While reading the article Radical Change Revisited: Dynamic Digital Age Books for Youth by Eliza T. Dresang, I was reminded of an article we read for a previous class, Let it Go: Exploring the Image of the Child as a Producer, Consumer, and Inventor by Jennifer Roswell and Debra Harwood. Although Dresang’s article expounds on the theory of Radical Change and Roswell’s article is an experiment on sense-making, both reach the same conclusion: children living in the current Digital Age easily adapt to non-linear learning and using multi-modal media in order to make meaning. Therefore, children’s picture books and books are adopted into e-book format, encourage convergence, and the themes/illustrations become non-linear, visually perspective and digitally designed (Dresang, 2008) in order to keep up with how children are already learning and experiencing in a world that revolves around the Internet.
Of all the articles mentioned in editorial in the beginning of the New Review of Children’s Literature and Librarianship Volume 17 issue, Maria Nikolajeva and Liz Taylor’s articles about the “in-depth analysis of beds in picture books,” in which they unpack “the bedtime space” of public/private, reality/fantasy and a power dynamic between adults vs. kids (Arizpe, Farrell & McAdam, 2011, p. 81) sounded the most fascinating to me. Although I haven’t read these articles, this brief summary has already made me think of the many picture books that are set in or around a bedroom – Goodnight Moon being the first and most obvious example – and how much of a child’s life, and relationship with their parent, revolves around the act of bedtime: in getting ready for bed, negotiating bedtimes as children grow up, the fear of monsters under the bed, dreams, etc. This editorial in general was interesting because I have spent nearly all of my education critically reading and analyzing adult novels; it had never occurred to me that should be done with picture books as well. And, the editorial concludes that “space for children to look and talk about picture books is an essential part of reading,” (Arizpe et al., 2011, p. 83) which makes perfect sense, because what is the purpose of reading – besides enjoyment – if not to analyze text and make meaning from it?
Arizpe, E.; Farrell, M.A. & McAdam, J. (2011). Editorial. New Review of Children’s Literature and Librarianship, 17, 79-85.
Dresang, E.T. (2008). Radical change revisited: Dynamic digital age books for youth. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 8(3), 294-304.
Roswell, J. & Harwood, D. (2015). “Let it go”: Exploring the image of the child as a producer, consumer and inventor. Theory Into Practice, 54(2), 136-146.