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Year of Graduation
MFA: Children’s Book Writing and Illustrating
This thesis reviews my experiences in learning about picture books from the perspective of an undergraduate English literature major, a Ph.D. in experimental psychology, and aseventy-five-year-old grandmother. I respond to Iain McGilchrist’s The Master and the Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World. Importantly, he warns of the dangers of the left hemisphere of the brain becoming dominant over the right hemisphere. I posit that picture books contribute to the development of essential right hemisphere abilities in children in a number of ways and thus contribute to the rebalancing of the two hemispheres. I discuss how picture books help children develop the right hemisphere skills of reading the human face, of sustaining vigilant attention to the world, and of developing empathy. I also suggest that by focusing on certain points within a reader’s field of vision, the two hemispheres work together to read the generally left to right forward motion in a spread and its possible meaning for the story. With this research, I reinforce the importance of picture books as essential to a child’s cognitive development and for the future of our world.
Mallue, Marilyn, "An English Major, an Experimental Psychologist, and a Grandmother Learn About Words and Pictures" (2021). Children's Book Writing and Illustrating (MFA) Theses, Hollins University. 7.