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ANALYSE PICTURE BOOK: THE GRASSHOPPER AND THE ANT

1.0 Introduction

Picture books are profusely illustrated books in which the illustrations are, to varying
degrees and is vital to the enjoyment and understanding of the story (Ganea, Ma, & DeLoache,
2011). It may be occupied with images of curious characters, exotic settings as well as
extraordinary developments and the text may consist of a brief phrase, a single word or no
written text at all (Ganea, Ma, & DeLoache, 2011). According to Mantei & Kervin (2014),
picture books hold a prominent position in children’s literature and is crucial for the childhood
in human development because of the juxtaposition of pictures and words. In the picture books,
neither the illustrations nor the text can stand alone because it requires an integral association
between pictures and words to create meanings (Ganea, Ma, & DeLoache, 2011). For this
reason, the purpose of children’s picture books is not only for entertainment and relaxation
while they may also represent as the fundamental step for children in terms of learning and
socialization into literatures, literacy as well as social values (Mantei & Kervin, 2014).

Therefore, I have evaluated a picture book with the title of ‘The grasshopper and the
ant’ that illustrated by Maria Neradova. This picture book is aimed for children from 4 to 6
years old due to their reading abilities and according to the authors, it is used in English medium
of educational settings. The chapter of this picture book provides a necessarily brief but useful
knowledge that can produce an inclusive environment that promotes improved learning
outcomes among children. Thus, it is important for child in their physical and psychological
development together with their education. Specifically, this picture book can benefits children
to the following dimensions that include brain and language developments, physical
participation and attention of children as well as its influence of their multi-sensory.

2.0 Brain – Background

According to Brown and Jernigan (2013), brain development during preschool year
shows most dynamic and elaborative anatomical as well as physiological changes since this
stage is characterized by its ‘blossoming’ nature. Due to the reason, preschool years are
regarded as a time of great cognitive and behavioural growth, with the emergence in early form
of many human psychological abilities, they likewise establish a period of ‘blossoming’ within
the brain (Brown & Jernigan, 2013). Hence, as reported by Fox, Levitt and Nelson (2010), a
continuous sequence of dynamic interactions between genetic influences and environmental
states along with experiences are crucial for the foundations of brain construction in early life.

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In particular, specific experiences potentiate neural connectivity at key developmental stages


and these time periods are referred to as sensitive periods such as our perceptual, cognitive as
well as emotional skills is built upon by early life experiences (Brown & Jernigan, 2013).

Though many brain patterning processes are complete at birth, the human brain
demonstrates further dramatic biological progress during the infancy because brain growth is
rapid, even before birth (Brown & Jernigan, 2013). In fact, the typical infant is genetically
equipped with many neurons that can produce large numbers of synaptic connections, far more
than a person will ever use (Bukatko & Daehler, 2012). Specifically, some neurons are sensitive
to experience-expectant information where, these neurons grow rapidly at about the time they
can be expected to receive the kinds of stimulations that essential for their functioning (Bukatko
& Daehler, 2012). Besides that, based on the studies of Bukatko and Daehler (2012), other
neurons are sensitive to experience-dependent information such that each person will learns
different things, even into old age as many chances for leaning will happen at unpredictable
times during development. Under those circumstances, the rudimentary importance of early
experiences on the developing brain is associating with the quality of experiences and
environments during the early years. Therefore, picture book is a fundamental experience that
can help for their brain development before they exposed to other reading material.

2.1 Study findings - Brain development

In my opinion, the version of this book is not harshly moralistic due to the author’s
kinder and gentle tale, the Ants invite Grasshopper in from the cold and share their bounty, and
Grasshopper contributes to the colony in his own way and plays music, entertaining the Ants,
who enjoy a music-making break. Based on my analysis on this picture book, the plots incline
to be simple and fast-paced. The illustrations often assist the development of plots in the story
telling that can lead the targeted young readers within 4 to 6 years old to recognize and
acknowledge the well-illustrated picture book.

However, this picture book is considered as quality children’s literature that can benefit
on their brain development since it has provided an art-form through its combination of
carefully crafted language, expressive images along with the sensitive design. Likewise, the
front cover of this picture book is eye catching with the bold and unique title together with the
main characters in which, can invite the young children to view and read and eventually capture
the essence of the story. Besides that, the shape and size of this picture book is not too thick

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for the children between 4 to 6 years old as it is no more than ten pages and thus it is suitable
for them to hold and read. Due to the reason, the targeted children can turn the pages of the
book when he has reached a development of gross motor skills and achieved the cognitive skills
(Newcombe & Frick, 2010). In addition, cortex is one of the components of the brain that are
responsible for the neural changes, most closely linked to sensation, motor responses, reasoning,
organizing along with problem solving continue to arise well after birth (Bukatko & Daehler,
2012). Consequently, by reading this picture book, their cortex will continue to develop as they
can touch and sense the book along with their physically participation in this book.

Moreover, the arrangement of the visual elements in the picture has made significant
contributions to this picture book. Due to the reason, the scene composition in this book is
powerfully enhance the message of the characters on account of the simple geometric shapes
that control the children’s eyes wander across the book. According to the investigations of
Waxman, Herrmann, Woodring, and Medin, (2014), picture books serve as gateways for
learning about the natural world among children beyond the pictorial representations. Likewise,
the illustrator provided clear characters and key story elements for children by giving a sense
of lightness to each pages of the picture book. Specifically, in consonance with the analysis of
Frey and Fishers (2010), in early childhood education, neuroplasticity is a crucial concept due
to the role of background knowledge and wide reading. For this reason, physical changes
occurred as the background knowledge is built through direct and indirect experiences and these
new neural pathways are used in later reading-related tasks that include making connections
and visualizing (Frey & Fishers, 2010). Accordingly, targeted young children can get early
experience when reading this picture book which the brain can reorganize itself by forming new
neural connections throughout their life.

However, another key element of the design of this picture book is that the perspective
can drop the young reader into an illustration and place the reader on the action presented
coupled with a sense of distance between the reader and the story. Thus, as stated in Ohgi, Loo,
& Mizuike (2010), picture book reading has made the development in cognitive and learning
as mediated by activation of frontal areas. Apart from that, picture books can help young
children to establish skills like problem solving, ideation and connection making and thus
engages the reader on a deeper level in both intellectual and an emotional level (Ohgi, Loo, &
Mizuike, 2010). Thereupon, picture book reading leads to a strong coupling of perception and
action mediated by sensory, motor competencies and multimodal integrative regions distributed
throughout the brain (Ohgi, Loo, & Mizuike, 2010).

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Specifically, this picture book can inspire and stimulate the ability to form inner pictures
among children on account of that the picture book become another essential bridge of their
psychological development (Ohgi, Loo, & Mizuike, 2010). Nonetheless, early reading picture
books with adults can prepare and direct them to become aware of the very ideal context. Due
to the reason, when a child point, touch and feel the tactile surfaces in the picture book, he is
looking at the objects and showing something to others. Under those circumstances, the child
was demonstrating his perception to the adult and his subjective impression of what is seeing
and thus this shows that he is communicating and physically participate in the picture book. As
reported by Ganea, Canfield, Ghafari and Chou (2014), brain activity in 4 to 6 years old children
who read, listen and interact with picture books is different with those who do not. Due to the
different levels of frontal brain activation in young children, they may develop strengths and
skills that will help them to make images and stories out of words in future (Ganea et al., 2014).

Additionally, it can help them to acknowledge what things look like and become better
readers because part of their brain that helps them see what is going on in the story have been
developed (Waxman et al., 2014). Ultimately, this is a fundamental and crucial way for children
to learns to be a reader in which is a milestone for the language development as it can help to
develop their Broca’s area which, part of cerebral cortex and then the second language was
learned. In addition, as reported by Wan and Schlaug (2010), multisensory, and motor
experience that usually commences at an early age as plasticity acts as a fundamental
organizational feature of human brain function that underlies normal development and
maturation, skill learning along with the impacts of sensory deprivation (Wan & Schlaug, 2010).

Furthermore, in ‘The grasshopper and The ant’, only ten pages work includes short
textual references to setting that provide ‘cues’ for the story’s narrative. Surprisingly, the
setting is intrinsic to the story, but the author was able to keep the text on a need-to-know basis
while integrating setting into action and providing plenty of signal for the children. According
to Piaget theory, children in preoperational period can search for hidden objects and they can
acquire language as well as symbolic functions (Simatwa, 2010). On the following page of
picture book, the young readers within the ages of 4 to 6 have the opportunity to learn the simple
conversational skills and action verbs which, the child-friendly setting that is straightforward
for them to associate to. Subsequently, some absence of words in this picture book have
produce a ‘space’ which takes reasoning and imagination to fill as the pictures and text work
together to serve the purpose. Besides that, in consonance with the studies of Waxman et al.
(2014), picture books have an important role to play in building children’s brain networks. In

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particular, neural activity of frontal lobes in the young children are increased during picture
book reading as such frontal lobes are crucial for the cognitive processes that include memory,
socio-emotional development, attention and language (Ohgi, Loo, & Mizuike, 2010).

Furthermore, the way that the author depicts the body proportions and physical
characteristics of the main characters can be developed to the setting of this story. Based on
the investigations of Soska, Adolph and Johnson (2010), every time when children explore
different objects, their perceptual and motor abilities can make impacts on their exploratory
behaviour. Additionally, the expressions and body languages that the author used to express
the characters in this picture book have emphasize the emotional conditions and the connections
on each page. Accordingly, as reported by Waxman et al. (2014), young children can
conceptualize and reason on the picture book about the associations between human and non-
human animals due to their brain development. However, many picture books for young
children demonstrate animals in fantastical ways such as talking and engaging in human-like
activities and this have made positive impacts on children's learning and conceptions of animals
(Ganea et al., 2014).

Specifically, the author emphasizes and highlights the characters and be the core of the
story with the background sketched in together with the dress and appearance of the character
such as the Grasshopper dress with a great costume as professional like a violin musician while
the Ant with a casual and relax work dress in order to went on with his chores. However, the
supporting characters is great for the following plots as it adds little extra visual stories
alongside the main narrative. For this reason, young children will greet the creatures of the
natural world with special excitement as the charming characters in the picture books that they
encounter are supporting their natural fascination with animals and stimulate early learning
about this biological world (Waxman et al., 2014).

Nevertheless, picture book reading shows correlation with children's later understanding
of mental states and is thought to facilitate children’s cognitive development (Ohgi, Loo, &
Mizuike, 2010). According to the studies of Walter (2013), children’s emotional development
begins early in life is critically aspect of the development as it built into the architecture of their
brains. In line with his hypothesis, children rapidly develop their potential to experience and
express different emotions together with their abilities to cope and manage a variety of feelings
(Walter, 2013). However, emotional conditions of a child can influence cognitive process as it
concerns the associations between emotions and learning (Bukatko & Daehler, 2012).

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Important to realize that young children can communicate their emotions through picture books
as the illustrations are effective in determining the mood of the picture books (Ganea, Ma, &
DeLoache, 2011).

Likewise, in this picture book, the author used all the gentle words and adjectives to
describe emotions and motives in order to let the targeted young readers to connect and learn
how to express themselves with various emotions. Furthermore, picture book can benefit on
the abilities of young readers to discern others’ emotions and feelings based on the knowledge
about situational and expressive signal as they can direct access to their thoughts and feelings
(Moruzi, Smith, & Bullen, 2017). Additionally, according to the investigations of Moruzi,
Smith, and Bullen (2017), young children will have an emotional understanding and knowledge
based on their age which can be practiced and increased by early engagement in picture books.
Henceforth, this picture book preserved as ‘innocence’ for targeted young readers based on
their childhood development and thus they will have better understanding of the mind and
emotions as well as to be well-equipped to consider others’ emotional and psychological
reactions in their future.

2.2 Summary – Brain development

In summary, picture book play an important role in the brain development of young
children as it creates a supportive meaning-making environment for child readers. By engaging
with the picture book, their brain can be actively developed and though there are different types
of theme and appearance in the books, each is effective for the kids to get involved and interact
in it. The young targeted readers can make inferences and assumptions about the storyline
based on their experiences and this can promote their reasoning and analytical skills since young.
For that reason, picture books can provide cognitive boost and have intrinsic attract for young
children because these texts included serve as an interesting art-form for the formation of
personal interpretation and responses. Thus, it is especially important to foster emotional
competence for the young children in understanding how certain situations evoke specific
emotions and the ways to cope and control it.

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3.0 Motor skill development - Background

Physical growth and advances in motor skills are among the most readily apparent signal
of development (Bukatko & Daehler, 2012). According to Bukatko and Daehler (2012),
cartilage continues to be transformed into bone, bones elongate and increase in a number to
become scaffolding to support the body in a new physical orientation during the postnatal
development. Afterwards the neural commands begin to coordinate thickened and enlarged
muscles that enable more powerful and refine motor activities since the brain and nervous
system is mature (Bukatko & Daehler, 2012). However, throughout the development process
of infant and children, their motor competencies will become more efficient, organized and
automatic as the missions requires and subsequently these skills may become highly specialized
strengths and talents (Bukatko & Daehler, 2012).

Apart from that, as mentioned by Soska, Adolph and Johnson (2010), motor skills
achievements among infants can made significant impacts on their perceptual and cognitive
abilities that are critical for their learning and development. Accordingly, infants make
immense progresses in reaching a major way of gaining access to and learning about objects in
the weeks that follow birth and ultimately the motor skill will increase coordination between
two hands (Bukatko & Daehler, 2012). Furthermore, the appearance of complementary hand
orientations during infancy is the reflection of increasing coordination when they can hold a toy
dump truck in one hand while using the other hand to fill it with sand (Bukatko & Daehler,
2012). Based on the analysis of Bukatko and Daehler (2012), this response is referred to
functional asymmetry and will become refined when the child enters the second year and begins
to display self-help together with the complex motor engagement that require advanced use of
both arms and hands.

However, many elementary motor skills that the child obtained in their first two years
of life continue to be modified and refined during the preschool and elementary school years
(Bukatko & Daehler, 2012). Likewise, children will be able to walk in greater distances on a
beam, increase the speed and even jump higher than at younger ages and this shows that they
are demonstrating better balance in the increasing age (Bukatko & Daehler, 2012). Not to
mention children with the ages of 3 to 4 can use lines to form boundaries of objects in drawing
pictures together with cutting papers with scissors (Bukatko & Daehler, 2012).

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3.1 Study findings – Physical participation

According to my analysis on the picture book, ‘The grasshopper and the ant’, it is
suitable for young readers with the age of 4 to 6 years old. For most of the young children,
picture book interaction is a fundamental section of their daily life and some elements have
made significant impact on children’s capability to learn and convey the information from
books (Ganea et al., 2014). In other words, physical participation in the picture book is essential
for the young readers to recognize and apprehend the narrative structure from the story.
However, children’s experiences with picture books need to begin with enjoyment, which they
should take pleasure in it.

Hence, the lovely picture book that I have chosen has promote the participation of the
young readers due to the design of the book. This book contains a variety of features and
characteristics that invite children to interact physically with it that include the textures to feel.
Besides that, the other unique aspect of this picture book is that it creates a sense of rhythm and
movement as young children can move from page to page and typically read from the left to
right. In particular, the targeted young reader can hold the book right side up and turning pages
one at a time as well as reading from the left to right. Due to the reason, in consonance with
the studies of Newcombe and Frick (2010), pre-schoolers can show a great deal of skill in gross
motor activities while the fine motor skills are becoming more and more sophisticated during
the preschool years. According to the studies of Bukatko and Daehler (2012), children shows
advance growth in gross motor skills that includes running, jumping and skipping as well as
fine motor abilities which enable them to use scissors, hold crayons, and perform other activities
that require small muscle movements during the early childhood. Thus, they will become more
skilful at fine motor coordination and show more controlled and coordinated along with the
complex motor movements during their middle school years (Bukatko & Daehler, 2012).
Therefore, by encouraging the use of small manipulatives that can be linked, sorted, and flip
through the picture book can help children learn to control the small muscles in their hands.

By the same token, the pictures in this story create a movement pattern of continuously
moving forward. Likewise, the pictures create a starting and stopping point for which the text
is accommodated on account of the movement is not continually forward as the young reader
has to at the pictures, then read and then look at the pictures again. As a result, children may
use both text and illustrations to create meaning to the illustrated book when they are pointing
at the pictorial elements where the pictures may enhance the story line of picture book.

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Moreover, this picture book is designed to make a natural pause between the turning of the
pages so that the tension is set up that invites the young children to turn the page. Therefore,
this book is suitable for the children with 4 to 6 years old as they have the abilities to hold this
picture book correctly and turn the pages to connect and associate the storyline. According to
the analysis of Cheng and Tsai (2014), children with the targeted age loves to point with his
finger at the objects on the pictures of the book that he is looking at and this shows that they
are interacting with the picture book. Likewise, Soska, Adolph and Johnson (2010) believed
that children within this age group learn about the properties of the world through exploration
and that developing motor skills as well as to guide how they pick up information about objects,
surfaces, and events. However, in line with the hypothesis of Robinson (2011), fundamental
motor skills such as catch and throw are essential building blocks for more advanced and
context-specific skills on account of children with these motor skills can function independently
while learning and exploring their environment.

Apart from that, this picture book produces children with a tension between what the
words say and what the illustrations depict and subsequently heightened their enthusiasm and
anticipations in the book. Due to the reason, children have the passion and eagerness to
participate and interact with this book because it has a good tension in the illustrations since it
does not just mimic the words but rather, describes its own story within the illustrations.
Surprisingly, words and pictures work together in a picture book as the interplay between the
two being essential to the whole (Soska, Adolph, & Johnson, 2010). Specifically, the illustrator
designed the pages in the same ways such as she put the illustrations on the whole page and the
text only appear on the upper part of the pages which, on top of the illustrations. For instance,
the pictures would make little sense if without the words included whereas the meaning of the
text would not be clear as the absence of pictures. Specifically, in this picture book, the text in
page are being placed in the same places on the page that allow the young readers to follow the
flow of the story.

In addition, page layout in the picture books also play an important role in attracting the
targeted children to engage in the book. Significantly, page layout refers to the arrangement of
the pictures and the text on the page. Based on my analysis on this picture book, it is considered
as a small book in which is easy for the kids to hold and handle. The book size is small and
light enough for the kids to hold and in square size as well as it cannot be tear off easily,
therefore it is suitable for the children between 4 to 6 years old. Nonetheless, this picture book
is not appropriate for the kids below 3 years old as the material used is considered heavy for

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them to carry and read. Due to the reason, the centre fold of the book where the pages are sewn
together and is made up of double thick lay flat board pages that cannot be tear off easily and
firm enough to promote the excitement of the kids about this picture book and soon capture
their interest. Based on the analysis of Soska, Adolph and Johnson (2010), children with the
ages of 2 to 3 are only able to turn single pages in a book by using one hand more often than
the other. However, the targeted children are able to hold and turn the pages of the book
successfully even though it is made up of thick pages. As reported by Cameron, Brock, Murrah,
Bell, Worzalla, Grissmer, and Morrison (2012), motor development during early childhood is
important and crucial, especially fine motor skills as it acts as a key aspect of school readiness.
Consequently, the picture book act as a fundamental for the children to develop their gross
motor skills when they have the ability to turn the thick board pages with their small fingers.
Thus, they will become more skilful at fine motor coordination and show more controlled and
coordinated along with the complex motor movements during their middle school years
(Bukatko & Daehler, 2012).

3.2 Summary - Physical participation

In summary, the design of the picture book is important to attract the child to engage
and interact with the book. The rhythm and movement in this picture book are providing
targeted young readers the feelings that everything in the work of arts works together and
stimulating them to physically participate in the picture book. It is also well-designed for the
targeted readers on account of the size of the book as well as the material used are appropriate
for them to get involved with the picture book. However, this book is providing a platform for
the child to develop their basic competencies in motor skills that may lead them to more
complex movement and take part in their daily movement and physical activities.

4.0 Multi-sensory – Background

In our daily life, we experience a continuous stream of information that we perceive


through sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. According to Quak, London and Talsma (2015),
multisensory learning is leaning that involves two or more of the senses such as auditory, visual,
tactile and kinaesthetic within the same activity. While young children can learn by
investigating, exploring together with discovering when they use multiple senses to process

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new information (Quak, London, & Talsma, 2015). Although various kinds of learning
contribute to mastering new behaviours and enriching everyone’s skills and competencies,
these depend on other basic processes, including sensation and perception (Bukatko & Daehler,
2012). Specifically, sensation is referred to the basic units of information recorded by a sensory
receptor and the brain besides perception, the process of organizing and interpreting sensations
(Bukatko & Daehler, 2012). Subsequently, sensations are typically thought to be the building
block whereas perception as the order and meaning imposed on those basic elements.

However, all learning through the senses and our sense allow us to do great things such
as enjoy the taste of food, the sound of music also the sound of pages turning in a book. In line
with the hypothesis of Bukatko and Daehler (2012), infants would acquire the ability to
apprehend objects and meaningful events when their pattern of basic sensory features is
associated with a particular perceptual array. Due to the reason, perceptual development is a
constructive procedure that impose sense and order on the multisensory external world.
Therefore, picture book is essential for the young children to connect to the natural world as
they need to use more than their eyes in which, using all their senses to help them make more
observations, see changes as well as learn patterns (Quak, London, & Talsma, 2015). For
instance, picture book invites young children to each of their five senses to explore the world
around them as it provides a set of lovely display and matching images along with the textures
for young children to read, touch and feel that can benefits for their senses.

4.1 Study findings – Influence of multi-sensory

Based on my analysis on the picture book ‘The grasshopper and the ant’, it is
advantageous and appropriate for children within 4 to 6 years old as it can promote their multi-
sensory learning. Multi-sensory learning by reading picture book is critical and essential during
the early childhood years on account of that it offers this kind of sensory-based experiences but
no other book genres. Due to the reason, this picture book provides the opportunities for
children to see both representations in print and in pictures together with interacting with the
printed world as well as the technical elements of illustration that includes colour, line, shape
and composition. As an art form for young children, it creates a sequence of pictures that build
on one another that encourage children to get involve their imaginations and experiences in
which may give influences of their multi-sensory.

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Wherefore, the picture book that I have chosen showed various artistic techniques that
add to the development of the story and themes in order to grasp younger children’s attention
and curiosity. Ultimately, this picture book could have considerable impact on children's
perceptions of themselves and others. Particularly, colour can bring children’s focus to the
elements in a story and, yet the artist’s choices of colour should depend on the theme and mood
of the story for the targeted young readers. In particular, the illustrator was using light blue
colour for the front and back cover that suggests peace and it is the colour of the calm sea and
the clear sky while both of are linked to inner serenity, calm and clarity to grasp children’s
interest. According to Best (2012), blue can be a good colour to aid in meditation and relaxation
because it is shown to slow down the heart and breathing rate that helps children to feel relax
and pressure free. This may encourage children to further get involved in this book as it can
improve their concentration, stimulates thinking and thus improve their enthusiastic in reading.
For this reason, in line with the hypothesis of Best (2012), colour can promote the book because
it contains by managing to arouse various mental images in younger children’s mind as it is
fundamentally a contextual phenomenon. Thus, the colour used in this picture book can
improve multi-sensory stimulation of targeted young children when the visual illustrations have
caught their attention to read and interact with the book. In addition, the author also provides
white colour title for the picture book to enhance children’s recognition to further approach to
this book and the colour is used to prominently display the symbolic of ideas and feelings for
them to explore.

Besides that, the artist for this picture book demonstrate light colour as the background
colour and slowly become darker where, the background colour largely reflects the illustrations
as well as the flow of the story. It provides a valid and reliable ideas for targeted young readers
to identify the nature of colours and get a better understanding of the perception of colours. For
this reason, based on the analysis of Elliot (2015), colour used in books can give impacts on
cognition and behaviour and influence psychological functioning among children. Specifically,
this book is suitable for targeted young readers as it uses visual attributes where they may enjoy
contacting with stories when they are exposing to different colour and designs. However, the
capacity of colours used in this picture book enable the inference of sensory perceptions and
this perception is built on increased capability to recognize likenesses and to discriminate
differences. In line with the analysis of Gollety and Guichard (2011), the perception of colours
is crucial for children’s visual experiences and is the most powerful information channel among

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their senses. Thus, by reading this picture book, children may make the connection between
the central characteristic of the physical properties and their experience of colours.

Apart from that, this illustrator provides different textures in the picture book for young
children to touch, feel and experience the different surfaces. In picture books most texture is
visual which means the readers cannot physically experience the surface. However, an
exception would be a book like ‘The grasshopper and the ant’, in which case, the texture is
actual and tactile. Likewise, the artist uses spongy surface to present a fruit to provide
opportunities for younger children to touch and handle. According to Quak, London and
Talsma (2015), our hands and skin are equipped with sensitive nerves that can distinguish
different textures and we can gain information about the world around us on account of that
sense of touch gives us pleasure. Thereupon, this picture book is one of the visual art that can
encourage sensual enjoyment for the younger children in the tactile experience of different
surfaces. Moreover, different surfaces of textures are provided for children in this lovely picture
book that includes rough, slick, soft and smooth as well as furry. As a result, children will
develop their multi-sensory as when they are reading this book, they get the chances to touch
the surfaces with their small fingers and, so they can differentiate material properties of objects
and thereby facilitates object recognition and characterisation. Subsequently, the textures in
this picture book has made a major influence of children’ multi-sensory when it offered their
‘world’ with textures as textural effects generally offer a greater sense of reality to a picture.
Additionally, the realistic styles of this picture book make use of different textures in order to
enrich and nourish the visual experiences of the younger children and eventually stimulate their
imagination. In consonance with the investigations of Golos and Moses (2013), children can
learn to enjoy the arts through the exposure and discussion about picture book when the artists
use colourful tactile picture books which contain pictures for a child to touch.

Nevertheless, while listening to and looking at a picture book, a child can see the
pictures, hear the words and even touch the pages of the picture book and this may promote and
benefits their multi-sensory learning. For instance, when I read this picture book to the targeted
young children, she felt excited when she can touch the tactile features while listening to the
story since she can associate the objects and have better understanding on the characteristics.
Under those circumstances, according to the studies of Quak, London and Talsma (2015), pre-
schoolers can recognize some broad categories that include plants, fruits and buildings as they
begin to understand what is going on in the world around them. Moreover, the auditory and
visual stimuli of younger children are stimulated from this learning effects and may further

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ANALYSE PICTURE BOOK: THE GRASSHOPPER AND THE ANT

improve the representation of the visual features (Quak, London, & Talsma, 2015).
Surprisingly, when children are looking at the picture book while listening to the story, this may
result in increased gain in the visual and auditory stimulus and thus enhance their performance
in different tasks. Ultimately, this picture book can be a representation to evoke children’s
multi-sensory processing as it involves the child in interactions regarding the story when they
are visually exposed and gain the chances to feel the surfaces differences as while listening to
the story.

4.2 Summary - Influence of multi-sensory

For the most part, this picture book can give influences on children’s multi-sensory as
it promotes visual and tactile for children to experience before they move to the next stages of
their lives. The colour used in this book become an element of visual language that may
stimulate children’s visual experiences and particularly beneficial for the young children to
increase their interest in reading. Moreover, the recognition of this sensitivity to visual stimuli
on the part of a child has led to the overall development of the child by stimulating their
imagination, arouse perception and thus develop their potential. Therefore, this picture book
become an important part of the learning process as children absorb impressions and knowledge
directly from their environment via their senses since it uniquely offers and provides the
opportunities for children to read, touch and feels the textures.

5.0 Language – Background

Language is a new technique for infant to participate in human interactions as he can


communicate what he wants or needs with method other than crying or making facial
expressions and thus it truly attributes a significant turning point in child’s life (Bukatko &
Daehler, 2012). In general, children learn language depends on the two factors which are innate
abilities and input from the environment. In fact, humans seem to be biologically prepared to
engage in the process of language learning and throughout the learning process individual is
required to master information at different levels (Bukatko & Daehler, 2012).

Moreover, children learn communication and language from the speech they hear in
their primary social contexts with their parents who play an important role in the development
of children’s early use of language (Montag, Jones, & Smith, 2015). Due to the reason, based

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ANALYSE PICTURE BOOK: THE GRASSHOPPER AND THE ANT

on the studies of Montag, Jones, & Smith (2015), conversations between parents and children
is relevant to the early procedure of language learning. Between infancy and age five, most
children become highly proficient listeners and speakers as children can master the essential
elements of language in a very short period of time and with seemingly little effort (Bukatko &
Daehler, 2012). Henceforth, according to Montag, Jones, & Smith (2015), many parents
commence reading to their children soon after birth, correspondingly this is potentially a
requisite source of linguistic input for many children and to promote children’s language
development.

5.1 Study findings – Language development

Children’s earliest experience with literary texts is one of the utmost importance.
Literary picture books can provide a stress-free beginning for children as they enjoy reading
picture book from the very beginning of learning a language. In consonance with the studies
of Ford (2010), children are good at findings meanings in pictures and thus interpret what the
pictures tell and this can help the children to practice the skill of visual literacy. Therefore,
picture books reading among children was significantly correlated with their language skills.
Based on the picture book with the title of ‘The grasshopper and the ant’, I have analysed the
text in the book and examine the significance of illustrations to the child reader. Illustrations
in a picture book are integral to the story by providing actual plot or concept knowledge together
with the clues to the character traits, settings and tones (Mantei & Kervin, 2014). Due to the
reason, the relation of pictures to stories and the nature of the children’s interaction with both
become one of the crucial factors of literacy as the picture book presented the way on which
the images and language work together (Mantei & Kervin, 2014).

The charming picture book that I have chosen in this project was successfully integrates
the text into the illustrations as when I read, I noticed that the two work a one. The narrative, a
well-loved tale, while Ant works hard to prepare food for winter, Grasshopper mocks him and
sings in the sun and then the winter comes, and Grasshopper no longer feels like singing.
Eventually, the Ant invites him in from the cold and he entertains the colony. Hence, based on
my analysis, it is a simple and engaging text that is appropriate for children with ages of 4 to 6
years old. Due to the reason, according to the investigation of Pancsofar and Feagans (2011),
the first eight years of children’s lives are characterized by rapid growth in all areas of
development, including the acquisition of communication and language capability.

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ANALYSE PICTURE BOOK: THE GRASSHOPPER AND THE ANT

Moreover, the elements of style writing can influence the meaning of the text and give
impacts for the child. In particular, the written text in this story was composed by using a
conversational style and in first person from the point of view of the character. Subsequently,
this style was encouraging the child to empathise with or feel equal with the character as the
language used are short and informal for them to recognize. In particular, based on the studies
of Bukatko and Daehler (2012), children with ages of 2 and a half to 5 years old can produce
multiword utterances together with the use of morphemes, negative questions and passive voice.
This demonstrates that they are showing growth in vocabulary and use of syntax as well as
pragmatics (Bukatko & Daehler, 2012). Thus, by reading this picture book that composed of
the verbal text that is pattern-driven in which can encourage children’s language acquisition
effectively and the picture as motivating and supportive. For instance, interaction with the
picture book become a key to unlock new understanding because children are familiar with
stories from a very young age as they can define their ideas, expectations and emotions in
language as well as in drawing and imaginative play (Pancsofar & Feagans, 2011).

Besides that, the font size of the text is suitable for the targeted young children as it is
not too small for them to read and acknowledge. For this reason, the size together with
positioning of the words text become part of the meaning for the story as the way the words are
related to the trait characters and the fact that the characters speak about the words. Based on
the studies of Bukatko & Daehler (2012), when children attach words to conceptual groups in
which, they combine and give the meanings of words, the process is referred to as semantics.
Thus, this may not break the rules of the author’s usual expectations about her picture book
because the children may have enjoyment and attention when they are engaging with this book.
Specifically, according to Piaget theory that conceived of human cognitive development as
following a series of stages, children with age from two to seven years old, in the preoperational
stage, they have the capability to explore hidden objects and engage in symbolic play and thus
they can easily acquire language and symbolic functions (Simatwa, 2010). Under those
circumstances, this picture book is appropriate for the targeted reader due to the vivid language
used together with the illustrations can be benefits for their language development.

Despite that, most of the children nowadays used to decode stories and information from
television programmes or film in their home language which are harmful and bring negative
consequences for them (Bavelier, Green, & Dye, 2010). Due to the negative impacts on
children, picture book play an important role in the development of language where, the picture
book gives children added opportunities to enhance holistically at their own speed and level in

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ANALYSE PICTURE BOOK: THE GRASSHOPPER AND THE ANT

the field of language (Levey & West, 2010). Furthermore, in line with the investigation of
Bukatko & Daehler (2012), morphology is referred to the rules for combining the smallest
significant units of language to form words. Thus, by getting involve with this picture book,
they can gain morphemes varies greatly and have knowledge of morphological rules. Another
point in this case, the tenses and vocabulary that the author used in this picture book is
appropriate for children with years of 4 to 6 years old. For instance, this lovely picture book
can provide children with enrichment and depth of understanding as the adjective words that
used are great for the kids in order to understand the concept of tenses and to further a child’s
grasp of the meaning and function of adjectives. Henceforth, illustrations in picture books can
foster children’s language and literacy development since the combination of intriguing text
and arts found in the books can boost their ideas and subsequently stimulates their imagination
and nurture them with a rich vocabulary that have been presented in the book (Ford, 2010).

By the same token, the action verbs used are straightforward and thus the kids are ready
to move on to link verbs and the relationship between subjects and verbs in which can promote
their basics of grammar and understand part of the speech. According to the study of Bukatko
& Daehler (2012), kids with the ages above 2 and half to 5 years old will appreciate humor and
metaphor and when the child is able to combine words, they will begin to learn the rules
pertaining to the structure of language. This shows that they will appreciate the nurturing and
reassuring story in this book and thus increase their ability to comprehend subtle metaphors as
they enter the dual-meaning environment and extracts from it and thereby further strengthen
comprehension of linguistic language (Levey & West, 2010).

In addition, the natural setting of this story is establishing a context that guide children
with better understanding concepts such as summer, winter, winds and insects, accordingly
stimulating them to expand their vocabularies. This is a source that contribute to the children’s
competency in obtaining communication and language skills due to the implication for
language learning are clear for them to link to more rapid vocabulary growth and to later
language acquirement (Bukatko & Daehler, 2012). As a result, the young readers would not
miss a great deal of potential enjoyment and excitement if they can associate what they
determine the text is, before they turn the page to see if their prediction was correct. Furthermore,
in line with the hypothesis of Montag, Jones and Smith (2015), the language experiences that
derives from the text of picture books are remarkably crucial in light of the linguistic properties
of text and good language learning data for children. Due to the reason, this picture book is

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ANALYSE PICTURE BOOK: THE GRASSHOPPER AND THE ANT

providing a platform for children as they need to learn new words in grammatically correct
sentences in order to learn language effectively and efficiently.

5.2 Summary – Language development

In summary, picture books represent a unique and interesting literary form for children in
their development of language. The word and image interplay in this picture book help children
to learn and acquire new vocabulary and not to confuse representations with reality. However,
this book generally consists of more unique and attracting word types than length-matched as
well as child-directed conversation can be the first step for the child to approach to language
learning. The text of picture books become an important source of vocabulary for young
children and that underlies the language benefits associated with reading among children. Thus,
picture book can provide wonderful beginning for children since the picture books are aimed
to anticipate different creative response among them.

6.0 Attention - Background

According to the studies of Razza, Martin and Gunn (2011), attention is generally
referring to a complex set of physiological and behavioural responses that allows the individual
to focus on a selected aspect of the environment and it is often in preparation for learning or
problem solving. However, in line with the investigation of Bukatko and Daehler (2012),
attention represents the initial step for cognitive processing as it is a critical development phase.
In particular, good attention skills at about 5 or 6 years old are among the strongest predictors
of academic success in early elementary school whereas infants with three months of age who
have better recognition memory among them are they who pay greater attention to stimuli
(Bukatko & Daehler, 2012).

In addition, in consonance with the analysis of Bukatko and Daehler (2012), the
significant increase in the child’s capability to maintain attention on some activity or set of
stimuli become one of the most obvious developmental trends. By the same token, the attention
span among children shows a remarkably improvement around the age of ten and will continue
to increase throughout the early school years and adolescence (Bukatko & Daehler, 2012).
Furthermore, children will acquire the ability to control their attention in a systematic and
efficient manner in which they may become more selective in what they attend to within the

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ANALYSE PICTURE BOOK: THE GRASSHOPPER AND THE ANT

developmental phase (Bukatko & Daehler, 2012). Additionally, as reported by Razza, Martin
and Gunn (2011), sustained attention enables children to intentionally subject attention on a
certain target in the environment and to prevent distraction over time. Hence, the maturation
of the central nervous system and the development of the complexity of the child’s interest
become the contribution to the changes in attention span (Bukatko & Daehler, 2012).

6.1 Study Findings – Attention

Based on my analysis on the picture book that I have chosen ‘The grasshopper and the
ant’, it differs not only in their pictorial realism, but also in a variety of other elements that
increase targeted young readers’ attention. Due to the reason, this picture book has provided
some pleasure that persuades the child first to look at the book cover, then to read and discuss,
and eventually recite from their memory. The symbolic meaning of a well-designed cover will
inherently change as the young readers explore deeper into the story.

Likewise, the front cover of this picture book which is light blue in colour provides
children with a lovely and creative work together with the fresh topic on top. Additionally, the
cover of this book provides children with the fables to touch and thus gain their attraction to
engage and interact with the book due to the design inspiration. In line with the studies of Best
(2012), colours are part of the electromagnetic spectrum that may affect the moods in children
and gave impacts on their learning abilities together with their behaviour. Henceforth, the
colour used in this cover of the picture book can enhance children’s attempt to participate and
further read the book. Additionally, the cover is well designed for the targeted young readers
based on their visual appeal and expose them to read to the story and further stimulate their
interest in the book since the design potentiate their first interaction with the content. Moreover,
as reported by Bukatko and Daehler (2012), children with 4 to 6 years old may use systematic
and efficient attention strategies since they begin to show development in executive function
skills. Subsequently, the cover design of picture book is vital to catch their attention since their
attention span is in the developing process. By the same token, the cover of this picture book
also presents an image that combines the pictures and thoughtfulness of the title that can let the
young children to create assumptions together with the interpretation based on the few existing
words.

Besides that, the text in this picture book use the convention that proceeds from the left
to right because these left-right distinctions are conventional and children familiar with the

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ANALYSE PICTURE BOOK: THE GRASSHOPPER AND THE ANT

conventions are likely to gain the concept of the narrative. On that account, children will sustain
greater attention to read this picture book as the text was decorated at the upper part of the book
and so followed by the textures. Nevertheless, typography is very important in the overall
aesthetic of the picture book and it is the interactive feature within the children picture books
as it made an impact on the story itself (Tuamsuk, Jatowt, & Rasmussen, 2014). With attention
to this feature, the typography in this picture book is suitable for the targeted young reader due
to the standard typed font. The artist uses black colour for the text to attract more attention
from children by showing a general superiority of messages in colour. This can arouse a greater
degree of curiosity and interest from the young children to pay more attention to interact with
this picture book. Accordingly, based on the investigations of Bukatko and Daehler (2012),
children will understand that their attentional capacity is limited and that cognitive tasks are
best accomplished with focused attention within the development stages. For this reason, the
text design in this picture book are short and simple language for children to sustain their
attention to read and follow the story line. Moreover, the picture match what is written in the
book together with the pictures only contain the elements which are mentioned in the text as a
guiding line for targeted young children to make the connections between the story.

In addition, the intensity of this picture book can provoke their attention as the colour
used are from the warm colour such as yellow and then followed by the cold colours that suggest
calm. Besides that, the main character in this picture book is designed as brown colour which,
represent the colour of sincerity and is relates to maturity and being sensible that can promote
the feelings of relaxation and stability for children. Wherefore, the illustrator was providing
clear colours and good colour contrasts in this picture book for the younger children to arouse
and maintain their attentions together with their interest. Furthermore, the illustrator also
provides different textures in this picture book for the sake of young children to touch and sense
the surfaces differentiation to catch their attention. According to Bukatko and Daehler (2012),
young children seem to be intrigued by the physical properties of objects which, not often not
too complex as merely looking at or touching objects quickly leads to habituation. Thereupon,
this picture book supplies the simple physical objects for targeted young children to touch and
further increase their attention to participate in this book.

By the same token, the lines used to define objects and suggest movement on the pages
made by the illustrator are thin and curve that associated with organic and natural objects such
as trees, grass, leaves and etcetera. This type of line used can convey emotion for children and
suggests warmth as well as sense of security for them to engage in this book. Apart from that,

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ANALYSE PICTURE BOOK: THE GRASSHOPPER AND THE ANT

the illustrator uses different shape in this picture book as the shapes are evaluated for their
simplicity as in geometric shapes. Specifically, the main character, the Ant in this picture book
is designed as rounded shape where, suggest comfort, security and stability for young children
to take part in the book with interest and motivation. In particular, according to the analysis of
Lado (2012), picture book with the basic concepts that illustrated with masterpieces of art that
includes simple geometric shapes are ideally suited for young children in early learning.
Moreover, the illustrator uses bigger shape to describe and emphasize the two main characters
in this picture book when compared to the supporting characters in order to grasp their attention.
However, in consonance with the theory of Jean Piaget, most of the children by the age of five
are able to recognize and apprehend the mass of the actual object even though the shape is
different (Simatwa, 2010). Thus, early reading in picture book is importance for children to get
involved with different shapes and textures. Another key point in this element of art, the space,
which draws targeted children’s attention to the objects on the page. Due to the reason, the
generous use of space in this picture book suggests quiet serenity and create the illusion of
distance to maintain their engagement because the lack of open space on a page may contribute
to an uneasy feeling and result in confusion and chaos.

6.2 Summary - Attention

In summary, the illustrator of this picture book used the cover page to first catch targeted
children’s attention and further to read the book. The colour used by the illustrator is a great
way to create resonance in illustration for children within 4 to 6 years old as she provided the
clear colours to attract children. Moreover, the typography used in this picture book is suitable
for the young children as it is big enough to grasp their attention and engage in it together with
the shapes used to design the characters in this picture book are able to trap and maintain their
attentions. Thereupon, this picture book can help children to increase his attention span on
account of their unique structure that going beyond an interesting story.

7.0 Conclusion

In conclusion, the picture book ‘The grasshopper and the ant’ that illustrated by Maria
Neradova can give benefits and positive effects for children within 4 to 6 years old in their
development in few areas that include brain and language development, attention and their

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ANALYSE PICTURE BOOK: THE GRASSHOPPER AND THE ANT

physical participation together with its influence on their multi-sensory. Specifically, it is a


distinctive art form and draw on a variety of story-telling as well as pictorial traditions in which
become everyday elements in the lives of many children because it acts as an input for children's
narrative knowledge. Due to the reason, early picture book reading among young children can
influence their thoughts, perceptions along with their identity when they interact and engage
physically in the book.

Likewise, this picture book includes different characteristics of texture to increase


children’s physical interaction with the book since they are intended to be fun and interesting
for the child and further enhance their engagement with the book. In particular, this picture
book was coupled with fewer words and less complex syntax for children within 4 to 6 years
old since their attention span is limited. During developmental stages, picture book is required
as a true visual reading material for young children as they can learn to read the pictures’
grammars, and this prepare them for further reading of text. Consequently, this book carries
message and a specific perspective that can influence their language development. Therefore,
it is vital that children become familiar with the different literary genres at the earliest possible
age in order to form their habit of reading in return for their language skills development.
Surprisingly, children whose parents read picture book to them more frequently show
advantages in early language and literacy skills on account of the book become one of the core
input sources for children to learn about story structure from.

Moreover, the composition in this book are balance together with the narrative quality
within the various elements can produce the desired visual impact for children and further
influence their multi-sensory. Apart from that, the arrangement of text along with the
illustrations provide opportunities for young children to engage and sustain their attention to
read and interact with this book. By the same token, the line work in this illustration also
provides favourable opportunities for targeted readers to communicate ideas and thoughts about
the characters, creates mood as well as to conveys the movement. Significantly, the field of
cognitive development offers an alternative suggestion for how children might make best use
of picture-text relations. Henceforth, this story supplied a natural context for theories and the
illustrations to promote memorable and lovable characters for the targeted young children to
make the connections between real world and personal experiences.

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ANALYSE PICTURE BOOK: THE GRASSHOPPER AND THE ANT

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