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How children’s books are still relevant today

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How children’s books are still relevant today

There are a few reasons to still be reading them, andlearning from them.

Look, you should definitely be pushing your own boundariesand challenging yourself with some “harder” books (whatever that means foryou). But there are also very good reasons to dip into some children’s books –especially picture books – when it’s reading time.

They can be a goodplace to start with a new topic

Not everybody learned everything about everything back when they were five. But there are often books designed for kids, to give them an overview on some topic – like, say, the role of the Anzacs in WWI or how politics works. If you have to do an assignment on Australian natural disasters, getting an overview from a picture book isn’t the worst idea in the world. It’ll get you into the subject… and you’ll be able to picture what it was like when Darwin was devastated by Cyclone Tracy.

They can help you seehow we make meaning

Here’s a tip: in some cases you can use children’s books asrelated texts. But even if you’re looking at English in a less formal way, it’san opportunity to examine how these books use a combination of words andpictures together to make meaning. Concepts and techniques you’re learningabout in class – intertextuality, surrealism and non-linear stories, forexample – can often be found here. In the same way, it can be easier to spotand understand the use of things like theme, character, imagery, symbolism inchildren’s books. Then apply those learnings to your other texts!

They can beabsolutely beautiful (and comforting)

Sometimes you want to flick through a picture book because it was illustrated by Shaun Tan, and his work is incredible. There’s nothing wrong with that! The same is true if you’re revisiting an old favourite from when you were a youngster. When you’re stressed out with the world, it’s nice to disappear into a book you loved back then.

(Shout out to Charlotte SometimesCharlotte Sometimes!)

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