Babcock University Journal of Education: ISSN: 1596-8823-0

Trends in Nigerian Children’s Literature

Authors: Balogun Olayinka M,

Pages: (72-89 )


The history of Nigerian children’s literature in English dates back to the beginning of written literature in English within the nation. Starting off with much enthusiasm in the 1960s, its publishing and criticism seem to ebb in the mid-1980s to the late-1990s. However, the 21st century has brought a new lease of life into its publishing and criticism within the nation and the global space at large. Deploying the historicist model, this study charts the growth of the genre, through a qualitative study of selected literary texts. It examines the temper of the authors and how changes in their thematic focus allow for a periodisation of the genre. Other factors that contribute towards its development and global reach are also examined. The study reveals that since its inspection,Nigerian children’s literature has evolved over four periods, which are; pre-independence, post-civil war, middle era and contemporary writings. It shows that the genre just like its adult counterpart is a tapestry of the socio-political landscape of the nation. The paper concludes, that Nigerian children’s literature has matured into a recognisable genre, as there has been considerable achievement in its development. Nevertheless, publishers, critics, literary writers and enthusiasts should not rest on their oars to ensure the sustained growth of this important literary genre.


Keywords: Nigerian children’s literature, growth, history, periodisation,

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