View Book

Playful Texts and the Emergent Reader

ID: 2072 - View Book Page - Edit In OJS

This book is about playful texts – picturebooks and novels which play on words and/or images in the same way that children play in games of make-believe, transforming the everyday world of common sense meaning into a self-reflexive playworld which works to disclose, and subvert, the rules which sustain it. Taking their cues from the metacommunicative dimension of make-believe play, the texts employ transparent strategies which serve simultaneously to draw attention to the making of textual meaning and to disclose the processes by which those meanings are made. Playful texts specialise in multiple storylines, unreliable narrators, language play and visual games, parodies and nonsensical lists. We can therefore say that playful texts are essentially metafictive texts: texts which encourage young readers to reflect on the meaning-making procedures of narrative fiction. This process, it is argued, enhances cognitive development in a number of vital areas, especially in the area of metalinguistic awareness – the ability to identify and talk about the properties of language that is so critically important in the development of language and literacy skills.

Published: Jan 1, 2016

Book Contributors

Section Chapter Authors
List of figures Anne Plummer
Acknowledgements Anne Plummer
Chapter 1
Introduction Anne Plummer
Chapter 2
Make-believe play and the making of meaning Anne Plummer
Chapter 3
Language play and nonsense Anne Plummer
Chapter 4
Interacting with texts Anne Plummer
Chapter 5
Playful texts Anne Plummer
Chapter 6
Learning to look: reading playful texts with children Anne Plummer
End Matter
Bibliography Anne Plummer
Index Anne Plummer


This book succeeds by offering its readers an interesting account of why play and playful texts matter. In a world where schooled literacies are narrowing and where test stakes continue to rise, it is heartening to find an author who takes playfulness so seriously.
Children's Literature