The article proceeds from the finding that there has been an increasingly clean- -cut endeavour on the part of the Czechoslovak Marxist pedagogy to solve the fundamental problems of didactics of individual subjects on the curricula with solid methodological supports, by means of which the Marxist methodology and the whole society’s interest in the cultural development of children make themselves felt also in the case of literary education. Where these basis supports are missing, the theory of literary education and children’s reading necessarily remains full of gaps; moreover, it is incapable of dealing with theoretical problems, of forming an integrated conception, and of fully analysing the basic problems of literary education in all their social width. An example of such methodological limitations can be provided by the didactics of literary education and the theory of children’s reading in a number of Western countries; some works from the German-speaking and English-speaking countries are examined in detail. As regards thi didactics of literary education and the theories of children’s reading written in German (the Federal Republic of Germany, Austria, partly Switzerland) the author first recalls their historical traditions, dating from the works by Wolgast and Rüttgers, and then he mentions a number of recent works, e. g. those of Ulshöfer, Nentwig, Helmers and others. He points out that most of these works are devoted to a very careful, detailed analysis of individual partial didactic media, methods and curriculum contents for various age-groups and the like, but they mostly lack a unifying conception of outlook and do not deal with the fundamental problems of the significance of literary education for the development of man, democratisation and popularity of literary education and the like, in other words, they by-pass the very questions which serve as starting points for the aim of the didactics of literary education. In a way, the author considers as exceptional the works by R. Bamberger, who, within the scope of the given possibilities, is striving for such integrity and finds good solutions, particularly to the relationship of classroom literary education and the children’s own activity in reading. But here, too, the interest in questions of principle is limited by methodological and social conditions under which the scholar works. As regards the relevant literature of the English-speaking countries (the U. S. A., Britain) the author points to considerable pragmatism and utilitarianism developing Dewey’s tradition of experience-led approach to literature; this goes especially for American authors. Referring to some works from the field of psychology and sociology of literary education and research on children’s reading, the author points out that objectively correct data are often misinterpreted, e. g. in the question of children’s aesthetic relations. Next he pays attention to the fairly extensive literature of the so-called booklists and commented surveys of children’s books (e. g. the works of Ms. Eakin, Ms. Frank, Ms. Eaton and others) most of which are without any theoretical starting points whatsoever and are written in a utilitarian way, as the author demonstrates in detail reviewing the book by M. Fischer. In the concluding part of the article the author states that the principal shortcomings in most the Western works are the vague and controversial methodological starting points or simply detailism and practicality from which conceptual methodological starting points are absent. The didactics of literary education and children’s reading in the Socialist countries have, in comparison with Western works, considerably more clearly defined possibilities in the clarity of Marxist methodological starting points, which in recent years has been distinctly reflected e. g. in some new works by Soviet authors (H. Polozovova, I. Motyeshov and others) or Polish ones (W. Goriszowski, A. Kłosowska). Dealing with Czechoslovak works the author states that they have not always succeeded in giving a Marxist evaluation of some findings in the Western works, either accepting them uncritically or rejecting even those which, given a correct analysis, might have been a positive contribution, e. g. partial didactic findings of the works of the German language area or findings concerning the small children’s interest in reading in the English language area.