THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE DESIGN OF CHILDREN’S BOOKS AND ITS EFFECTS ON READING HABITS
1 Mersin University (TURKEY)
2 Izmir University of Economics (TURKEY)
About this paper:
Conference name: 14th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 8-9 November, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:Children’s books can be identified as a key medium for effective storytelling. The design of the book includes all aspects, including cover design, illustrations, and typography. However, there is a lack of research in terms of how book design affects messages received by children and the general affective response of children to reading. This response is expected to influence developing reading habits that will continue throughout life. This study particularly focuses on illustrations in children’s books. Quality illustrations in books are key in providing children not only the basis for a habit of reading, but also a visual education to be used as a library throughout their development. While a child-friendly approach is necessary to initiate direct communication with children, it would not be right to see this as a simplified or “childish” approach to drawing. This study investigates the role of quality book illustrations in children’s development. Children’s book illustrations are also significant for art-appreciating parents who read the books to their children. Well-designed books have the potential to provide a visually stimulating reading experience for the parents, enhancing bonding between the parent and child. With increasing number of publishers and platforms that publish books both as hardcopy or digitally every day, parents have a difficult challenge and responsibility in choosing visually stimulating books for their children. Several books are poorly illustrated with quickly processed images that are unsatisfying to parents and do not live up to their full potential for children. Moreover, books that children are attached to will encourage the child to become curious and to read more in other fields as well. Moreover, carefully considered and creative books are like artworks, and will communicate to the reader that they are taken seriously and how important they are, contributing to children’s feelings of self-worth. Analyzing the illustrations of highest purchased children’s books according to publishers in Turkey, this study discusses the style and approach, technique, texture, color, and overall design of these books. Findings show that books that include artistic and more textured approaches, such as collages and mixed media are preferred over simplistic drawings relying too much on digital representation techniques. Moreover, recognizable facial and movement features in characters in books carry significance. In addition, Turkish books are chosen frequently, however, translated books have priority in terms of sales. With this study, the aim is to create awareness about the significance of the topic that may have an influence on publishers and illustrators of children’s books in the future, because books that include wonderful artworks encourage young children to discover other books and build reading habits that will guide them throughout their lives.
Keywords: Children’s books, illustration, graphic design, literature, reading, life-long learning.