ERIC Number: EJ891029
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jul
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 24
Images of Childhood and the Implied Reader in Young Children's Information Books
Larkin-Lieffers, Patricia A.
Literacy, v44 n2 p76-82 Jul 2010
Images of childhood are ideas and expectations of childhood and children, and are reflections of individual perception and cultural ideologies. In writing children's books, authors draw on their conscious and unconscious thoughts of childhood to create an implied reader. In this paper I investigate images of childhood through examination of the portrayal of the implied reader in a selection of information books, a genre that is often overlooked for beginning readers. Three books of various sub-genres, topics and presentation styles were examined for images of childhood and the child in the text and illustrations. Some images include childhood in formal education, the child as a co-constructor, the child as a cultural reproducer, and childhood as a time of innocence and play. The construct of the implied reader shapes the reader and the reading experience, and is thus an element of the power of the text; awareness of the implied reader and the real reader response can help in teaching young children to read both with and against the text. When selecting information books, attention to their images of childhood as well as to the quality of the information they provide, will help to optimise young children's early reading experiences.
Descriptors: Children, Reader Text Relationship, Young Children, Early Reading, Literary Devices, Reader Response, Nonfiction, Literary Genres
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A