Babes in the Wood: Picturing Displaced Children

Kathryn E. Shoemaker


From the earliest told tales to the modern picture book, through fact and fiction, storytellers have searched for meaning in the hardships and calamities that befall children: children disappear; they die; they are kidnapped, victimized by war, family strife, economic hardships, political turmoil and by natural disasters. Until illustration was added to the printed story images of displaced children remained in the filtered imaginations of listeners and readers. Printed illustration particularizes images related to a text, infusing a story with yet another specific point of view. This point of view is related to, though different from, the writer's and the viewer/reader's perspective. This article discusses some visual strategies of viewer distance used in picturing fiction and nonfiction stories about displaced children.

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The Looking Glass: new perspectives on children's literature

ISBN 1551-5680