Culture through Children’s Picture Books: A New Kind of Reading or a New Kind of Child?


Author: Christina Belcher, Redeemer University College, Canada
Email: [email protected]
Published: November 12, 2018

Citation: Belcher, C. (2018). Culture through Children’s Picture Books: A New Kind of Reading or a New Kind of Child? IAFOR Journal of Cultural Studies, 3(2).


Children’s picture books are anything but neutral. As culture moves ahead, technology within society gives and it takes away. The purpose of this paper is to explore how changes in the foundational patterns of life can be seen through the pages of a picture book, and how patterns of recognized change become harbingers of a quasi-prophetic voice pertaining to the future. Through a modified content comparative analysis coupled with the learning heuristic of epistemological shudders (Charteris, 2014), this paper examines three older children’s picture books and their revisions in a later decade. In evidence of the resultant cultural changes, questions emerge. What view of culture, both past and current, do children’s stories portray? How has writing in a picture book changed the perception of child and adult relationships? Results consider the perception of the family/child relationship, and what is now perceived to be a typical family life. This investigation reveals some interesting ground to be held as part of an overarching narrative, not just through the historical evidence of picture books, but within the larger fabric of hope and direction for future readers who may experience a cultural worldview that encourages them to become the stories they tell.


picture books, modern, post-modern, tech-fictive, family, culture, worldview