Telling tales: Parental reactions to children's picturebooks

Kwok Shing Richard WONG

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters


This chapter is located around parental response to two children's award-winning picturebooks. The parents included in the study came from two different historical, sociocultural and linguistic backgrounds: Chinese and European. Both The Very Slow Moving Snail and This Is Not My Hat have been awarded prestigious awards, but the main reason for their selection was that they were written and illustrated by authors who, like the parents in the study, had different backgrounds. The chapter argues that in reading the books, both sets of parents went through similar processes where the meaning of the picturebook was negotiated through interactions between text and images. Yet while the processes might have been similar, there were differences in parental reactions between each group, especially in the books that they dislike. The chapter goes on to explore the theories that the parents evoked and the specific constructions of the child and specific attachments to ideological beliefs concerning childhood that the parents referred to when they commented on a picturebook. The chapter goes on to question what potential consequences these constructions and beliefs could have in terms of children's literacy practices. More important, however, the chapter considers the relationship between adult concerns and anxieties and children's autonomy as readers and responders. Copyright © 2018 selection and editorial matter, Kerry J. Kennedy and John Chi-Kin Lee; individual chapters, the contributors.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge international handbook of schools and schooling in Asia
EditorsKerry J. KENNEDY, John Chi-Kin LEE
Place of PublicationNew York
ISBN (Electronic)9781315694382
ISBN (Print)9781138908499
Publication statusPublished - 2018


Wong, R. K.-S. (2018). Telling tales: Parental reactions to children's picturebooks. In K. J. Kennedy & J. C.-K. Lee (Eds.), Routledge international handbook of schools and schooling in Asia (pp. 476-486). New York: Routledge.


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