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Articles on anthropomorphism in children's lit.

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Last year, Amy Pronovost asked me if I could find any scholarly articles which discussed anthropomorphism in children's literature, since at the time I had access to librarian journal databases. I came up with a short list, and thought I should share it.I haven't personally read any of these; they're simply bibliographic citations that I found, from a number of differrent academic disciplines. I got the best search results when using combinations of the words "anthropomorphism", "literature", "animals", and "children". Occasionally throwing in "books" or "anthropomorphic" brought up a few more. In no particular order:

Anthropomorphism in children's literature, or Mom, my doll's talking again
by J. Derby
Elementary English v.47, n.2 (1970): 190-192

Why anthropomorphism in children's literature
by J.K. Markowsky
Elementary English v.52, n.4 (1975): 460+

When critters act like people - anthropomorphism in greeting cards
by S. Brabant, L.A. Mooney
Sociological Spectrum v.9, n.4 (1989): 477-494

The effects of anthropomorphism on word learning
by J. Blanchard, G. McNinch
Journal of Educational Research v.78, n.2 (1984): 105-110

Anthropomorphism in beginning readers
by J.S. Blanchard
Reading Teacher v.35, n.5 (1982): 586-591

The animal text: Message and meaning in television advertisements
by J.E. Lerner, L. Kalof
Sociological Quarterly v.40, n.4 (Fall 1999): 565-586

Children's gender orientation and perceptions of female, male, and
gender-ambiguous animal characters
by R. Karniol, S. Reichman, L. Fund
Sex Roles v.43, n.5-6 (Sept. 2000): 377-393

Children and other talking animals (Children's literature, motif)
by J. Morgenstern
Lion and the Unicorn v.24 (Jan. 2000): 110-127

Animals in books used for preschool-children
by C.M.E. McCrindle, J.S.J. Odendaal
Anthrozoos v.7, n.2 (1994): 135-146

The representation of animals on children's television
by E.S. Paul
Anthrozoos v.9, n.4 (1996): 169-181

Realistic representations of companion animals in comic art in the USA
by B.J. Carmack
Anthrozoos v.10, n.2-3 (1997): 108-120


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Add to this the book: "Animal Land: The Creatures of Children's Fiction", by Margaret Blount. Illustrated, 334 pages. This is a British book (Hutchinson, October 1974) but there is an American edition. The emphasis is on European folklore and British children's literature, from Lewis Carroll and Kenneth Grahame to the funny animals in British comics journals (Rupert Bear; Pip, Squeak and Wilfred; etc.), though there is some coverage of American children's literature.

Fred Patten

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Where can I get these, full text, online? Doing a graduating study on animals in children's literature.


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I was wondering the same thing; where can I get these texts online?

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