As reported in the USA Today, a group of researchers have reviewed Caldecott Medal winners and honorees from 1938 to 2008 and found that nature is not being illustrated as much in children’s books today as in the 40′s, 50′s and 60′s.
The big concern is that children will not love nature if they are not exposed to it.
That statement is true, but older books like Where the Wild Things Are and The Wind in the Willows are still being read and enjoyed just as much as when they where created. A classic children story’s shelf life is very long.
Having said that, I’m happy someone is pointing this out.
Maybe Anthropomorhism and other animal character will come back into style. I enjoy reading and illustrating picture books where animals act human. These characters have a great opportunity to show the human experience in an universal way. Every family can relate to the characters without having unneeded stereotypes.
Also nature is a very big part of the world we live in (even if we don’t see it in our daily lives). And children’s books are how kids start understanding life. The industry has to do its part to build an appreciation for the world we belong to.
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