Adult Character Stereotypes In Children's Literature

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Children’s literature is the body of written works and accompanying illustrations produced inorder to entertain and instruct young people.The fundamental goal of children’s literature is to instruct and entertain. It covers various diverse themes such as mystery, fantasy and war. Some themes are discernible to the young reader, whereas some are more likely to be understood by an adult reader. This means that children’s literature is accessible to all ages, with different pieces of information within the text becoming clearer each time it is read. After studying various children’s texts, many themes, that most, if not all books shared, were noticeably alike. However, it is the lessons that children borrow from the portrayal of adult characters…show more content…
They have a significant influence on children’s socio-cultural development outside the family environment. Klein ( 1976) postulates that everything we read affects the way we think, considerably, the texts children are exposed to have a big influence on their thoughts and attitudes. Therefore writers should consider excluding stereotypes such as gender and racial stereotypes, from texts for children because the presence of stereotypical views can cause problems throughout children’s development.

According to Sutherland (1997) children’s literature has been used to improve language literacy and inventive thinking skills. He further goes on to say that it works as character development tool to shape behavior and attitudes. Adulthood, like many terms we use for describing data, it is a very poorly defined and a somewhat arbitrary concept. When does an organism become an adult? The answer in general would be “it depends on how you define adult.”

On that note it is of great importance that authors should give attention to the adult characters in as much as they give to the heroine/protagonist as the adult characters many a time represent the culture and embodiment of the people of older and past generations which are of paramount importance to the development of the child
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Weitzman (1972) states that: “through books, children learn about what boys and girls say and feel. They learn about what is wrong and they learn what is expected of children their age. In addition, books provide children with role models and images of what they can and should become when they grow

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