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Socialization in Children's Books

This is an analysis of five children’s picture books to examine what socialization messages are given to children.
by

Amelia Mugavero

on 7 December 2012

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Transcript of Socialization in Children's Books

By Amelia Mugavero Sociology in Childeren's Books Results: Summary: Summary: Summary: Summary: Welcome to the Magical World of Amelia's research project! Before we continue, keep this research question in the back of your mind: What role do Children’s books have in socializing young children?
In this presentation, we will analyze five Caldecott Award winning children's books to find our answer. HYPOTHESIS: I think Children’s books socialize children by presenting values that teach them to positively think and how to act in a given situation.


Let's see if I am correct... CONCLUSION: After reading these five books, I found that each of them communicated the values of being helpful and friendly citizens and independent thinkers through the use of familiar ideas and characters. Whether it was spending the day with loving grandparents, or taking a sick day with Amos McGee and his animals, the books tell happy, comforting stories that also have a positive aura when reading them. Therefore, my hypothesis was correct by deducing that these books would share positive values and how to act in situations. These situations can be choosing right over wrong, such as in the Lion and the Mouse; or how to never give up, just like the kitten never gave up searching for his milk. These values are important for kids to learn early in their development, for because they are the future generation, their success in learning these values impacts society as a whole. Hello! This is the first book we will be analyzing. In short, the story is about a kind, little old man who is a zoo keeper and sticks to his daily routine with playing and helping his animal friends at the zoo. One day, Amos wakes up sick and is unable to go to work that day, leaving his animals waiting and puzzled. Figuring out that he must need help, the animals go to his house and work to get him better by reciprocating all the good things Amos has done for the animals in the past. Summary: I found this heart-warming story to be about love, loyalty and friendship. Also, its role in socialization is found in a variety of ways. The races represented are that of a Caucasian white old male, who generally always sticks to his daily routine and is quiet but nice. Social values are exemplified by Amos' timeliness and love that he has with his job, which is a value kids can learn for the working world. Also, the helpfulness and loyalty the animals have for Amos teaches kids the value of friendship and how lending a helping hand positively impacts the world around you. Paired with terrific artistry, this book supports my hypothesis by instilling good morals and a positive outlook through the happy storyline. For one little girl, the kitchen window at her Nanna and Poppy’s house is a magic gateway. On a day spent with her grandparents, the little girl tells a story of discovery and celebrates the commonplace wonders that define childhood and also tells of the special bond of grandparent and grandchild. Results: This book relays a simple, positive story that socializes children using positive experiences from the main character and strong family bonds, especially the bond with her grandparents. However, the racial images are important for the meaning of the reading. The granddaughter, who is the main character, is portrayed as African-American, where the grandfather appears white and married to the African-American grandmother. This shows that the messages that children’s books are trying to bring forth are not just about morality, but also preparing kids for the social changes of race and ethnicity that is found in today’s society. Intermarried ethnicity are getting more prominent in the United States, and it is interesting to find these influences in early children’s books. The story is told in the perspective of the mouse, telling of the mischief that always occurs with whatever his friend Rabbit does. The main plot is of Rabbit and mouse trying to get their toy airplane out of a tree. Rabbit uses his somewhat flawed problem-solving skills when he incorporates a pile of animals to reach the plane, altogether failing in the end. The book ends humorously as the two friends make a getaway from the angry animals in the plane, only to crash into a tree once again. Results: This book relays the values of friendship through the Mouse and the Rabbit. Their friendship also instills the positive thinking exemplified in the happy attitudes during Rabbit’s struggle to get to the plane, and also through Mouse’s forgiving attitude towards Rabbit. These are common values found in the rest of the books. Like the books before, my hypothesis is true to the fact that these books socialize children through familiar animal protagonists that instill positive images and ideas for child readers. The story begins with the little Kitten sitting on the stairs, where she sees what she takes to be a small bowl of milk in the night sky, but try as she might, she cannot get to it. She reaches and chases the bowl, but it always eludes her. Climbing up a tree, she sees below what she thinks is an even bigger bowl of milk. Of course, it is the moon and she gets soaking wet when she jumps into its reflection on the water. A real bowl of milk left for her on the porch gives the story a happy ending. Even though it is a simple story line, there are hints of moral lessons that are evident throughout the book. The kitten’s initial misconception of the moon gives positive comic relief and also teaches kids that they should never give up, which is shown through Kitten’s persistence with finding the milk. Though these are hidden in the actual story, the use of the cute kitten allows for kids to connect with the character and therefore these values become much more prominent childern's learning. Results: In the story "The Lion and the Mouse," the mouse accidentally awakens and upsets a lion. The lion feels kind and decides to let the mouse go and the mouse promises to repay the lion one day. The lion laughed, thinking what could a mouse do for me. Later, the lion is caught in a trap. When the mouse heard the lion roaring he came and quickly chewed through the ropes to set the lion free. Results: The classic story of the lion and the mouse is a perfect example of the value of doing the right thing and friendships and exchanges of good deeds that can come from the positive deed. It introduces these ideas of kind deeds and reciprocity using fables with a moral issue at the core of the story. The book reinforces the social idea that a kind deed is never wasted and demonstrates that kindness is related to good citizenship. So what did
we learn? THE END!
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