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A Studying of the Wired and Funny Style Illustration Applying to the Topic of Stray Dogs in Children’s Picture Book
wired and funny style
children’s picture books
Education is essential to improving attitude toward animal protection. This study conducted an in-depth investigation into illustrations with a wired and funny style and adopted this style to create children picture books addressing the issue of stray dogs. First, the style of wired and funny style illustrations was analyzed by referring to the categories of illustration styles proposed by Yi (2000). Children’s picture books published between 2004 and 2015 were collected from the children’s book section at National Taiwan Normal University and the Children’s Learning Center at the National Library of Public Information. Among all the collected books, 47 picture books were of the wired and funny style; seven of them were created by Taiwanese illustrators, and the remaining books were composed by foreign illustrators wired and funny style illustrations were further categorized into nine subcategories by using an intuitive approach. The subcategories were as follows: (a) freshness, (b) nimbleness, (c) use of geometrical blocks, (d) slightly illustrative decoration, (e) highly illustrative decoration, (f) delicate lighting and shading changes, (g) images with plain and stiff styles, (h) expressive free strokes, and (i) cartoon style. Category (h) was observed to be dominant, accounting for 25.53% of the illustrations. Subsequently, a case study was conducted to analyze the predicament of stray dogs. A volunteer of the Animal Protection Association of the Republic of China and a friend of the author with practical animal rescue experience provided seven cases. The author contributed one experience, bringing the total to eight cases collected. Compiling the results of analysis for all the cases and adopting the styles of subcategories e and h, the author created a children’s picture book named “The Other Side of the Mountain.” The book describes a puppy that got lost and became a stray dog, seeking its owner. Through the puppy’s conversations with other stray dogs, the predicament of stray dogs is revealed. The conclusions made from the analysis of wired and funny style in children’s literature were as follows: (a) In Taiwan, wired and funny style picture books are mostly exported books written in foreign languages. (b) Amidst the increasingly diversified aesthetic perceptions, acceptance of the wired and funnystyle is expected to grow. (c) The subcategories discussed in this study overlap with the decorative and childlike styles mentioned in previous research and represent the characteristic of the wired and funny style. (d) The preferences of the Taiwanese market may hamper the spread of the wired and funny style in Taiwan. Regarding the creative experience, two conclusions were made. First, three merits were identified in illustrations on topics considered depressing and those with wired imagery, such as illustrations of stray dogs: A wired and funny style (a) appropriately emphasizes the unpleasantness of certain situations, (b) exhibits a low visual impact, and (c) increases the uniqueness of illustrations. These merits are appropriate for highlighting the issue of stray dogs and enhanced readers’ acceptance. Second, from the technical perspective, a creation experience was detailed in this study, and subcategories e (highly illustrative decoration) and h (expressive free strokes) are recommended for creating children’s books in this style.
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