What is it about?
We analysed the illustrations in 30 children's picture books portraying family life, asking questions such as "of which persons does the family consist?" "How, if at all, is diversity in terms of sex and gender preferences (both of children, parents, and others) represented?" "How, if at all, is ethnicity visible?" "What typical avocations, pastimes, and other activities are depicted?"
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Why is it important?
If children are fortunate enough to be read to by their parents or other care-givers, picture books are among the prime sources of information about what the world is like -- or can be like. Picture books provide models for children to develop their identity. Being made aware of the variety of identities in terms of sex, sexual preference, gender preference, ethnicity, and social class of the people in their immediate environment undoubtedly helps children broaden their view of the myriad ways in which people are both similar and different. But identities are also formed by what people enjoy doing, the sports they do or watch, the art they sample.
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This page is a summary of: The Depiction of Family and Self in Children's Picture Books, November 2021, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.4324/9781003145875-15.
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