Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy ETDs

Publication Date



The purpose of this study was to identify and analyze the books in children's literature written by New Mexico writers. Major emphasis was given to those books published from 1950 to 1970. The study identified only the New Mexico writers of children's books who claimed the state as their place of residence while writing their books. The study identified and analyzed those books which an elementary school child would enjoy. Initially the study began by identifying New Mexico writers of books for children from lists of New Mexico writers which contained writers of both adult and children's literature. The lists were prepared by resource people in the state. A review of literature about the Southwest in general provided the background of literature about New Mexico in particular. A comparative study of authoritative sources provided the criteria for categorizing books by New Mexico writers. Books pertaining to the cultural groups of New Mexico were categorized under their respective groups. Books of realism containing factual information were carried forward to books of information in annotated tables following the specific category to which each was related. Each book in the study was reviewed and analyzed pertinent to classifying it in its correct category. In the first analysis the study has revealed that more books of realism have been written than books of information. More books pertained to the Indian culture than to either the Anglo or the Hispano cultures. Most of the cultural books showed a sincere attempt to interpret the present day problems of the group about which the story is concerned. Books for early childhood brought out the originality and variety of a rich era of picture books in New Mexico. Subjects of high interest were used in most of the books which revealed that New Mexico writers were aware of the interests of children paralleling adult interests and paralleling national trends. The only area not covered by the study was published volumes of poetry. Much poetry has been written but as yet the poetry has not been collected and put into permanent books for children. Books of information revealed that most categories of non-fiction for children were represented with books by New Mexico writers although very few books appeared in any one category. From the study it can be concluded that many fine books have been written by New Mexico writers which provide enrichment for specific areas of study. Most of the books provide interesting and worthwhile leisure time reading for children. It can also be concluded that the study developed the first known historical record of all types of books written with children in mind by New Mexico writers only. The study recorded what many authoritative sources have written concerning specific books in the study. The study revealed the trend that books for children have taken from the time the first book was published in 1891. The study incorporated anecdotal facts relative to the books for children written by New Mexico writers. The growth in the number of books written and published from 1950 to 1970 emphasized the importance or recording the books for children by New Mexico writers. The study also emphasized the necessity of keeping the record updated if the historical record of children's books is to be preserved for posterity.

Document Type




Degree Name

Elementary Education

Level of Degree


First Committee Member (Chair)

Laura Helen Walters

Second Committee Member

Miles Vernon Zintz

Third Committee Member

Harold Dean Drummond