n Mousaion - The same, but with a difference : South African children's literature in relation to Australian and Canadian children's literature




In this exploratory article attention is paid to noticeable similarities between South African, Canadian and Australian children's literature. Because children's literature, like all literature, can be seen as a mirror of the cultural history and social situation in a country, similarities in the children's literature of these three former British colonies are to be expected. Aspects that will be referred to are the influence of, and relationship to, Britain, the 'mother country'; the landscape; former disposition towards the rural and more recent dealing with urbanisation; the indigenous populations; the use of languages; socio-economic issues and the place of the local children's literature within the global picture. In spite of these similar elements in the respective literatures, they also have unique characteristics that distinguish them from the other. One of the aspects that makes South African children's literature unique is the dealing with (or failing to deal with) apartheid in books for children. This issue is dealt with in the last section of the article.


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