NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Back to results
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ984173
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Dec
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0045-6713
Do Worlds Have Corners? When Children's Picture Books Invite Philosophical Questions
Maagero, Eva; Ostbye, Guri Lorentzen
Children's Literature in Education, v43 n4 p323-337 Dec 2012
In this article, we want to present and analyse the picture book "The World has no Corners" (2006/1999) by the Norwegian author and illustrator Svein Nyhus. The book represents a new trend in Norwegian picture books for children by inviting the readers into a world of thinking and wondering about existential topics such as life and death, growing up and getting old, God, children's relationship to nature, etc. The picture book does not give clear answers to the questions that are raised, but has a potential for exploratory dialogues between child and adult readers. In our analyses of verbal text and images--and the relation between these--we build on social semiotic theory by Halliday, Kress and van Leeuwen, reception theory by Eco and Iser, and aesthetic theory represented by Dewey and Rorty. Through analyses of some selected spreads, we want to show both the framework keeping the readers inside the text, and the indeterminacies inviting the readers to wonder and speculate about the questions raised. We also want to draw attention towards a special way of co-reading of the spreads. Compared with the process of reading picture books where the adults often confirm or correct the child readers' way of putting their interpretation into spoken language, the co-reading between children and adults in this picture book seems to be rather existential and poetic as well as democratic. We will shed light upon this reading process, as we consider it as a way of the readers fortifying themselves into the world.
Springer. 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel: 800-777-4643; Tel: 212-460-1500; Fax: 212-348-4505; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A