K.V. Johansen Author of Fantasy and Children's Literature
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Quests and Kingdoms

~~ Reviews ~~

'...a fascinating overview of children's fantasy literature... This is a must-dip-into reference book for fantasy lovers but would prove useful to those who know little about the genre and are needing to recommend fantasy writers to both children and adults. It could also prove useful to older pupils who are studying fantasy in their English courses.'
-School Librarian journal, V.54,№4, Winter 2006

'....exceptionally well written and recommended for its relevance for teachers and or parents...'
- Midwest Book Review March 2006

'... this is not only a fine reference tool but a finely-written book...This is u
ndoubtedly a seminal work guaranteed to stimulate discussion on children's literature... Books in Canada Jan/Feb 2006

'This is a book that does exactly what it says on the tin – and then more...Tolkien is seen as so pivotal in the development of the genre that he gets a thoughtful and well researched chapter all to himself...a helpful guide to content... Her book could be a real help to the adults seeking to guide [children] into this marvellous world.'
-Amon Hen (Bulletin of the Tolkien Society),
Issue 196.

'What truly amazes, though, is Johansen's reliability and depth of knowledge...and her accuracy with facts...The sheer volume of knowledge on display here could earn Johansen honors for scholarship. This is a truly useful reference book...'
(Bulletin of the Mythopoeic Society) Nov. 2005.

'In an engaging and highly readable style, Johansen’s enthusiasm and knowledge for her subject captivates her reader... Quests and Kingdoms is an informed and informative work highly recommended for reader’s advisory, teachers of language arts and fantasy collections.'
-CM Magazine (Volume XII Number 2, Sept 16 2005)

'Collection builders in a public or school library will find this a useful checklist of what should be there (or what, if it's not there, is not there for very sound reasons). ... for new readers this will excite and identify things to read, and for readers familiar with the field, it will challenge, occasionally irritate, and encourage re-reading.'
-Children's Books History Society Newsletter No. 83, December 2005

“…a valuable reference resource to librarians, education professionals and graduate students in the field of children’s and adolescent literature.”
Resource Links, Volume 11 Number 2, December 2005

Fantasy has become an increasingly popular genre of children's literature in recent years, but teachers, parents, or librarians who do not read much fantasy themselves can feel a bit overwhelmed when looking for something to recommend to a young reader who has finished the latest book by Rowling or Jacques. Quests and Kingdoms provides a basis from which an adult unfamiliar with the genre of children's fantasy literature may explore it. Quests is an historical survey for the interested general reader, which will be of great practical value to library and education professionals as well. Though the aim is to give adults concerned with bringing children (or teens) and books together a familiarity with the children's fantasy genre and its history, for those who already know and love the classics of children's fantasy Quests will be an introduction to works and authors they may have missed.
     Taking a chronological approach, Quests begins with the fairy-tale collections of d'Aulnoy, Perrault, and the Grimms and works its way up to the novels of J.K. Rowling and Garth Nix, covering over three centuries of fantasy read by children. The lives of 95 authors are looked at and placed in historical context, while their works are introduced through both synopses and analysis. Quests also includes chapters on Tolkien, retellings of traditional stories, and King Arthur and Robin Hood. More than 500 works are discussed, and the thorough index makes the book a practical reference resource as well as a history and an introduction to the best in the genre.

~~ Reviews ~~

‘Johansen brings a scholar's erudition and a child's delight to the field of children's fantasy. Her thoughtful survey elevates fantasy from guilty pleasure to moral education, and reveals it to be not a recent marketing-driven fad, but an ancient and unbreakable strand of human creativity. If you know nothing about the genre, this book will turn you into an aficionado; if you think you've read everything, you'll find new gems here, and old ones glowing with a new light. For teachers, parents, anyone who wants to uncover the wonder of reading, Quests and Kingdoms is a pirate's treasure map.’ -Tristanne J. Connolly, St. Jerome's University

Quests and Kingdoms: A Grown-Up's Guide to Children's Fantasy Literature

Nominated for the
2006 Harvey Darton Award

Quests and Kingdoms:
A Grown-Up's Guide to
Children's Fantasy Literature

by K.V. Johansen
July 2005
ISBN 0968802443
[ISBN-13: 978-0-9688024-4-1]
Trade paperback

Suggested retail price:

$30.00(US) • £20.00(UK)
$37.00 (Can) • €28.00 (EU)

Distributed by Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Gardners, and Bertram

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~~ Reviews ~~

'a lively, thoughtful read, and a useful reference volume' - Terri Windling

‘Here is a magical thing, a reference book with a heart and soul. Brimming over with ideas, as well as facts and figures, the writing is elegant and the author's enthusiasm contagious. Here, too, a noble defence of fantasy and its literary value.’ -
O.R. Melling