Autonomy and Authorship: Storytelling in Children's Picture Books




Diana Tietjens Meyers and Margaret Urban Walker argue that women's autonomy is impaired by mainstream representations that offer us impoverished resources to tell our own stories. Mainstream picture books apprentice young readers in norms of representation. Two popular picture books about child storytellers present competing views of a child's authority to tell his or her own story. Hence, they offer rival models of the development of autonomy: neo-liberal versus relational. Feminist critics should attend to such implicit models and the hidden assumptions they represent in children's books.