Quantitative Analysis of Anthropomorphic Animals in Picture Books: Roles and Features of Animals
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.
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.
Kato, Y. (2018, December 20), Sales of picture books increases with support of grandparents. The Asahi Shimbun, morning edition, p. 34. (in Japanese)
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. (2017). The national curriculum standard for kindergartens. Retrieved October 9, 2020, from https://www.mext.go.jp/component/a_menu/education/detail/__icsFiles/afieldfile/2019/10/11/1401777_002.pdf.
Wasik, B. A., Hindman, A. H., and Snell, E. K. (2016). Book reading and vocabulary development: A systematic review. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 37 (4), 39-57.
Horst, J. S. (2013). Context and repetition in word learning, Frontiers in Psychology, 4, art. 149.
Fletcher, K. L., and Reese, E. (2005). Picture book reading with young children: A conceptual framework. Developmental Review, 25 (1), 64-103.
Strouse, G. A., Nyhout, A., and Ganea, P. A. (2018). The role of book features in young children's transfer of information from picture books to real-world contexts. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, art. 50.
Horst, J. S., and Houston-Price, C. (2015). Editorial: An open book: What and how young children learn from picture and story books, Frontiers in Psychology, 6, art. 1719.
Abad, C., and Pruden, S. M. (2013). Do storybooks really break children's gender stereotypes? Frontiers in Psychology, 4, art. 986.
Heath, P., Houston-Price, C., and Kennedy, O. B. (2018). Let's look at leeks! Picture books increase toddlers' willingness to look at, taste and consume unfamiliar vegetables. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, art. 191.
Flevares, L. M., and Schiff, J. R. (2014). Learning mathematics in two dimensions: A review and look ahead at teaching and learning early childhood mathematics with children’s literature. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, art. 854.
Ganea, P. A., Ma, L., and DeLoache, J. S. (2011). Young children’s learning and transfer of biological information from picture books to real animals. Child Development, 82 (5), 1421-1433.
DeLoache, J. S., Pickard, M. B., and LoBue, V. (2011). How very young children think about animals. In P. McCardle, S. McCune, J. A, Griffin, V. Maholmes (Eds.), How animals affect us: Examining the influence of human-animal interaction on child development and human health (pp. 85-99). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
LoBue, V., Pickard, M. B., Sherman, K., Axford, C., and DeLoache, J. S. (2013). Young children’s interest in live animals. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 31 (1), 57–69.
Marriott, S. (2002). Red in tooth and claw? Images of nature in modern picture books. Children’s Literature in Education, 33, 175-183.
Waxman, S. R., Herrmann, P., Woodring, J., and Medin, D. L. (2014). Humans (really) are animals: picture-book reading influences 5-year-old urban children’s construal of the relation between humans and non-human animals, Frontiers in Psychology, 5, article 172.
Ganea, P. A., Canfield, C. F., Simons-Ghafari, K., and Chou, T. (2014). Do cavies talk? The effect of anthropomorphic picture books on children's knowledge about animals, Frontiers in Psychology, 5, art. 283.
Newman, C. (2014). Hey kids, all deer aren't like Bambi. National Geographic, Retrieved October 9, 2020, from https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/3/140327-childrens-books-fantasy-animals-psychology.
Uchida, N. (1994). Monogatari kodo no hattatsu [The development of narrative behavior]. In N. Uchida (Ed.), Developmental psychology of reading, writing and talking. Foundation for the Promotion of The Open University of Japan. (in Japanese).
Uchida, N. (2002). Sekai wo toraeru shikumi: Shocho kinou no hattatu to kotoba no kakutoku [The mechanism for grasping the world: Development of symbolic functions and language acquisition]. In N. Uchida (Ed.), Developmental psychology. Foundation for the Promotion of The Open University of Japan. (in Japanese).
Uchida, N. (1994). Sozo ryoku [The imagination]. Kodansha. (in Japanese).
Matsui, T. (1973). Ehon toha nani ka [What are picture books?]. Japan Editor School Press. (in Japanese).
Yano, S. (2002). Dobtssu ehon wo meguru boken [Adventures over animal picture books]. Keiso Shobo. (in Japanese).
McCrindle, M. E., and Odendaal, J. S. (1994). Animals in books used for preschool children. Anthrozoös, 7 (2), 135-146.
Banzai, T., and Osawa, H. (1989). A study on sex roles in picture books. Journal of Saitama University. Science of Education, 38 (2), 15-38.
Fujita, Y. (2003). Gender in mass media for children: An analysis of television and books. Journal of Kyushu University of Health and Welfare, 4, 259-268.
Matsuoka, K. (1987). Ehon no sekai, kodomo no sekai [Picture books’ world: Children’s world]. Japan Editor School Press. (in Japanese).
Dohi, I. (2004). “Danjo no omoikomi” wo tsukuru kokoro no shikumi [The mental systems making “male and female assumptions”]. In Jenda no shinrigaku kaiteiban (pp. 26-47). Minerva Shobo. (in Japanese).
Haijima, K. (2017). Ehon wo fukaku yomu [Reading picture books deeply]. Tamagawa University Press. (in Japanese).
Kashiwagi, K. (1994). Ziko ninshiki no hattatu to keisei [Development and formation of self-awareness]. In T. Noro (Ed.), Developmental psychology revised edition. Foundation for the Promotion of The Open University of Japan. (in Japanese).
Lorenz, K. (1943). Die angeborenen Formen möglicher Erfahrung. Zeitschrift für Tierpsychologie, 5 (2), 235-409.
Nittono, H. (2019). “Kawaii” no chikara [The power of "cute"]. Kagakudouzin. (in Japanese).
Bar, M., and Neta, M. (2007). Visual elements of subjective preference modulate amygdala activation. Neuropsychologia, 45, 2191-2200.
Palumbo, L., Ruta, N., and Bertamini, M. (2015). Comparing angular and curved shapes in terms of implicit associations and approach/avoidance responses. PLoS ONE, 10 (10), e0140043.
Flynn, J. J., and Galiano, H. (1982). Phylogeny of early tertiary carnivora: with a description of a new species of protictis from the middle Eocene of northwestern Wyoming. American Museum Novitates, 2725, 1-64.
Pastoureau, M. (2014). The bear: History of a fallen king (Hirano, T., Trans.). Le Seuil. (Original work published 2007).
Thorne, C. (1997). Evolution and domestication. In C. Thorne (Ed.), The Waltham book of dog and cat behaviour (pp. 1-30). Pergamon Press.
Ikushima, H. (2017). Analysis of expressions associated with “dog” and “cat” images in sandplay works: compared works of university students with those of teachers. Research Bulletin of Tokushima Bunri University, 94, 15-28.
Konno, A., and Nihei, Y. (2007). Development of a temperament scale for dogs and cats. Proceedings of the 5th Conference of the Japanese Society for Cognitive Psychology, 85.
Mizukami, N. (2008). The fox, the bear and the wolf in Russian animation films. The Bulletin of Niigata Women's College, 45, 365-378.
Iwata, M., and Fujimoto, M. (2014). Talking animals: images of animals as characters. Gobun, 103, 43-54. (in Japanese).
Nakamura, T. (2001). Kitsune no nihonshi: Kodai chusei hen [Japanese history of foxes: ancient and middle age]. Japan Editor School Press. (in Japanese).
Nakamura, T. (2006). Nihonjin no Dobutsu kan [Japanese view and attitude toward animals]. Seiunsha. (in Japanese).
Chiba, T. (1992). Honyurui [Mammals]. In Nihonshi no naka no dobutsu jiten (pp. 2-78). Tokyodo Shuppan. (in Japanese).
Nakamura, T. (1990). Tanuki to sono sekai [The raccoon dogs and their world]. Asahi Sensho. (in Japanese).
Hattori, M., Horiuchi, T., Katsuno, K., Itagaki, H., Kato, K., Inoue, Y., Maeda, M., Hanazono, M., and Akao, H. (2007). Why do children color rabbits pink? Thinking of Animals, 12, 23-28.
Kiyosawa, T. (2014). Classification of test subjects and its taste characteristic based on experimental results of “kawaii” color. Transactions of Japan Society of Kansei Engineering, 13 (1), 107-116.
Kawano, G. (2004). Rikabanare ha honto ka [Is it true that people are away from science?]. In T. Matsumura (Ed.), Who is away from science? Gender analysis of Japanese junior high school students survey (pp. 13-36). Nippon Hyoron sha. (in Japanese).
Iino, H. (1998). Image of "manliness" and "femininity" held by university students, Proceeding of the Annual Meeting of Japan Society of Personality Psychology, 7, 80-81. (in Japanese).
Suzuki, K. (2014). Buta no kigen to kairyo no rekishi [The history of the origin and improvement of pigs]. In K. Suzuki (Ed.), Series science of livestock 2. Asakura Publishing. (in Japanese).
Kamizono, K. (2011). Change of consciousness in audiences by viewing the movie "Classroom with a Pig". Bulletin of Faculty of Education, Nagasaki University. Educational Science, 75, 1-9.
Miklósi, A., Pongrácz, P., Lakatos, G., Topál, J., and Csányi, V. (2005). A comparative study of the use of visual communicative signals in interactions between dogs (Canis familiaris) and humans and cats (Felis catus) and humans. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 119 (2), 179-186.
Surpell, J. A. (1996). Evidence for an association between pet behavior and owner attachment levels. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 47 (1-2), 49-60.
DeLoache, J. S., Cassidy, D. J., and Carpenter, C. J. (1987). The three bears are all boys: Mothers’ gender labeling of neutral picture book characters. Sex Roles, 17 (3-4), 163-178.