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Children's picture books often serve as an accessible source of high quality art for young children. Even after children learn to read well enough to enjoy a story without illustrations, they like their elders continue to appreciate the occasional drawings found in chapter books. According to Joyce Whalley in The International Companion Encyclopedia of Children's Literature , "an illustrated book differs from a book with illustrations in that a good illustrated book is one where the pictures enhance or add depth to the text. Acting as a kind of encyclopedia, Orbis Pictus had a picture on every page, followed by the name of the object in Latin and German.
It was translated into English in and was used in homes and schools around Europe and Great Britain for many years. Early children's books, such as Orbis Pictus , were illustrated by woodcut , and many times the same image was repeated in a number of books regardless of how appropriate the illustration was for the story. One of the first uses of Chromolithography a way of making multi-colored prints in a children's book was demonstrated in Struwwelpeter , published in Germany in English illustrator Walter Crane refined its use in children's books in the late 19th century.
Another method of creating illustrations for children's books was etching , used by George Cruikshank in the s. Most pictures were still black-and-white, and many color pictures were hand colored, often by children. Twentieth-century artists such as Kay Nielson , Edmund Dulac , and Arthur Rackham produced illustrations that are still reprinted today.
After World War II, offset lithography became more refined, and painter-style illustrations, such as Brian Wildsmith 's were common by the s. Mahony and Beulah Folmsbee, catalogs illustrators of children's books over two centuries. Professional organizations, dedicated publications, individual researchers and university courses conduct scholarship on children's literature. Wolf, et al.
Typically, children's literature scholars from literature departments in universities English, German, Spanish, etc. This literary criticism may focus on an author, a thematic or topical concern, genre, period, or literary device and may address issues from a variety of critical stances poststructural, postcolonial, New Criticism, psychoanalytic, new historicism, etc.
Results of this type of research are typically published as books or as articles in scholarly journals. The field of Library and Information Science has a long history of conducting research related to children's literature. Most educational researchers studying children's literature explore issues related to the use of children's literature in classroom settings. They may also study topics such as home use, children's out-of-school reading, or parents' use of children's books.
Teachers typically use children's literature to augment classroom instruction. Controversies often emerge around the content and characters of prominent children's books. The academic journal Children's Literature Review provides critical analysis of many well known children's books.
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In its th volume, the journal discuses the cultural stereotypes in Belgian cartoonist Herge 's Tintin series in reference to its depiction of people from the Congo. After the scramble for Africa which occurred between the years of and there was a large production of children's literature which attempted to create an illusion of what life was like for those who lived on the African continent. This was a simple technique in deceiving those who only relied on stories and secondary resources.
Resulting in a new age of books which put a "gloss" on imperialism and its teachings at the time. Thus encouraging the idea that the colonies who were part of the African continent were perceived as animals, savages and un human like. Therefor needing cultured higher class Europeans to share their knowledge and resources with the locals.
Also promoting the idea that the people within these places were as exotic as the locations themselves. Examples of these books include:. Eske Wollrad claimed Astrid Lindgren 's Pippi Longstocking novels "have colonial racist stereotypes",  urging parents to skip specific offensive passages when reading to their children. Criticisms of the novel The Secret Garden by author Frances Hodgson Burnett claim endorsement of racist attitudes toward black people through the dialogue of main character Mary Lennox. The picture book The Snowy Day , written and illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats was published in and is known as the first picture book to portray an African-American child as a protagonist.
Middle Eastern and Central American protagonists still remain underrepresented in North American picture books. Additionally, only 92 of the books were written by Africans or African Americans. Latimer has criticized popular children's books for their renditions of people as almost exclusively white, and notes that Dr. Seuss books contain few ethnic minority people. The first black family did not appear in the series until the s, thirty years into its run. Writer Mary Renck Jalongo In Young Children and Picture Books discusses damaging stereotypes of Native Americans in children's literature , stating repeated depictions of indigenous people as living in the s with feathers and face paint cause children to mistake them as fictional and not as people that still exist today.
Barrie 's Peter Pan are widely discussed among critics. Wilder's novel, based on her childhood in America's midwest in the late s, portrays Native Americans as racialized stereotypes and has been banned in some classrooms. Lynn Byrd describes how the natives of Neverland in Peter Pan are depicted as "uncivilized", valiant fighters unafraid of death and are referred to as "redskins", which is now considered a racial slur. The presence of empire as well as pro-colonialist and imperialist themes in children's literature have been identified in some of the most well known children's classics of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
In the French illustrator Jean de Brunhoff 's picture book Histoire de Babar, le petit elephant The Story of Babar , The Little Elephant , prominent themes of imperialism and colonialism have been noted and identified as propaganda. An allegory for French colonialism, Babar easily assimilates himself into the bourgeois lifestyle. It is a world where the elephants who have adapted themselves dominate the animals who have not yet been assimilated into the new and powerful civilization.
Rey and Margret Rey 's Curious George first published in has been criticized for its blatant slave and colonialist narratives. Critics claim the man with the yellow hat represents a colonialist poacher of European descent who kidnaps George, a monkey from Africa, and sends him on a ship to America.
Details such as the man in colonialist uniform and Curious George's lack of tail are points in this argument. In an article, The Wall Street Journal interprets it as a "barely disguised slave narrative. Baum 's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. With many women of this period being represented in children's books as doing housework, these two books deviated from this pattern. Drawing attention to the perception of housework as oppressive is one of the earliest forms of the feminist movement.
Little Women , a story about four sisters, is said to show power of women in the home and is seen as both conservative and radical in nature. The character of Jo is observed as having a rather contemporary personality and has even been seen as a representation of the feminist movement.
It has been suggested that the feminist themes in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz result from influence of Baum's mother-in law, Matilda Gage , an important figure in the suffragist movement. Baum's significant political commentary on capitalism, and racial oppression are also said to be part of Gage's influence. Examples made of these themes is the main protagonist, Dorothy who is punished by being made to do housework.
Another example made of positive representations of women is in Finnish author Tove Jansson 's Moomin series which features strong and individualized female characters. In addition to perpetuating stereotypes about appropriate behavior and occupations for women and girls, children's books frequently lack female characters entirely, or include them only as minor or unimportant characters.
Seuss , would typically be assigned the gender-specific roles of receptionists and nurses. Milne , are primarily male, with the exception of the character Kanga , who is a mother to Roo. On the one hand Growing up with Dick and Jane highlights the heterosexual, nuclear family and also points out the gender-specific duties of the mother, father, brother and sister,  while Young Children and Picture Books , on the other hand, encourages readers to avoid books with women who are portrayed as inactive and unsuccessful as well as intellectually inferior and subservient to their fellow male characters to avoid children's books that have repressive and sexist stereotypes for women.
She also says that capitalism encourages gender-specific marketing of books and toys. She argues girls have traditionally been marketed books that prepare them for domestic jobs and motherhood. Conversely, boys are prepared for leadership roles and war.
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S; during that time, male characters outnumbered female characters by more than 3 to 2, and male animals outnumbered female animals by 3 to 1. I'm Glad I'm a Boy! I'm Glad I'm a Girl! The book informs the reader that boys are doctors, policemen, pilots, and presidents while girls are nurses, meter maids, stewardesses and first ladies.
Mehdi Ghasemi draws attention to the ways Janaki Sooriyarachchi — the writer and illustrator of The Flying Train — validates feminine and masculine voices and visions and balances gender issues both in the story book's narratives and illustrations.
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