Year of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

MFA: Children’s Book Writing and Illustrating

Directing Professor

Elizabeth Dulemba


The world is changing before our eyes – species are going extinct, the amount of habitat available to wildlife has decreased, and children are spending less time outside than in the past. Through analyzing environmental ideology within early childhood education and children’s literature, I demonstrate that picture books can inspire nature conservation, appreciation, and stewardship by encouraging outdoor play and exploration. I compare picture books that successfully demonstrate eco-consciousness without being didactic, how my thesis fits within the current environmental movement, and how it helps stretch the definition of what is considered eco-writing.

This thesis consists of three illustrated picture books: Close Your Eyes, My Love; “Meow!” Says the Catbird: Identifying Birds Through Song; and Lynn and The Nose: The Woman Who Rocked the Climbing World. Each book is a different genre – bedtime story, nonfiction concept, and nonfiction biography – and each targets a different age group. By showcasing the importance of the natural world through three genres, these stories will encourage children and adults to recognize the environment’s intrinsic value and to not only want to go outside and experience it first hand, but also to fight for its continued existence.