The Economics of Children’s Book Publishing in the 21st Century

Authored by: Joel Taxel

Handbook of Research on Children’s and Young Adult Literature

Print publication date:  October  2010
Online publication date:  April  2011

Print ISBN: 9780415965057
eBook ISBN: 9780203843543
Adobe ISBN: 9781136913570

10.4324/9780203843543.ch35

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Abstract

Joel Taxel has long been for looking at children’s literature with a critical eye—an eye keen to discern the subtle and not-so-subtle issues surrounding multiculturalism in children’s literature. More recently, he has turned his gaze to the globalization of children’s literature, questioning the combination of conglomerates and commercialization in literature for the young. From Harry Potter promoting Coca-Cola to Madonna’s foray into the children’s book world, Taxel reveals the merchandizing emphasis on controlling consumption from birth to the beyond, with less focus on the aesthetic quality of texts than on the bottom line. Still, Taxel argues that it would be “an error to examine cultural phenomena without reference to human agency.” A number of editors and publishers are devoted to producing books of “breathtaking quality” with new and challenging visions for children, and children, who can be quite discerning themselves, are eager to take them up.

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