The New York Review Children's Collection – New York Review BooksPolitics have been known to put adults to sleep, but political engagement could be part of children's bedtime stories as well. Lessons about the importance of politics could be part of their early education. A new University of Kansas study analyzed political messages in the most popular picture books of the last several years to see what political messages are included and how they are presented. Meagan Patterson, associate professor of educational psychology at KU, researches developmental psychology and has previously studied what children know about politics, presidential candidates, the political process and related topics. That research inspired the study of how kids learn about politics through picture books, one of the most popular forms of literature for children from birth to age 8. The study recently was published in the Journal of Genetic Psychology. Disney movies have a wealth of kings, queens and princesses among their characters, but mayors and city council members rarely play the role of hero.
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Despite the importance of political engagement, the topic has been the subject of little empirical research in developmental psychology, particularly with preadolescent samples. As a commonly available and developmentally appropriate source of media messages, picture books may inform young children about politics and influence their political engagement and aspirations. This study presents a content analysis of all books included on The New York Times best sellers list for children's picture books from to Books were reviewed for depictions of political issues, political processes, political leaders, symbols associated with politics or political leadership, and government employees. Nearly half of the books in the sample included at least one instance of politically relevant content. Relatively few books included depictions of political issues or processes.
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The list is based on a proprietary method that use sales figures, other data and internal guidelines that are unpublished—how the Times compiles the list is a trade secret. In , a Times representative said that the goal is that the lists reflect authentic best sellers. Although the first best seller list in America was published in , in The Bookman , a best seller list was not published in The New York Times until 36 years later, with little fanfare, on October 12, By the s, The Times' s list had become the leading best-seller list for book professionals to monitor, along with that of Publishers Weekly. Dalton , Crown Books , and Waldenbooks came to the forefront with a business model of selling newly published best-sellers with mass-market appeal. They used the best-selling status of titles to market the books and not just as a measure of sales, thus placing increased emphasis on the New York Times list for book readers and book sellers. Some books are flagged with a dagger indicating that a significant number of bulk orders had been received by retail bookstores.
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Jones, little readers have long seen that girls are more than sidekicks and can be just as adventurous as boys. Over the past decade, a variety of titles have come out starring more girls who are unapologetically feisty, brave and full of spunk. They feature girls who challenge the norm and save the day. And most importantly, they put the spotlight on girls who embrace their differences and forge their own paths. Here are a handful of these inspiring and fun titles, from picture books to graphic novels to middle grade and young adult reads.