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Radical Child (page 1)
The Radical Child is a flip book, showing how young radicals are created through reading picture books that challenge conventions.
Radical Child (page 2)
In the 1920s education reformers like Lucy Sprague Mitchell believed that children were capable of finding creativity in their everyday surroundings. The Imaginative Child shows the shift in children’s literature away from fantasy, centering on a child’s real world. Hidden in this image are animals and playful surprises.
The Rational Child imagines children as blank slates, as written by John Locke in Some Thoughts Concerning Education (1693). Early understandings of cognition allowed greater freedom in children’s literature, shifting from didactic teaching towards play.
Citizen Child considers how cultures have used children’s literature as an opportunity to change society, by creating class awareness and citizenship. Influenced by anti-bourgeois Soviet children’s books of the interwar period.
The Sentimental Child
The Sentimental Child depicts an idealized version of childhood innocence, popularized in the Romantic era by philosophers like Jean-Jacques Rousseau – showing how adults glorify their past selves while writing children’s characters.
Brave Boys and Good Girls
Brave Boys and Good Girls highlights the contrasting treatment of boys and girls throughout the history of children’s literature – encouraging boys to support their country through medieval chivalry, and girls to tend the home in domestic tales.
The Sinful Child
The Sinful Child portrays the earliest written ideas of childhood found in children’s literature, as found in Puritan picture books from the 16th century. Holding the belief that children were born primitive, savage, and innately sinful led to education through fear and didactic religious instruction.
Patriotic Child explores how children’s books can be used to develop nationalism, as in Soviet children’s literature of the 1920s-1930s.