What do children’s books reveal about age?

That’s what we’re trying to find out by means of literary research at the University of Antwerp. We’re looking at the age of the authors in our corpus, the age of the target audience and the age of actual readers. But we also explore the books themselves by considering the characters in the books and the statements made about age.

This project aims to encourage dialogue about age and to put the spotlight on the similarities and differences between people in all phases of life. More specifically, we would like find out which ideas can be discovered about age in British, Dutch and Flemish children’s books and how these ideas came about in the first place.


Does the age of the author have an impact?

Target Audiences

Do authors adjust the style and the contents of the book according to the age of the readership?


Do people of different ages read books differently?


What happens with views on age when children’s books are adapted into films, television programmes, stage plays, comics, or games?

We are researching 800 children’s books by means of different methods, such as computer programmes for digital text analysis, interviews with authors, and discussions with readers of different ages.


  • Reading with your ears
    From 19 until 27 November 2022, it is Read Aloud Week in Flanders. Some of the authors that are studied by the CAFYR team are included in the book tips, such as Bart Moeyaert with the wonderful winter story Morris, and Joke van Leeuwen with tantalising portraits in Beginnelingen. By the way, there is no… Continue reading Reading with your ears
  • CAFYR at the VAL Symposium 2022
    “Climate change can be seen as presenting us with the largest collective action problem that humanity has ever faced, one that has both intra- and inter-generational dimensions.” This issue, brought forward by philosopher Dale Jamieson (2014, 61), forms the starting point for this year’s VAL symposium, which takes place at UGent on Friday 25 November.… Continue reading CAFYR at the VAL Symposium 2022

Would you like to contribute to this research?

We’re looking for participants.