Margot Hillel

Publication Date



Children’s books provide a great deal of insight into adult views of childhood and give us another views of social attitudes to children. In this article the A., by examining some selected picture books of literature for children which were published in Australia between the two world wars, underlines the complexity of the message conveyed by texts as well as, in particular, by illustrations, in this way shedding light on the emergence of a contradictory and “sexualized” construction of childhood – which, at a closer reading, appears to be the manifestation of a mechanism, only apparently contradictory but actually very sophisticated, for valorising a view of childhood as entirely innocent with illustrations which, supporting the pretty and appealing, promote an eroticized image of it.

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Open Access Journal Article

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Open Access