Illustrations of Iconic Women in Children’s Book Biographies

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Illustrations of Iconic Women in Children’s Book Biographies by Diana Schoenbrun

The purpose of this study is to examine the illustrations of iconic women in children’s book biographies published in the United States.

Part I will discuss the history of juvenile children’s book biographies and identify the gradual growth of illustrated biographies and the emergence of children’s picture book biographies pertaining to women throughout the twentieth century.

Part II will present research on the history of four iconic individuals and representations of them in art as a foundation. There will be a discussion of past and contemporary depictions of four iconic women: Joan of Arc, Pocahontas, Harriet Tubman, and Josephine Baker, by various children’s book illustrators in different time periods. This will allow for the comparison and contrast of different approaches of illustration for these women. Through in-depth research and interviews the visual representation of a historical female figure in children’s books will be explored.

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