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Fantasy Picture Books
Parents-Children’s collective reading
The purpose of this study was to understand the interpretations of fantasy picture books when the books were read individually or collectively on a parents-children basis. The researcher, adopting both neo-mythology-based and magic-based types of picture books, devised semi-structured interview questions based on the storylines in the books as the research instrument in the study. The researcher sampled the children at the age of four, six, eight, and ten as well as their parents. In total, thirty-two subjects were enrolled into the study. The result was as followed: It was found that both children and parents told the stories in a way of linking the story picture by picture. The contents of the stories were all inclined to the original story texts. Besides, in terms of the story structure, it was found that the older the children, the stories told were more complete. It was also found that the stories told on a collective basis were more complete than the stories told on an individual basis. Similarly, more questions were raised by both parents and children to the neo-mythology-based stories. It was also found that the interpretative contents derived from the interactions on a collective basis were richer than those on an individual basis. Parents who listened patiently and attentively on a collective basis, thought that children’s interpretations were more accurate, vivid, and subtle than adults’. The parents-children’s collective reading processes were analyzed through three ways: collective reading type, physical action, and verbal conversation. When it comes to the unrealistic storylines in the fantasy books, it was found that children tended to have three kinds of interpretations: believing in the original storylines, considering realistic conditions, and mixing both believing in the original storylines with considering realistic conditions together. Children at the age of four tended to belong to the first type. The older the children, the more realistic perspectives were held. Children at the age of ten tended to have the same perspectives as adults’. Besides, regarding the fantasy-reality judgment, three kinds of responses were found. Firstly, children at the age of four and some parts of children at the age of six and eight tended to think that given some conditions, the plots of the stories might happen to themselves. Some other children at the age of six and eight may think that the stories were just stories and therefore it was impossible to happen in the real life. However, children at the age of ten may think that everything could happen in the real life as long as human beings imagine or dream.
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