Back in spring, I read some chapters from...
The International Handbook of Children's Media and Culture, Eds. Drotner and Livingstone. Sage, 2008.
"Harlequin Meets the SIMS: A History of Interactive Narrative Media for Children and Youth from Earily Flap Books to Contemporary Multimedia" by Jacqueline Reid-Walsh (71-86)
"Children and Media: A Cultural Studies Approach" by David Buckingham
The whole text is a combination of media theory and media effects research, with a special focus on non-US settings in later chapters.
Some quotes and ideas:
"...adults are wholly dependent upon children to secure the continuation of life..." (p. 9)
Geertz's definition of "culture"
"...system of inherited conceptions expressed in symbolic forms by means of which people communicate, perpetuate, and develop their knowledge about and attitudes toward life."
Other things to look up:
Ellen Seiter in Toys, Games, and Media
Journal of Children and Media
"Hamlet on the Holodeck" by Murray (1997)--differentiates between agency (move a chess piece, many possible options) and activity (spin a die, prescribed).
Media studies situates children as vulnerable or competent, which emphasis on investigation into effects.
This contrasts strongly with the artistic and aesthetic tradition in children's literature (p. 10)