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Issue Details: First known date: 1996... 1996 Ideological Drift in Children's Picture Books
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Pennell discusses the ideological assumptions regarding reality in four children's picture books, The Widow's Broom by American writer, Chris Van Allsburg (1993), Beware, Beware by British author, Angela Barrett (1993) and two Australian texts, Drac and the Gremlin (Jane Tanner and Allan Baillie, 1988) and Mr Nick's Knitting, (Dee Huxley and Margaret Wild, 1988). Pennell examines the interdependent relationship between text and illustrations arguing that the collaboration between author and illustrator produces 'ideological tensions between the visual and verbal text' (5). Pennel claims that all four picture books may be seen as 'progressive' in their overt attempts to address sexism and reconsider 'the issue of gender roles and male /female relationships' however she argues that it is only in Beware, Beware that the reader will find a progressive feminist ideology. In relation to the other texts, the ideological underpinnings of the narratives reflect 'unconscious cultural assumptions' which function implicitly to reinscribe a patriarchal world view' (5). Pennell refers to this as the ideological 'drift' and argues that there needs to be 'consistency of the levels of signification in the verbal and visual texts' to ensure that this 'drift' does not occur in works which aim to demonstrate progressive social attitudes (12).

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Last amended 22 Nov 2007 12:12:02
5-13 Ideological Drift in Children's Picture Bookssmall AustLit logo Papers : Explorations into Children's Literature