Student Research Projects

Children’s Literature in a Digitalized World

Student Maura Bradley
Faculty Mentor(s)
Department English
Course ENG 492: Children’s Literature in a Digitalized World


This project examines how digital media has affected the form and content of children’s literature, but more specifically, picture books. Picture books, and children’s literature as a whole, have often been seen as a simplistic genre that people grow out of as they enter adolescence and later, adulthood. These colorful, visual books often provide very straightforward, linear stories that are easy to understand and are very basic, but with the complex digital environment becoming ubiquitous in our society, simple storylines can no longer compete with the interactivity and sense of power possible with technology such as the Internet. Innovative picture book authors and illustrators have responded to this fact by creating postmodern picture books that model digital media and challenge their readers.

These digital age picture books are complex, non-linear stories that often provide more mature subject matter. With the reach of the Internet, children have the ability to access myriad information, and these books are following suit. The digital age is blurring the line between childhood naiveté and adulthood, and with this muddled distinction comes complex picture books that challenge readers and challenge scholars’ notions of children’s literature. As childhood is contested, so too will the conception that children’s literature is simply kiddie-lit.


VCHC Honors Conference