Literature is a part of artwork that gives human being a pleasure of playing with imagination. It’s closely associated with thoughts, feelings, and experiences, in which are important for the growth of one’s cognitive, intrapersonal, and social. In cognitive aspect, literature is strongly related in shaping a person mind-set as well as building the ability of critical thinking. Literature introduces various kinds of characters in life that will affect an individual to develop their own character. In line with intrapersonal, literature could be a media for individual to recognize norms of a society since literature is the projection of life.
Those three aspects are very beneficial if implemented in children education. It is proven from countries such as US and Japan that have been implementing literature into their school curriculum for years. Kinds of literary works that could be implemented into everyday teaching learning process are various. For example songs, poems, prose, short stories, picture books and novels. The one being main concern of Indonesian government is printed literary works. Even though Indonesia in fact is quite late in applying literature in children education and that making Indonesia has low interest in reading, the government lately has been trying to implementing literature in the education system. This can be seen from government policies that require students to read books for fifteen minutes every day before the teaching and learning process begins.
In Indonesia there are several children literature authors that have amazing works for children to read. Murti Bunanta with her Si Bungsu Katka, The Tiny Boys and Other Tales from Indonesia, and etc. She wrote her books in a way that it is easy yet so fun but still full of values and knowledge for children to enjoy and of course to learn. Various values could be taken from Bunanta’s books such as being independent; being honest; and working hard and for knowledge, Bunanta’s book is a retell from Indonesian tales, children could learn about Indonesian culture through the books. Another name is Bung Smas, who made books for children that more advanced in reading, and most of his book have the genre of mystery. His famous works are Noni the Series and Pulung the Series. Through his book, children are given the media for exploring their minds and also emotions such as happiness; sadness; grief; and lost. Those books have been the go to for teachers to engage elementary students to read.
Children have a very different world from adults. The world of children is very close to the world of imagination. Imagination for children means exploring and also understanding the reality of individual existence, and surroundings. Encouraging children to explore their imagination is needed to stimulate their mindsets in order for them to reach their maximum potential. The role of literature through literary works becomes necessary since it is proven to be able to give children the media for them building and developing their imagination.