Aesthetics Of Children’s Literature In Nigeria

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Aesthetics Of Children’s Literature In Nigeria


This study examines the aesthetic components in Children’s literature in Nigeria using the works of Fatima Akilu, Yusuf Adamu, Ayodele Olofintuade, Lola Shoneyin, and A. O Oyekanmi‟. The research aims at showing that Children‟s literature in Nigeria can be viewed from an angle beyond that of morality and psychology. Thus using the qualitative research method of gathering information, this study portends that the generic marker for Children’s literature is not necessarily its social and cultural appeal, but its peculiar features which include the use of language, illustrations and also the styles inherent.

While many scholars, have been more preoccupied with the content and information gained from Children’s literature, this study by using the formalist literary theory, focuses majorly on the text, that is, the beauty of the text, especially how writers have been able to combine words to make meaning. To this end, this study observes the relationship between illustration and text with a view to showcasing how these combined components enhance the story. The study further investigates the use of language and animal images in Children’s literature in the works of to enumerate the various styles that form the aesthetic components of Children’s literature. Its findings reveal that Children’s literature becomes more interesting and appealing if its aesthetic elements are appreciated and appropriated.

Chapter One


1.1 Background Of The Study

Many writers of Children‟s literature have emerged from Nigeria since the 1960s. Before venturing into the historical development of Children‟s literature in Nigeria, it is pertinent to go back to the colonial period. This is because colonialism, to a large extent affected the Nigerian society and is considered one of the factors that contributed to the literary development of literature in Nigeria. During the colonial period, the colonial masters embarked on the importation of European books, which in reality was to help propagate and impose their cultural imperialism and propaganda on the people of Nigeria.

To this end, before Nigerian children read books written by Nigerians, they had read the classics of Europe; the famous folktales and fairytales collected and popularized by the German academic, Enid Blyton books and so many other books from Europe. These books portrayed the culture and life of Europeans. None reflected the Nigerian culture and tradition. Osa (1984), observes that: this situation soon changed with the attainment of independence in 1960. The culture of writing serious literature began in earnest. Expectations became high in terms of the creation of qualitative children’s books. More attention was paid to relevant culture content that would help in the nurture, education and entertainment of the Nigerian child. The spirit of independence was pervasive and writers were not left out in the quest for excellence in cultural production.

Aesthetics Of Children’s Literature In Nigeria

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