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Understanding Children's Literature and Material Culture through Pop-Up Books

從立體書看兒童文學與物質文化

Abstracts


This paper explores the linkage between children's literature and material culture through pop-up books. The questions to be explored include how the pop-up book's literary-visual content is combined crucially with the book's physical properties-the mechanical devices-to script for the child-reader, and how elements of material properties in pop-up books shape the reader's construction of various categories, such as environmentalism, toys, souvenirs, and/or collection. The paper argues that the pop-up book is a fitting form for investigating material culture because there is hardly any book form apart from pop-ups that best manifests its materiality to children. Each pop-up mechanism is designed to draw the reader in; when a pop-up spread unfolds, it demands a reaction from the reader. The pop-up books selected for analysis include In the Forest (2012), Robots (2014), and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: A Commemorative Pop-Up (2000). While all three pop-ups enhance the comprehension of the link between children's books and material culture, their diversity in themes, aesthetic devices, and social reception serves different purposes, displaying the distinct dimension of objects. The paper consists of three parts. The first part considers a number of contemporary theoretical literatures on objects. The second part briefly surveys the history of movable/pop-up books, overviewing the genre's evolution and its conjunction with children. The third part examines the selected pop-up books, with special attention placed on each book's device features, aesthetic accomplishments, and material elements. The paper concludes that the pop-up book is a form deserving more critical attention not only because its materiality helps us theorize in more nuanced ways about how children can exercise agency, but also because the ingenuity and efforts of paper engineers demand, likewise, more recognition and appreciation.

Parallel abstracts


本文透過立體書探討兒童文學與物質文化的關係,所探究問題包括立體書的文與圖,如何結合書本的物質特性-亦即可動裝置-指示兒童讀者展開閱讀?每本立體書各自特有的物質元素,又如何形塑與建構讀者對於環境、玩具等不同議題的認識,甚至變成可供收藏的紀念品?本文認為立體書乃探索物質文化之絕佳類型,因立體書相較其他書種,更能展現其物質性。立體書每一處彈起或可動裝置,目的都在吸引讀者,引發讀者回應。本文檢視三本立體書:《樹懶的森林》(英文版於2012年發行)、《機器人不喜歡下雨天》(英文版於2014年發行)、及《綠野仙蹤:立體書紀念版》(2000)。三本立體書均凸顯童書與物質文化的連結,但各書於主題、美學技巧、閱眾接受方式之不同,又使每本立體書展現的物質面向大異其趣。本文分成三部分,首先爬梳當代相關物質理論,接著簡述可動書/立體書之發展歷史,尤其與兒童之連結;第三部分逐本討論所選立體書,析論每本書的可動裝置、美學表現、物質元素。本文總結立體書應當受到更多學術關注,不僅因為其物質性可深化吾人對於兒童如何透過閱讀展現主體動能之討論,也因為紙藝師透過可動裝置展現的巧思與才華,值得更多掌聲與肯定。

References


Bernstein, Robin. “Children’s Books, Dolls, and the Performance of Race; or, the Possibility of Children’s Literature.” PMLA, vol. 126, no. 1, 2011, pp. 160-69.
Bernstein, Robin. “Dances with Things: Material Culture and the Performance of Race.” Social Text, vol. 27, no. 4, 2009, pp. 67-94.
Bernstein, Robin. “Toys Are Good for Us: Why We Should Embrace the Historical Integration of Children’s Literature, Material Culture, and Play.” Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, vol. 38, no. 4, Winter 2013, pp. 458-63.
Bluemel, Nancy Larson, and Rhonda Harris Taylor. Pop-Up Books: A Guide for Teachers and Librarians. Libraries Unlimited, 2012.
Boisrobert, Anouck, and Louis Rigaud. In the Forest. Tate Publishing, 2012.

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