Issue Details: First known date: 2007 2007
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Clare Bradford discusses a number of picture books and a junior novel in which the narratives are structured around interactions between Asian-Australian children and their grandparents; Grandpa and Ah Gong (Xiangyi Mo and Morag Loh, 1995), Old Magic (Alan Baillie, 1996), Grandpa's Mask (Di Wu and Jing Jing Guo, 2001), What a Mess Fang Fang! (Sally Rippin, 1998). She proposes that these texts provide an opportunity to introduce 'ideas around change, continuity and cultural meanings' to young readers through their specific focus on 'the everyday experiences of growing up in a multicultural society' (36). As children's texts 'habitually hinge upon narratives of growth and development' (36) Bradford points out that crosscultural and cross-generational relations between grandparents and their grandchildren are often informed by 'different experiences and perspective that are negotiated through external objects, artefacts and markings' (37). There is an emphasis on 'making' in the texts, that Bradford reads, in terms of multicultural discourse, as suggestive of Stevenson's notion that cultural citizens 'construct themselves...by learning to move within multiple and diverse communities' (41). Bradford's analysis points to the 'limitations of the picture book form' in 'representing the social and cultural complexities of diasporic experience' (41); however, she also sees these texts as speaking to children's literature more generally through 'a surplus of meaning, an excess of signification that seeks to provide pleasure while socializing young citizens' (41).

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Last amended 3 Jan 2013 10:16:50
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