Open Access Graduate Research Paper
Agriculture in literature; Farmers in literature; Sex role in literature;
The purpose of this research was to analyze the representations of modern American farming in traditional tales in picture book format, storybooks with contemporary settings, and non-fiction literature to assess how accurately agriculture information is provided to children. This project will contribute to the knowledge base about how well children’s books are compensating for the lack of first-hand experience. The four hypothesizes studied were: 1. Ninety percent of storybooks with contemporary settings will depict a male in the role of farmer. 2. One hundred percent of traditional literature in picture book format will depict a farmer wearing bib overalls, straw hat or present other outdated and/or stereotyped portrayal of farmers. 3. Ninety percent of the storybooks with contemporary settings will have current farm machinery. 4. Eighty percent of the non-fiction text will provide modern agriculture information. Thematic tables were created for each genre based on machinery, buildings, farming methods, gender and attire of farmers, and livestock. Literature was chosen by using Children’s Core database, and then collected using interlibrary loan. Ten to fifteen titles were chosen for evaluation. The researcher examined the pictures in the three genres, and determined if they were stereotyped or accurate based on the themes. The study found that picture books with a contemporary setting and traditional literature in picture book format had the most stereotypical images. Nonfiction had the most accurate images.
Date of Award
Master of Arts
Division of School Library Studies
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
1 PDF file (ii, 42 pages)
© 2013 Kathryn S. Koller
Koller, Kathryn S., "Portrayal of agriculture in children's literature: Contemporary stories in picture books, traditional tales, and nonfiction" (2013). Graduate Research Papers. 18.