East-Asian philosophical concepts as analytical framework for interpreting non-western images in children’s picturebooks
Huynh, NT and Thomas, Angela and To, VT, East-Asian philosophical concepts as analytical framework for interpreting non-western images in children's picturebooks, Handbook of research on cultivating literacy in diverse and multilingual classrooms, IGI Global, Neokleous G, Krulatz A, Farrelly R (ed), United States, pp. 393-420. ISBN 1799827224 (2020) [Research Book Chapter]
In contemporary Western cultures, picturebooks are a mainstream means for young children to first attend to print and start learning to read. The use of children’s picturebooks has been reported as supporting intercultural awareness in children. Multiliteracies researchers suggest that other theoretical frameworks should be applied in addition to the semiotic approach of interpreting picturebooks, especially picturebooks from non-Western cultures. This chapter aims to theorize how Eastern philosophical concepts influence the meaning-making potential of illustrations in Eastern picturebooks. To do this, the authors first discuss the cultural constraints when applying a contemporary semiotic framework in analyzing non-Western images. Then, the authors introduce a framework developed based on philosophical concepts that have influenced East-Asian art forms, particularly that of painting, to understand the Eastern artistic traditions. After that, this chapter demonstrates how to apply this framework for interpretation of non-Western images to working with multicultural picturebooks.