Dissertation – First draft of chapter 3: Free Tilly – an educational picture book for children aged 3-6.

by rnb10

Free Tilly – an educational picture book for children aged 3-6.

Free Tilly is a picture book that looks at an orca in captivity, it documents his life of confinement. From the beginning of his life he has been in captivity and this book acts as a biography as well as explaining the effects of animal captivity to a young child’s mind.

The main aim of the book is too educate young children on the animal’s natural life and how captivity effects an animal physically and mentally. Giving a child an opportunity to learn about wild animals through a different approach rather than taking a visit to a zoo or aquarium.

After studies showing that children do not necessarily learn from the zoo experience, this book will provide them with a platform that is cheaper, easy to access and most importantly feeding them the correct information.

Recent research on zoo studies (psychologyandsociety, 2010) has shown “Children are often excluded from studies taken about zoo impact when they are said to be the main reason for zoo’s”. This is reiterating how the captivity of animals is in fact not benefiting the younger mind nor is that the main purpose. Studies are only showing the learning aspect of an animal enclosure from an adults point of view which is defeating the main objective for preserving zoo’s.

Developing a child’s critical thinking at a young age is very important and a huge aspect of their maturity, teaching a child what is right and what is wrong plays a large part in developing their minds.

Studies show that children are constantly absorbing what is happening around them, simple every day tasks affect a child more than they would affect an adult.

For instance, Bright Horizon’s Family Solutions (n.d) has written and demonstrated “A seven-year-old speculates: Several of my friends are teasing a kid in our class about his clothes. Do I join in, not participate, or tell them how I really feel about what they are doing?” As adults we would know what the correct thing to do was but as a child, it is these types of situations that help them to develop into their future self. Proving that what a person learns as a minor reflects on future life.

This picture book also challenges the norm of campaigning for animal welfare, most campaigns use photography or film to voice the message they want to portray. Where as the concept of this book is unique, as well as challenging a different demographic.

Animal welfare campaigns are usual aimed at only adults, for example the concept behind David Kukla’s ‘Captive Landscapes’ is too complicated for a young mind to understand. A child would just see his photography as what is it: an image of an enclosure. To a child the image will not be seen as the thought provoking image David is trying to achieve. They would not understand that these images created by Kukla are trying to cause opinions within the viewer, to make them question the whether animal captivity is right.

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