will be essential reading for all students and scholars of children's literature, offering original readings and new research that reflects the latest developments in the field.