Suspended Animation: Children's Picture Books and the Fairy Tale of Modernity

Op de Beeck, Nathalie

Published by Univ of Minnesota Press
ISBN 10: 0816665737 / ISBN 13: 9780816665730
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Synopsis: Through a combination of nostalgia and new printing technologies, picture book publishing in America became a popular enterprise between the wars. Suspended Animation analyzes the phenomenon of American picture books and what their imaginative form and content reveal about the modern nation.
In this insightful and nuanced work, Nathalie op de Beeck argues that pictorial literature intended for young readers presents a paradox. Children's picture books are at once fairy tales that uphold middle-class traditions and modern commodities that teach children about their changing world. With engaging color and black-and-white illustrations from influential texts, op de Beeck shows how these word-and-picture sequences provide deceptively simple stories within the specific historical and cultural contexts of the period between the 1910s and 1940s.
Suspended Animation contends that children's picture books reflect adult ideals and provide visual and written information in contemporary, colorful packages. Although they are outwardly earnest and easy to read, picture books express questionable attitudes on ethnic and racial difference, nature and technology, and history and the here and now. By examining the production of picture books, their modes of storytelling, and their nods to both the avant-garde and mass culture, Suspended Animation traces the development of the American picture book in the history of modernity.

About the Author: Nathalie op de Beeck is associate professor of English at Pacific Lutheran University. Her scholarly projects include Little Machinery: A Critical Facsimile Edition.

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Title: Suspended Animation: Children's Picture ...
Publisher: Univ of Minnesota Press
Book Condition: BRAND NEW

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