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2019 | 9 | 75–85

Article title

What to Play and How to Play in the 21st Century? Diagnoses and Prescriptions in Contemporary Polish Children’s Literature



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The paper presents the results of the analysis of about a hundred Polish books for younger children (3–10 year-olds) written in the 21st century. During the research special attention was paid to the depiction of children’s play in the analysed literature. The author compared the character of play in Polish children’s classics (M. Konopnicka, M. Kownacka, Cz. Janczarski) with recent stories and novels (written by G. Kasdepke, R. Jędrzejewska-Wróbel, R. Witek, A. Tyszka and others). Some sociological research is referenced in order to assess whether writers present actual situations of play (diagnostic) or try to influence play by giving advice on how to play and what to play (prescriptive). The main conclusions of the research are: in contemporary literature for young readers, children’s play is not presented as often as it was in the previous century; children characters need adults’ help, advice or company to play, they rarely play outside with their friends without adult supervision. Instead, children’s play now often takes place in cyberspace and kids become addicted to their computers and other electronic devices; children are often bored and expect help in finding interesting and involving forms of play.







Physical description


  • Jesuit University Ignatianum in Kraków


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