Picture books to introduce politics
Picture books could
be a way to start important conversations with children about topics that can
be difficult to discuss otherwise. Political engagement could be part of
children's bedtime stories as well. A new University of Kansas study analysed
political messages in the most popular picture books of the last several year.
The study included what children know about politics, presidential candidates, the political process and related topics; and how kids learn about politics through picture books, one of the most popular forms of literature for children from birth to age 8. The study was published in the Journal of Genetic Psychology.
The findings suggest that picture books miss an opportunity for political socialization for young children. Researchers argue it is important to start educating children about the importance of politics and political processes, as research has shown that lessons learned at a young age carry lasting effects into knowledge and attitudes adults hold on a variety of issues.