Objective: This article reflects on what teachers do when they recommend and prescribe works of literature to their students. It also examines how recommendation and prescription are important in children's literary education. Methodology: The article reviews the research on language and literature education and examines particular classroom scenarios that explain why teachers choose certain roles over other when they recommend and prescribe works of literature. Results: In recent years, the most important progress in language and literature education has been tied to redeflning teachers' roles and the objectives of education as these relate to children's acquisition of literary reading skills. In this context, teacher education programmes need to be revised in order to equip teachers with a "literary canon" that helps them address their task effectively.