Slow on the draw: the representation of turtles, terrapins and tortoises in children’s literature

Journal article


Beaumont, Ellen S., Briers, Erin and Harrison, Emma 2019. Slow on the draw: the representation of turtles, terrapins and tortoises in children’s literature. Early Childhood Education Journal. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10643-019-00966-0
AuthorsBeaumont, Ellen S., Briers, Erin and Harrison, Emma
Abstract

Children’s picture books, both fiction and non-fiction, play a vital role in introducing the reader to the natural world. Here we examine the representation of turtles, terrapins and tortoises (Testudines) in 204 English language picture books and find a mean of 3.9 (SD 9.1) basic biological errors per book. Only 83 (40.7%) of the examined books were found to be error-free in the representation of Testudines, with no significant improvement in biological accuracy being observed over time (book publication date range 1974–2017). Suggestions are made as to how biological accuracy of children’s literature could be improved to help foster children’s understanding and wonder of the natural world. Fantasy and imagination have an important role within children’s literature, but here it is argued that the books children read should support future generations having sufficient understanding of the natural world to imagine the solutions to current environmental problems. A role of children’s picture books should not be to reinforce biological illiteracy.

KeywordsEducation; Picture books; Relationship with nature; Environmental education; Emergent environmental awareness
Year2019
JournalEarly Childhood Education Journal
PublisherSpringer
ISSN10823301
15731707
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1007/s10643-019-00966-0
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10545/624195
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/us/
hdl:10545/624195
Publication dates08 Aug 2019
Publication process dates
Deposited07 Oct 2019, 14:17
Accepted08 Aug 2019
Rights

Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States

ContributorsUniversity of Derby and The Orkney Campus of Heriot-Watt University, Stromness
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File Access Level
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https://repository.derby.ac.uk/item/946qy/slow-on-the-draw-the-representation-of-turtles-terrapins-and-tortoises-in-children-s-literature

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