In North America, the process of independence began earlier than in the southern hemisphere, and featured the training of privileged children – often through literature – to form a part of the governing elite. Traditional children’s literature from the Spanish-speaking Americas, therefore, expresses a variety of themes generally absent from literature for children in the United States. National identity projects in the Spanish-speaking Americas have also influenced what children are expected to read. Most countries want their famous national authors for adults to be recognized by younger readers; thus books and poems that were never meant for children are routinely adapted for them. In Europe and the United States, on the other hand, the goal to familiarize readers with national authors has been unnecessary, since the great majority of canonical authors for children are European or American anyway.