In this book, members of the ChiLPA Project explore the children's literature of several different cultures, ranging from ancient India, nineteenth century Russia, and the Soviet Union, to twentieth century Britain, America, Australia, Sweden, and Finland. The research covers not only the form and content of books for children, but also their potential social functions, especially within education. These two perspectives are brought together within a theory of children's literature as one among other forms of communication, an approach that sees the role of literary scholars, critics and teachers as one of mediation. Part I deals with the way children's writers and picturebook-makers draw on a culture's available resources of orality, literacy, intertextuality, and image. Part II examines their negotiation of major issues such as the child adult distinction, gender, politics, and the Holocaust. Part III discusses children's books as used within language education programmes, with particular attention to young readers' pragmatic processing of differences between the context of writing and their own context of reading.