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Quantitative Analysis of Anthropomorphic Animals in Picture Books: Roles and Features of Animals
International Journal of Literature and Arts
Volume 8, Issue 6, November 2020, Pages: 308-315
Received: Oct. 24, 2020; Accepted: Nov. 9, 2020; Published: Nov. 19, 2020
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Kanae Hara, Graduate School of Agriculture, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Tokyo, Japan
Naoko Koda, Graduate School of Agriculture, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Tokyo, Japan
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Children can have indirect contact with animals daily through media, such as picture books. Picture books can enrich children’s imaginary world and help them develop an adaptive life that can cope with various experiences. Because anthropomorphic animals in picture books are a typical fantasy, they may contribute to the development of relationships between children and animals. Previous studies have mainly focused on children and anthropomorphic animals in picture books using qualitative or case-study methods. This study quantitatively examined the appearance of anthropomorphic animals in picture books by categorizing them by species (animal kinds). In 1,386 picture books, 178 species of anthropomorphic animals appeared. The most frequently depicted animals were, in order, rabbits, mice, and bears. The protagonists were often anthropomorphic animals, children and males. Different species of anthropomorphic animals had different characteristics in their sex and roles. Many picture books depicted bears, dogs, and foxes as males and rabbits and pigs as females. Bears were more likely to be protagonists, squirrels and foxes were less likely to be protagonists, and cats were less likely to act as supporting characters. These results reveal that children see various kinds of anthropomorphic animals in picture books, and that anthropomorphic animals in picture books reflect social images of animals and the history of human-animal interactions.
Anthropomorphic Animals, Child Development, Depiction of Animals, Human-animal Interactions, Picture Books
To cite this article
Kanae Hara, Naoko Koda, Quantitative Analysis of Anthropomorphic Animals in Picture Books: Roles and Features of Animals, International Journal of Literature and Arts. Vol. 8, No. 6, 2020, pp. 308-315. doi: 10.11648/j.ijla.20200806.11
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