​understanding culture through childrens books

Understanding Culture through Children’s Books

The purpose of this assignment is to understand “culture” by reading the story and analyzing the pictures in one children’s book.

Since culture is learned, it must somehow be transmitted from person to person. In some sense, we are continually learning about culture throughout our entire lives. Children, however, are most often the recipients of cultural knowledge and values, since they come into the world as a blank slate (a tabula rasa). Children’s books often tell important stories, myths, legends and fables of a culture. Other times, the story is just a story but its cultural importance comes from the values it communicates. The best children’s books almost always have vivid illustrations that depict important cultural objects. Sometimes, the illustrations are done in a style unique to the culture. It is this kind of children’s book that I am asking you to find.

Your goal is to find one children’s book from a culture that is different from own and analyze both the story AND THE PICTURES as a way of understanding that particular culture.

This assignment requires that you scan TWO of the pictures from your book into your paper. Since this is a one time activity, it is covered under fair use copyright laws. I strongly encourage that you scan your pictures at home or at Dominican.

After you have found a suitable book with suitable illustrations, please write a paper which:

  • Summarizes the story, fable, myth or legend
  • Describes the cultural of which the story is a part
  • Explains aspects of the story that are culturally unique
  • Explains how the two illustrations you scanned are also culturally unique; please be as detailed as possible here about your analysis of the illustrations

You must do research on the culture chosen, since you will be describing a culture that is different than your own. Similarly, you should do some research on the symbols, objects, dress, style and any other thing of importance that is illustrated in your book. You might not be able to the best job on this assignment if you only use online sources.Books (anthropology and art) may help you the most.

Include a reference list of the sources used at the paper’s end. NO WIKIPEDIA. Make sure these sources are referenced correctly in the body of your paper as you explain the story and the illustrations’ cultural meaning.



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