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Major Paper #2 [Revised] - Fifield 1 Jennifer Fifield...

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Fifield 1 Jennifer Fifield Professor Sarah Cohen English 131 10 December 2007 Children’s Books: The Building Blocks of Life [Major Paper #2 -- Genre Analysis] Most people have read a children’s book. Children’s books appeal to all ages - young children, adolescents, young adults, parents, and grandparents. Children’s books have become an integral part of American culture and society: studied in schools, cited in newspaper articles, and quoted in speeches by politicians. Well-known authors of this particular genre, including Dr. Seuss, Beatrix Potter, and Maurice Sendak, have written stories that are universal, timeless, entertaining, and educational. While children’s books are targeted primarily at children ages 2 - 7, the most widely read and famous stories impart critical lessons, teach vocabulary and reading, broaden outlooks, and bring smiles to all readers. This therefore promotes an educated, ideal, harmonious society. Learning to read is one of the most essential acquired skills for a child. In Dr. Seuss’s ABC , children can learn the alphabet with alliterations and pictures that identify and explain the twenty-six different letters. Dr. Seuss incorporates simple text and illustrations to help children remember the letters, demonstrating how the alphabet is the building blocks of words and how words communicate things and ideas. Children learn how to read by first knowing the letters. 21
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Fifield 2 “BIG U little u What begins with U? Uncle Ubb’s umbrella and his underwear, too” (48). The capital letters on the first line and the lower case letters on the second line visually portray the two forms of a letter and how capitalization is important in both reading and writing. This is an example of how Dr. Seuss makes his books more accessible and understandable to children - it is easy to comprehend, pronounce, and associate, and links with the picture on the right side of the text (Uncle Ubb is holding a blue umbrella and wearing long underwear). The sentences are simple and short. The language is clear and expressive without being wordy. Children’s books are meant to be read aloud, so that children can hear, sound out the consonants and vowels, and thereby better learn and remember the words and their meanings. Children mimic the reader and remember sounds, letters, and words - listening and repetition are critical to learning. Personification is also commonly used in children’s books. In If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff, the author states, “If you give a mouse a cookie, he’s going to ask for a glass of milk” (1-2). In addition to asking for a glass of milk, the mouse asks for a napkin, eats a cookie, takes a nap - all things that children or adults do, but not mice. These are all human-related activities well known by children. Human behaviors or characteristics attributed to small, friendly, familiar animals make the books more appealing and accessible to children.
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