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Barbara Kiefer

Faculty Emeritus, Department of Teaching and Learning

Program Areas:

  • Reading and Literacy in Early and Middle Childhood Education
  • Literature for Children and Young Adults


Barbara Kiefer is the Charlotte S. Huck Professor of Children's Literature at The Ohio State University. She was formerly Robinson Professor of Children's Literature at Teachers College, Columbia University. Originally trained in art education, she taught grades one, two, four, and five in several regions of the U.S and in overseas schools. She served as the elected chair of the year 2000 Caldecott Award Committee of the American Library Association and was a member of the 1988 Caldecott Award Committee. She has also served as chair of the Elementary Section Committee of the National Council of Teachers of English and as a member of the NCTE Executive Board. She is currently a co-editor of Language Arts, a journal of the NCTE. She chaired the NCTE/CLA Notable Trade Books in the Language Arts Committee and the Children's Book Council/ International Reading Association Joint Committee which oversees the IRA Children's Choices project. She has published numerous articles and book chapters about reading and children's literature and is author of The Potential of Picturebooks: From Visual Literacy to Aesthetic Understanding, and the co-author of the books An Integrated Language Perspective in the Elementary School: Theory Into Action, with Christine Pappas and Linda Levstik, and the Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Editions of Children's Literature in the Elementary School, with Charlotte Huck, Susan Hepler, and Janet Hickman.

Selected Publications

  • Kiefer, B. with S.Hepler and J. Hickman. (2007) Charlotte Huck's Children's Literature, 9th Edition. New York, McGraw-Hill.
  • Pappas, C., Kiefer, B., & Levstik, L. (2006). An integrated language perspective in the elementary school: Theory into action, 4th, edition. New York: Longman Inc.
  • Kiefer B. Z. (1995). The potential of picture books: From visual literacy to aesthetic understanding. Columbus, OH: Merrill/Prentice Hall.
  • Kiefer, Barbara. (In Press) The current state of picture books: What's new, what works? In S. Lehr (Ed.), Trends, issues and controversies in children's literature. Needham, MA: Christopher Gordon.
  • Kiefer, Barbara. (In Press) Reading the art of the picturebook. In Flood, J., Heath, S. and Lapp, D. (Eds ) Handbook of research on teaching literacy through communicative and visual arts. Mahwah, NJ, Laurence Erlbaum.
  • Kiefer, B. ( 2004) Preparing teachers to know and love children's literature. Slater, W. H., Saracho, O. N., & Spodek, B. (Eds.) Language policy and early literacy education. Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishers.
  • Kiefer, B. (2003). Nonfiction literature to study the arts. In J. Kristo & R. Salesi, (Eds.) Nonfiction children's literature in the K-8 classroom.2nd Ed Needham, MA: Christopher Gordon Publishers.
  • Kiefer, B. (2002). Children's literature. In James W. Guthrie, (Ed.) Encyclopedia of education, Second edition. New York: Macmillan Reference, USA..
  • Kiefer, B. (2001). Books for the very young. In B. Cullinan and D. Person, (Eds.) Encyclopedia of children's literature. New York: Continuum Publishing.
  • Kiefer, B. Z., (2007). Profile: Kimberly Willis Holt. Language Arts 84(4)
  • Kiefer, B. Z., Price-Dennis D. & Ryan, C. (2006). Children's books in a multimodal age. Language Arts 84(1) 92-99
  • Kiefer, B. (2001), Understanding reading. School Library Journal, 47(2), 48-52.
  • Kiefer, B. Z., (2001), Inside picture books. Book Review. Teachers College Record, 103(1), 28-29.