'Meet Mothball, the naughtiest wombat in Australia. Bored with her daily routine, Mothball goes in search of shelter and food, creating chaos in the lives of the humans around her.
'Doormats, bins and washing lines are no match for this mischievous marsupial. Between a packed schedule of scratching, sleeping and eating Mothball discovers that with a bit of persistence, humans are quite easily trained!'
Source: Monkey Baa.
This is affiliated with Dr Laurel Cohn's Picture Book Diet because it contains representations of food and/or food practices.
|Food as sense of place||
|Food as social cohesion||
|Food as cultural identity||n/a|
|Food as character identity||
|Food as language||n/a|
'The Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) administers the oldest national prize for children’s literature in Australia. Each year, the CBCA confers “Book of the Year” awards to literature for young people in five categories: Older Readers, Younger Readers, Early Childhood, Picture Books and Information Books. In recent years the Picture Book category has emerged as a highly visible space within which the CBCA can contest discourses of cultural marginalization which construct Australian (‘colonial’) literature as inferior or adjunct to the major Anglophone literary traditions, and children’s literature as lesser than its adult counterpart. The CBCA has moved from asserting its authority by withholding judgment in the award’s early years towards asserting expertise via overtly politicized selections in the twenty-first century. Reading across the CBCA’s selections of picture books allows for insights into wider trends in Australian children’s literature and culture, and suggests a conscious engagement with social as well as literary values on the part of the CBCA in the twenty-first century.'
'This chapter explores how Australian writers and illustrators in the twenty-first century depict the act of mothering in picture books for young children in relation to cooking and serving food. It draws on the idea that children’s texts can be understood as sites of cultural production and reproduction, with social conventions and ideologies embedded in their narrative representations. The analysis is based on a survey of 124 books that were shortlisted for, or won, Children’s Book Council of Australia awards between 2001 and 2013. Of the eighty-seven titles that contain food and have human or anthropomorphised characters, twenty-six (30 percent) contain textual or illustrative references to maternal figures involved in food preparation or provision. Examination of this data set reveals that there is a strong correlation between non-Anglo-Australian maternal figures and home-cooked meals, and a clear link between Anglo-Australian mothers and sugar-rich snacks. The relative paucity of depictions of ethnically unmarked mothers offering more nutritious foods is notable given the cultural expectations of mothers as caretakers of their children’s well-being. At the same time, the linking of non-Anglo-Australian mothers with home-cooked meals can be seen as a means of signifying a cultural authenticity, a closeness to the earth that is differentiated from the normalised Australian culture represented in picture books. This suggests an unintended alignment of mothers preparing and serving meals with “otherness,” which creates a distancing effect between meals that may generally be considered nutritious and the normalised self. I contend there are unexamined, and perhaps unexpected, cultural assumptions about ethnicity, motherhood, and food embedded in contemporary Australian picture books. These have the potential to inscribe a system of beliefs about gender, cultural identity, and food that contributes to readers’ understanding of the world and themselves.'
'Book apps have developed into a new format for the picture book. Given the crucial role that picture books have played in early childhood education, it seems pertinent to ascertain the ways in which they have been affected by digitisation. In response to concerns regarding a lack of models and design principles within children’s digital publications, this transdisciplinary study attempts to go some way towards addressing the need for more research in this area. The article draws on research into children’s literature and human–computer interaction, analysing a range of digital picture books and arguing that people read ebooks, whereas they use book apps, the latter being far more media-rich and interactive. The article also uncovers ways in which designers can use media-rich interactive features to further children’s engagement with their literature.'
'The academics and the “mummy bloggers” are in furious agreement – reading picture books to children is one of the best things you can do for a child’s development.
It also happens to be, in the opinion of this humble author, one of the best things an adult can do for their own development. A reminder that the greatest joys in life are often the simplest.' (Introduction)