Tracking the environment in Australian children’s literature: the Children’s Book Council of Australia Picture Book of the Year Awards 1955-2014

Tracking the environment in Australian children’s literature: the Children’s Book Council of Australia Picture Book of the Year Awards 1955-2014

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Yeyoung May Babb, Janine McBurnie & Kelly K. Miller

Pages: 1-15 | DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2017.1326020

Abstract

Popular and accessible before television and the internet, picture books capture the context of the time they were created and influence the generations of children who consume them. Depictions of the natural world have changed across several generations of picture books as seen in illustrations of all 249 books of an influential collection, the Children’s Book Council of Australia Picture Book of the Year Awards shortlists from 1955 to 2014. This study found that natural environments became proportionally less present in picture books over time while depictions of built environments increased. The presence of wild animals and native Australian animals also decreased over time. Sustainability themes and more realistic depictions of wild animals and biodiversity increased over time which reflects a growing ecological or environmental awareness, and diversification of environmental themes in recent picture books of this prominent Collection.

Keywords: Children’s Book Council of Australia, biodiversity, children’s literature, environmental sustainability, picture books

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13504622.2017.1326020

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Readers as place-makers

Readers as place-makers: the experience of place in the literacy life-worlds of middle childhood
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Sarah Fischer
Pages: 1-13 | DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2016.1262330

Abstract
This study explored five adults’ experiences of place within their middle childhood literacy life-worlds. Middle childhood, the stage of development in which children often acquire reading independence, is also characterized by significant increases in children’s geographic accessibility and independence. The findings propose that in the literacy life-worlds of middle childhood, readers’ experiences of place can be characterized as Repositioning (instances in which participants saw themselves differently in relation to their physical or conceptual environments), Transportation (participants’ sense of being imaginatively transported to a literary landscape where they could engage in new experiences), Nesting (the way participants manipulated their physical environment in preparation for the act of reading) and Layering (the means by which participants attempted to embody, in a very physical sense, a literary world by layering it on top of their immediate environment). These findings have significant implications for place-conscious literacy curricula, suggesting that children engage in dynamic transactions with out-of-school places as they enact their emerging identity as independent readers.
Keywords: Place-based education, literacy, middle childhood, children’s literature, identity

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13504622.2016.1262330
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