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Questions and Answers - Essay Example

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It is obvious that adults’ assumptions about children shape their attitudes and ideas when it comes to children’s literature and the types of books written, published and chosen for children. In other words, ideas about children are relevant within the society: about how and…
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Questions and answers How do our assumptions about children shape our attitudes to and ideas about children’s literature and, as a consequence, the types of books that are written, published and purchased for children?
It is obvious that adults’ assumptions about children shape their attitudes and ideas when it comes to children’s literature and the types of books written, published and chosen for children. In other words, ideas about children are relevant within the society: about how and what they need to read as well as who they are (Nodelman & Reimer, 2003). Culture, religion, race, social systems, gender, class among others play a crucial role in shaping adults’ ideologies concerning children’s literature. What people classify as obvious determines how they operate; adults always manipulate their own ideologies into taking for granted.
Adults choose the books they think are good and appropriate for children. However, it is dangerous when adults consider the implications of ideas about children’s literature by their ideologies, which underlie children. Sometimes, they may think that children have limited understanding and short attention span. As a result, they think children’s ability to respond to literature, with any degree of understanding, is seriously limited (Nodelman & Reimer, 2003). Consequently, they are partly unilateral. In addition, many adults are far more interested in determining what children should not read than what and how they should. Adults have the responsibility of assisting children to understand what they read in an appropriate way. We should explain to them with suitable words, rather than just forbid them to read certain material. This is because children have the right to choose various books, texts, images and select what interests them.
Although adults possess a repertoire of knowledge about literature that might as well be useful in choosing appropriate books for children, we should pay significant attention to how assumptions work to avoid being arbitrary. As Nodelman & Reimer (2003) state, adults should be wary of their own censoriousness. Furthermore, adults’ selection should be based on each child individually.
# 2.
What is meant by postmodernism and metafiction?
During the last half of the twentieth century, scholars defined postmodernism as changes in philosophy, literature, art, architecture and music (Pantaleo & Sipe, 2008, p. 1). Additionally, Coles and Hall (cited in Pantaleo & Sipe, 2008), depict postmodernism as changes made in different aspects - in history, society and culture.
Waugh (1984) illustrates that metafiction pushes us away as it says “dont forget what you are reading is an artefact but not real” (cited in Sipe, 2011, p.247). Postmodernism and metafiction include narrative fragmentation, discontinuity, disorders, chaos, code mixing, absurdity, openness, playfulness and parody (Mc Callum, cited in Pantaleo & Sipe, 2008).

# 3
What are some of the characteristics of a postmodern picture book?
Sipe (2007) indicates that the key role of postmodern picture book is to enhance childrens abilities to interpret both words and pictures. In addition, Lewis (2001) states that the most characteristic features of postmodern picture books are their Meta fictive qualities (cited in Sipe, 2011, p. 247). These qualities include playfulness, multiplicity of meanings, intertextuality, subversion, self referential and Meta fictive techniques (Sipe & McGuire, 2008, cited in Sipe, 2011; and Pantaleo & Sipe, 2008).

Nodelman, P. & Reimer, M. (2003). ‘Chapter 5: Common assumptions about childhood’, in The Pleasures of children’s Literature, 3rd ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon. pp. 79-107.
Pantaleo, S. & Sipe, L. (2008). Introduction: Postmodernism and picure books, in Pantaleo, S. & Sipes, L. (eds), Postmodern Picture books: Play, Parody and self-Referentialy. London: Routledge. pp. IV, 1-5.
Sipe, L. (2011). New directions for picture books (and other sequential art) from The art of the picture book, in Wolf, S., Coats, K., Enciso, P. & Jenkins, C. (eds), Handbook of Research on Childrens and Young Adult Literature. New York: Routledge. pp. 246-52. Read More
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