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robertogreco : childrensliterature   21

28 MORE Black Picture Books That Aren’t About Boycotts, Buses or Basketball (2018) – Scott Woods Makes Lists
"When I made the first of these lists back in 2016 I had no idea the places it would go: Libraries, schools and families all over the world continue to share it even now, and I am humbled by its reception. I’ve long threatened to do a sequel to that list, so here it is. Same old librarian, all new tricks. Same rules apply:

1) Titles that came out within the last ten years (or so).
2) A spread in the gender of the protagonists.
3) Shine light on typically ignored aspects of black life. Nothing against history, but we aren’t exactly hurting for books on slavery. We could do with some more books about fishing, owning pets, and generally any other hobby children have. (That said, this list caught a lot more history than the last one.)

The books are not ranked in any way. Creator(s) are noted: Author/Illustrator.
See you in the stacks, but more importantly, buy some books!"
books  children  childrensbooks  lists  picturebooks  classideas  blackness  history  society  childrensliterature 
april 2018 by robertogreco
American Indians in Children's Literature
"Established in 2006, American Indians in Children's Literature (AICL) provides critical perspectives and analysis of indigenous peoples in children's and young adult books, the school curriculum, popular culture, and society. Scroll down for links to book reviews, Native media, and more."
us  nativeamericans  books  childrensliterature  literature  childrensbooks 
april 2018 by robertogreco
How storybook lessons impart scholastic success | University of California
"The lessons from childhood storybooks are decidedly different in China and the United States, and align with the lessons the respective countries impart in the classroom, UC Riverside research finds.

There is a widely held perception — and some research to affirm it — that East Asian schools outperform schools in North America. A recent study published by UC Riverside psychologist Cecilia Cheung skirts the link between storybooks and school performance, but asserts that the lessons taught in Chinese schools could start early.

“The values that are commonly conveyed in Chinese (vs. U.S.) storybooks include an orientation toward achievement, respect for others — particularly the elderly — humility, and the importance of enduring hardship,” Cheung said. “In the U.S. storybooks, protagonists are often portrayed as having unique interest and strength in a certain domain, and the themes tend to be uplifting.”

For her study, published in the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, Cheung compared storybooks in the U.S. and Mexico with those in China.

She chose 380 storybooks recommended by education ministries in the respective countries, for children aged 3 to 11. The study considered three core aspects of learning-related qualities: beliefs (views about the nature of intelligence), motivated cognitions (achievement, determination), and behaviors (effort, overcoming obstacles).

Charming stories with divergent values

A representative Chinese storybook is “A Cat That Eats Letters.” In the book, a cat has an appetite for sloppy letters. Whenever children write a letter that is too large, too small, too slanted, or with missing strokes, the cat eats the letters. The only way to stop this runaway letter-eating is for the children to write carefully, and to practice every day. This leads to a hungry cat, because the children have all become skilled writers. (Not to fear, the compassionate children then intentionally write some sloppy letters to feed the cat).

A more typical U.S.-Mexico storybook formula is represented by “The Jar of Happiness,” in which a little girl attempts to make a potion of happiness in a jar, then loses the jar. The happy ending comes courtesy of the girl’s realization that happiness doesn’t come from a jar, but rather from good friends – including those who will cheer her up when she loses a jar.

To a large extent, Cheung and her team found the Chinese storybooks celebrated the behaviors associated with learning and hard work. Somewhat to their surprise, they found U.S. and Mexican storybooks had a shared emphasis on self-esteem and social competence.

Past studies have affirmed the important role of parents in children’s scholastic achievement, Cheung said. But few have considered the role of “cultural artifacts,” such as storybooks.

Cheung argues that storybooks play a key role in establishing the values that can help determine scholastic success. Referencing past research, Cheung said it is “conceivable that exposure to reading materials that highlight the importance of learning-related qualities, such as effort and perseverance, may lead children to value such qualities to a greater extent.”

Cheung was joined in the research by UC Riverside graduate students Jorge A. Monroy and Danielle E. Delany. Funding was provided from the University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States."
us  mexico  china  stories  children  classideas  education  parenting  society  culture  2018  ceciliacheung  achievement  humility  respect  belief  beliefs  motivation  behavior  literature  childrensbooks  learning  hardwork  competence  self-esteem  books  storybooks  effort  perseverance  schools  schoolperformance  comparison  intelligence  determination  sfsh  happiness  socialcompetence  childrensliterature 
january 2018 by robertogreco
Full Circle Literary
"Full Circle Literary is a full-service literary agency, offering a full circle approach to literary representation. Our team has diverse experience in book publishing including editorial, marketing, publicity, legal and rights, which we use collectively to build careers book by book.

We work with both award-winning veteran and debut writers and illustrators, and our team has a knack for finding and developing new and diverse talent. We work with writers and illustrators from development of concepts and proposals for submission to championing a book into the hands of readers. Our titles have received awards and honors from the American Library Association, National Book Critics’ Circle, Children’s Book Council, Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators, National Council of Teachers of English, International Reading Association, and many more.

Visit our Who We Represent pages to learn more about our amazing Illustrators, Picture Book, Middle Grade/Young Adult and Adult Fiction/Nonfiction writers. Please visit Our Agents to learn more about our team and Submit to Us page for submission guidelines. Keep up with news, writing tips and our latest releases on our Twitter and News.

A SELECTION OF OUR LATEST DEAL HIGHLIGHTS:

Mexican author-illustrator Tania de Regil’s picture book debut, A NEW HOME, which tells the story of a boy’s move from New York City to Mexico City and a girl’s simultaneous move from Mexico City to New York City, to Carter Hasegawa at Candlewick, in a two-book deal at auction for publication in 2019, by Adriana Dominguez.

Emma Otheguy’s SILVER MEADOWS SUMMER, in which an eleven-year-old moves with her family from Puerto Rico to upstate New York so her father can find work; in their new home, her parents encourage her to assimilate by sending her to summer camp, to Jenny Brown at Knopf Children’s, for publication in Spring 2019, by Adriana Dominguez.

Sylvia Acevedo’s THE SKY’S THE LIMIT, a middle grade memoir by Latina rocket scientist and CEO of Girls Scouts of the USA, whose early life was transformed by the Girl Scouts and Head Start, to Anne Hoppe at Clarion, for publication in English and Spanish in Fall 2018, by Adriana Dominguez.

New from 2017 Stonewall Honor Author! Anna-Marie McLemore’s BLANCA & ROJA, a magical realist Snow-White & Rose-Red meets Swan Lake, in which two sisters become rivals in a game that will turn the losing girl into a swan, to Kat Brzozowski at Feiwel and Friends by Taylor Martindale Kean.

Rafael López to illustrate WE’VE GOT THE WHOLE WORLD IN OUR HANDS, a picture book celebration of what connects us all, with text adapted from the original song lyrics, to Ken Geist at Scholastic by Adriana Dominguez and Stefanie Von Borstel.

Diana Lopez’s middle grade book COCO inspired by Disney*Pixar’s forthcoming film, Coco, featuring original content, to Brittany Rubiano at Disney, for publication in October 2017, by Stefanie Von Borstel.

West coast chef Isabel Cruz’s ISABEL’S CANTINA, featuring brand new recipes in her signature style of easy but flavorful Latin meals, as well as the secrets to her cocktails and the most popular dishes at her restaurants, with photography by Southern California/Baja photographer Jaime Frisch, to Nicole Frail at Skyhorse,for publication in Spring 2018, by Lilly Ghahremani.

Author-Illustrator Tony Piedra’s debut picture book, THE GREATEST ADVENTURE, about a boy and his grandfather who find adventure in unexpected ways, to Arthur Levine at Scholastic’s Arthur A. Levine Books, in a preempt, by Adriana Dominguez.

Celia C. Pérez’s illustrated middle grade debut THE FIRST RULE OF PUNK, in which a girl named Malú causes a bit of anarchy at Posada Middle School when she starts a punk band, to Joanna Cardenas at Viking at auction, in a two-book deal, by Stefanie Von Borstel.

Sylvie Frank at Simon & Schuster has bought world rights to a picture book biography about a little-known journalist by Lisa Cline-Ransome, with 2016 SCBWI Golden Kite winner John Parra illustrating, by Adriana Dominguez and Stefanie Von Borstel representing the artist.

Artist Lisa Congdon to illustrate Emily Trunko’s DEAR MY BLANK, a curated collection of anonymous letters that people never intend to or don’t have the courage to send, from the wildly popular Tumblr of the same name, to Emily Easton at Crown Children’s, for publication in fall 2016, by Stefanie Von Borstel.

2016 William C. Morris Award Finalist THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS author Anna-Marie McLemore‘s newest novel of magical realism WILD BEAUTY, in which the women of a family tend the lush estate gardens they’ve grown for generations, until the reemergence of a family curse that makes the men they love disappear, again to Kat Brzozowski at Macmillan, by Taylor Martindale Kean.

Shauna LaVoy Reynolds‘ POETREE, about a little girl who writes poems for a tree and thinks that the tree is responding, only to discover that another child in her class is actually the one writing back, to Namrata Tripathi at Dial Books for Young Readers/Penguin, at auction, by Adriana Dominguez.

Toni Buzzeo‘s FINDER, a picture book biography of Sue Hendrickson, the explorer who discovered the largest and best-preserved T.rex ever found, to be illustrated by Diana Sudyka, who volunteers at the Chicago Field Museum, where Sue the T.rex is housed, to Tamar Brazis at Abrams by Stefanie Von Borstel.

Jennifer Ward’s MAMA DUG A LITTLE DEN, illustrated by Caldecott Honor recipient Steve Jenkins, a companion to MAMA BUILT A LITTLE NEST, featuring the many kinds of dens and burrows animals make for their little ones, for publication in spring 2018, to Andrea Welch at Beach Lane Books by Stefanie Von Borstel.

Dawn Dais‘s THE SH!T NO ONE TELLS YOU ABOUT BABY #2: A Guide to Surviving Your Growing Family and BEING A WORKING MOM: A Guide to Sucking at Everything, in THE SH!T NO ONE TELLS YOU parenting series, to Laura Mazer at Seal Press, in a two-book deal, by Lilly Ghahremani.

Beth Terrill at NorthSouth Books has acquired Monica Brown’s FRIDA AND HER ANIMALITOS, to be illustrated by Pura Belpré Honor winner John Parra, about Frida Kahlo and her animal muses. Publication is planned for fall 2017 in simultaneous English-language, Spanish-language and German editions; Stefanie Von Borstel brokered the deal for world rights, representing both the author and illustrator. Monica Brown and John Parra’s last collaboration, WAITING FOR THE BIBLIOBURRO, was awarded The Christopher Award and will be published in a bilingual English-and Spanish-language edition by Random House in November 2016.

Juana Martinez-Neal‘s debut picture book, ALMA, to Mary Lee Donovan at Candlewick Press, in a two-book, six-figure deal, in a seven-publisher auction, by Stefanie Von Borstel. Candlewick will publish both a hardcover English- and Spanish-language edition in 2018; a second untitled picture book will follow.

DARKROOM author Lila Quintero Weaver‘s THAT YEAR IN THE MIDDLE ROW, set in Alabama in 1970 against the backdrop of school integration and the Wallace/Brewer gubernatorial primary, in which a girl who is the school’s only Latina student discovers a love for running and figures out who she wants to be — and what kind of friends she wants to have –during one tumultuous school year, to Andrea Tompa at Candlewick, for publication in spring 2018, by Adriana Dominguez.

Traci Todd at Abrams has bought the first two picture books both written and illustrated by boygirlparty artist Susie Ghahremani. Inspired by her bestselling “cat pile” clothing line, STACK THE CATS is a playful introduction to early math concepts using cats. The second picture book features other popular characters from boygirlparty apparel, stationery and gifts. Publication is set for spring 2017 and spring 2018; Stefanie Von Borstel negotiated the deal for world rights.

Diana Rodriguez Wallach‘s new Anastasia Phoenix series, in which a girl goes on an international hunt for her missing sister who everyone says is dead, and finds that everything she knows about her family is not only a lie, but embroiled in criminal espionage, to Alycia Tornetta at Entangled Teen, in a three-book deal, by Taylor Martindale Kean.

MAMA BUILT A LITTLE NEST author Jennifer Ward‘s HOW TO FIND A BIRD, celebrating the joy in finding and observing the many types of birds in nature, to Andrea Welch at Beach Lane Books, by Stefanie Von Borstel at Full Circle Literary.

Susan Verde’s HEY, WALL, in which a boy brings his community together to create a mural in this celebration of urban art, illustrated by Pura Belpre Honor and Golden Kite Award winner John Parra, to Sylvie Frank at Paula Wiseman Books, for publication in Spring 2018, by Erica Rand Silverman for the author and Stefanie Von Borstel and Adriana Dominguez at Full Circle Literary for the illustrator.

James Beard nominee chef Rob Connoley‘s ACORNS & CATTAILS: A MODERN COOKBOOK OF FOREST, FIELD & FARM, offering a vibrant palate of modern recipes for the home cook featuring foraged plants, hunted animals, and farmed vegetables, to Nicole Frail at Skyhorse, in a nice deal, for publication in Fall 2016, by Lilly Ghahremani.

Sally Pla‘s debut SOMEDAY BIRDS, in which AN OCD/Aspergian, bird-loving boy reluctantly travels cross-country with his siblings to see his dad, hospitalized after a brain injury; he bargains with the universe that if he can spot along the way all the rare birds that the two had been hoping to see someday, then everything might just turn out okay, to Annie Berger at Harper Children’s, in a pre-empt, in a two-book deal, in a good deal, by Taylor Martindale Kean."
diversity  literacy  books  sfsh  booklists  publishing  childrensbooks  childrensliterature 
august 2017 by robertogreco
Here Comes Hilda - The New Yorker
"It began, as adventures often do, with a trip: a family holiday in Norway, parents and their teen-agers, that seemed entirely straightforward at the time. “My imagination was really going for it on that trip—the landscape of the place stuck with me,” Luke Pearson, the British author of the Hildafolk series of graphic novels, told me. “At the time, I was reading about trolls and daydreaming, knowing I wanted to do something with that one day.”

Next, there was a map. “When I was at university, everyone who studied illustration was given a project to do an illustrated map of a country, and I was given Iceland,” he said. “I made a map of Icelandic folktales—you can still play it.” Move the digital clouds on Pearson’s “Hidden Iceland” and see, in their shadows, the giants and sprites and Viking ships just beneath that country’s peaks and fjords.

Finally, there was a girl: Hilda, now the star of four (soon to be five) comics. Netflix is planning a twelve-episode animated series, based on the first four books, for early 2018. The fifth book, “Hilda and the Stone Forest,” comes out in September.

When Pearson was still in school, in 2009, he submitted a one-page drawing to a competition run by Nobrow, now his publisher. “She’s basically wearing her outfit”—beret, scarf, red top, blue skirt, and big red boots—Pearson said, of Hilda. “She’s standing at the end of a pier, with a Scandinavian-esque city behind her and all kinds of creatures around, including a giant troll and a zeppelin in the sky.” A similar scene occurs in the third Hilda book, “Hilda and the Bird Parade,” but at the beginning Pearson didn’t have a story, just this “curious image” of a small girl with blue hair and a question: “Where is she and what does she get up to?”

What she gets up to is a string of adventures, first in the Heidi-esque hills above Trolberg, and then in the city itself—a move made (spoiler alert!) after a giant steps on the cozy ancestral cottage that she shares with her mother. That Hilda herself has long been a giant to a set of thumb-size invisible elves, living on the same patch of grass that her cabin sits on, is just another part of a life in which mythical creatures hide within mountains and behind bureau drawers. (There’s a lot of unused space in Hilda’s house, you see.)

For such a small girl, Hilda is about to get very big, and I am not at all surprised. My five-year-old daughter brought the first book home from a friend’s house, and it took reading only the first few pages, beautifully laid out, with the rich color palette of a Nordic sweater, to know that Hilda was something special. Trolberg may have a complex of bell towers (bells keep trolls at bay, we learn), but it also has a glassy downtown à la Houston. “All of these stories are riffs on folktales that are as old as time, that have taken a hard left turn through Luke’s imagination and all of these contemporary pop-cultural sensibilities,” Kurt Mueller, the executive vice-president at Silvergate Media, which will produce the Hilda series, said. (The company’s other series include “The Octonauts” and “Peter Rabbit.”) “Like the movies of Miyazaki, she feels totally of the moment, but she’s reacting to something that feels ancient and archetypal,” Mueller said. The nostalgic Northern European setting recalls Miyazaki’s romanticism, while Hilda’s communion with the conjoined natural and spirit worlds recalls San from “Princess Mononoke” or Satsuki from “My Neighbor Totoro.”

My first point of comparison was Lewis Carroll’s Alice, though Pearson said that he never thought of her. But, greeted by a little girl in an unchanging outfit, who is confronted with all manner of creatures great and small, in landscapes giant and miniaturized, who else are we to think of? What’s markedly different with Hilda is the attitude with which she greets her wonderland. She does not fall down a hole but strides, prepared with sketchbook and satchel, into the wind and weather. The first words of the first book, “Hilda and the Troll,” are delivered by a radio announcer: “But tonight clouds rolling in from the east . . . temperatures remain mild . . . with the likelihood of heavy rain.” Hilda, reading a tome on trolls at the breakfast table, rushes outside her red, peak-roofed cabin to see storm clouds forming over an adjacent peak. “Mum! Mum! It’s going to rain tonight! Can I sleep in the tent?” And Mum says yes.

Pearson’s aesthetic is sophisticated for the often candy-colored world of children’s animation, and the plots fit neatly into a number of present-day parenting preoccupations. Do children need dream time or organized activities? Nature or urban exploration? Pearson himself is too young to have friends with kids, so one suspects that his sensitivity to children’s desire for independence, combined with a need for a secure nest, may stem from his own childhood. Hilda’s mum wants her to have friends, to go to school, to participate in organized activities, but Hilda is always wandering off, learning Scout lessons on her own terms. Pearson says the scenes of the Sparrow Scouts were taken directly from his own Cub Scout experiences, down to the design of the church hall in which they meet (made of Nordic wood rather than Tamworth brick).

In the countryside, Hilda runs free, but the city brings greater conflict between her and her mother—who works from home at a drafting board, perhaps as an architect or an illustrator. Pearson’s panels are filled with such suggestive details, rewarding the close and repeated reading of small children. One of my daughter’s favorite spreads is at the back of the paperback version of “Hilda and the Troll”: a glimpse of Hilda’s realistically messy desk and shelves, stocked with Easter eggs from this and future tales, allowing young readers to put a few things together for themselves. Pearson extends the respect he has for Hilda to his audience, giving it room to discover the good kind of troll for themselves.

Pearson’s utter lack of pretension keeps Hilda feeling fresh, while his reading of folktales and Tove Jansson’s Moomin series embeds Hilda in the long history of children’s stories. Spunky heroines abound, but they don’t always speak to the present day. Hilda’s dilemmas, while fantastic, also feel real: Does she throw a rock at a pigeon to fit in? Does mother know best? Can one, or both, of them draw their way out of their latest adventure? Pearson has found a lovely new way to dramatize childhood demons, while also making you long for your own cruise down the fjords."

[See also:
https://islingtoncomic.blogspot.sg/2012/05/hilda-and-midnight-giant.html
http://www.tcj.com/i-wanted-a-character-who-was-very-positive-an-interview-with-luke-pearson/
http://www.hoodedutilitarian.com/2014/09/how-to-read-hilda/
http://comicsalliance.com/learning-and-inspiring-in-luke-pearsons-hilda-comics-review/
https://thebookwormbaby.blogspot.com/2016/02/the-amazing-world-of-hilda.html ]
books  childrensbooks  childhood  alexandralange  2016  lukepearson  comics  graphicnovels  toread  hilda  nordiccountries  hayaomiyazaki  girls  heroines  aliceinwonderland  lewiscarroll  play  maps  mapping  parenting  sfsh  iceland  pippilongstocking  tovejansson  princessmononoke  myneighbortotoro  studioghibli  scandinavia  illustration  folktales  moomin  childrensliterature 
june 2016 by robertogreco
Growing the Conversation: Talking About Diversity, History & Antiblackness in Multicultural Children's Literature (with tweets) · Ebonyteach · Storify
"Do Black Americans problematically dominate diversity conversations? Should we move beyond US-centric, Black/White binaries in 2015? What role does history play? In this Storify, I Tweet about some recent framing of conversations about multicultural #kidlit & leave with more questions than answers."
ebonyelizabeth  diversity  race  antiblackness  childrensliterature  2015  history  us  multicultural  childrensbooks 
february 2016 by robertogreco
Lost Sloth - The McSweeney's Store
Sloth’s phone rings and rings. He races across the room to answer the call, but he’s a sloth, "so it takes a while. The phone says he’s won an afternoon shopping spree! Can the sloth get to the store in time to claim his prize? Yes, but it’s going to take an impromptu zipline, a missed bus, a parkful of trees, an oblivious ice-cream vendor, a rainbow hang glider, and an out-of-control shopping cart to make it happen. As soon as the spree begins, the sloth crashes into a pillow display and falls asleep, exhausted from excitement. When he awakes, he finds himself the proud and happy owner of several fine new pillows. Mission accomplished."
sloths  animals  childrensbooks  2013  jottseibold  books  toread  childrensliterature 
february 2014 by robertogreco
Momo - The McSweeney's Store
"After the sweet-talking gray men come to town, life becomes terminally efficient. Can Momo, a young orphan girl blessed with the gift of listening, vanquish the ashen-faced time thieves before joy vanishes forever?"



[from http://thiskidreviewsbooks.com/2013/08/14/momo-by-michael-ende/ ]

"Momo is a young orphan girl living by herself in an abandoned amphitheater who has many friends from town because Momo listens. Momo is so good at listening that people from town come to tell her their troubles and Momo makes them feel good again. Momo also helps kids imagine. But it all changes when the “gray men” come to town and start to convince the townspeople to “save” time by doing things very quickly. In reality, everyone who agrees loses time and becomes super grumpy! No one visits Momo anymore except for the kids, who have no where else to go. Momo realizes she must save everyone from the gray men.

This edition of Momo is a 40th anniversary edition (just released yesterday!) and it is a MUST READ book. The plot of this book is very unlike anything I’ve read. It is unique and fun to read. I love Master Hora, the guy in charge of keeping time going. He’s cool. I like the idea of the gray men as bad guys. They are really creepy. Momo is a great character. I like her “power!” I wish I had a power like that. I love the adventure in this book! I really like Cassiopeia, Master Hora’s turtle, which can see exactly 30 minutes into the future and she can also “talk” by having letters appear on her shell to spell out sentences. I find that very cool. The illustrations scattered through the book are awesome. I like the last picture – Cassiopeia showing two words that appear only to the readers – The End!"
momo  childrensbooks  michaelende  marceldzama  books  listening  stories  superpowers  fairytales  1973  toread  childrensliterature 
february 2014 by robertogreco
Why Do Kids' Books Matter? Here, Look - Steven Heller - The Atlantic
"A New York Public Library exhibit tackles the historical, social, and artistic importance of reading materials meant for children over the centuries."



"Once considered chattle, children had to be fed and trained. But as they came to be seen as young people, books aimed at them evolved from strictly didactic to fantastical. "Curiosity was seen as a virtue not a vice," Marcus says. "Humor was recognized as a key to engaging the child's interest. The child's attention span was taken increasingly into account. Illustrations were emphasized and made more interesting. By the middle of the 1800s, a few writers and artists like Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll recognized that playfulness could be an end in itself in a children's book and that children could be trusted enough to make irreverence toward the adult world a major source of merriment in their books.""
books  childrensbooks  2013  exhibitions  literature  history  stevenheller  nypl  via:senongo  childrensliterature 
july 2013 by robertogreco
A Child’s Wild Kingdom - NYTimes.com
"Most parents won’t be surprised to learn that when a Purdue University child psychologist pulled a random sample of 100 children’s books, she found only 11 that did not have animals in them.

But what’s baffled me most nights at bedtime is how rarely the animals in these books even have anything to do with nature. Usually, they’re just arbitrary stand-ins for people, like the ungainly pig that yearns to be a figure skater, or the family of raccoons that bakes hamantaschen for the family of beavers at Purim. And once I tuned in to that — into the startling strangeness of how insistently our culture connects kids and wild creatures — all the animal paraphernalia in our house started to feel slightly insane. As Kieran Suckling, the executive director of the conservation group Center for Biological Diversity, pointed out to me, “Right when someone is learning to be human, we surround them with nonhumans.”"



"SCIENCE has some explanations to offer. Almost from birth, children seem drawn to other creatures all on their own. In studies, babies as young as 6 months try to get closer to, and provoke more physical contact with, actual dogs and cats than they do with battery-operated imitations.

Infants will smile more at a living rabbit than at a toy rabbit. Even 2-day-old babies have been shown to pay closer attention to “a dozen spotlights representing the joints and contours of a walking hen” than to a similar, randomly generated pattern of lights.

It all provides evidence for what the Harvard entomologist Edward O. Wilson calls “biophilia” — his theory that human beings are inherently attuned to other life-forms. It’s as though we have a deep well of attention set aside for animals, a powerful but uncategorized interest waiting to be channeled into more cogent feelings, like fascination or fear."



"Kids under the age of 6 especially “were found to be egocentric, domineering, and self-serving,” Dr. Kellert later wrote, summarizing the study. “Young children reveal little recognition or appreciation of the autonomous feelings and independence of animals” and “also express the greatest fear of the natural world.” It was the younger kids, not the 8th or 11th graders, who were more likely to believe that farmers should “kill all the foxes” if a particular fox ate their chickens; that it’s O.K. to slaughter animals for fur coats; that most wild animals are “dangerous to people”; and that all poisonous animals, like rattlesnakes, “should be gotten rid of.” It was the younger kids who were more likely to agree with the statement “It’s silly when people love animals as much as they love people,” whereas virtually none of the teenagers believed it was silly. Most second graders agreed with the statement “If they found oil where wild animals lived, we would have to get the oil, even if it harmed the animals.” Eleventh graders overwhelmingly did not."



"Ultimately, all these animals that we fill our children’s lives with — the frustrated goats who learn to compromise, the worried skunk who makes it through her first day of school, the teddy bear that needs to be hugged and tucked in — are also just proxies. They are useful, adorable props, props that we sense command our kids’ attention in some deep, biophilic way. And so we use them to teach our children basic lessons of kindness or self-possession or compassion — to show our kids what sort of animals we’d like them to grow up to be."
animals  children  human-animalrelations  storytelling  childrensbooks  childrensliterature  biophilia  eowilson  society  parenting  psychology  animalness  nature  myths  davidfoulkes  judithheerwagen  gordonorians  kieransuckling  southersalazar  2013  anthropomorphism  human-animalrelationships 
may 2013 by robertogreco
Overcoming Bias : Stories Are Like Religion
"Small children (age 4-6) who were exposed to a large number of children’s books and films had a significantly stronger ability to read the mental and emotional states of other people. … The more absorbed subjects were in the story, the more empathy they felt, and the more empathy they felt, the more likely the subjects were to help when the experimenter “accidentally” dropped a handful of pens… Reading narrative fiction … fosters empathic growth and prosocial behavior. …"
story  via:lukeneff  empathy  books  childrensbooks  storytelling  fiction  social  behavior  prosocialbehavior  children  reading  stories  childrensliterature 
may 2012 by robertogreco

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