Nowadays, a large proportion of contemporary picture books for children involves animal topics or has animals as main protagonists. Many of these animals are presented in an anthropomorphic, human form.
Animals have held an important place in literature for thousands
of years. Many cultures have had folktales and myths in which animals
represent human characteristics, Aesop used anthropomorphic animals
in his fables in order to illustrate human interactions and stories
in the Old and New Testament provide vivid images of animals that
stand for various human attributes.
Personified animals are realistic or cartoonish, paintings, two or
three dimensional line-drawings or photographs. They can offer different
degrees of anthropomorphism, involving human appearance and dress,
behaviour, traits, speech, thoughts, gestures or facial expressions.
Animals in picture books belong to the most association-rich classes of symbols and are a valuable aid to promoting reading, visual literacy, cultural and intercultural understanding in EFL-classes. Therefore, the aim of this presentation will be to further examine the role and function of animal representations in picture books by looking at various popular historical and contemporary examples.
Biodata will follow shortly.