Children's Book by emma ugarelli
Animals in Children’s books.
One of the common features of children's literature is the use of animals as characters. Animals can serve as a way for children to identify with the story while creating a distance from human reality. This allows children to explore the messages and themes of the story in a more objective way. Children can detach themselves from their biases and prejudices because they do not see themselves as lions, llamas, penguins, monkeys or talking objects. Still, they can recognize the actions and the consequences in the story. It is easier to understand emotions and social interactions when we focus on the behaviour more than the appearance or identity of the character.
Using animals as characters, we do not have a problem of inclusion or diversity. The message, the story is directed to all children without exception.
Children represented in Children's books are powerful tools for learning and development, especially for empowering children who feel represented. But these books need to be sensitive, respectful of diversity and inclusive. When children's books portray children in ways that reflect the author's bias or stereotypes, they may harm the children who read them or are represented by them. Therefore, when we write or choose children's books, we must be careful and critical of how they are represented and make sure that the book is focused on the message and the behaviour, not the appearance of the children's characters unless it is inclusive. We can help children develop positive and healthy identities and values, but we also, if not careful, perpetuate stereotypes.
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