How can you show which ideas regarding age are passed on in and via children’s using digital tools, among other methodologies? A first step is the assembling of digitised texts, which we acquired thanks to publishers, authors and the DBNL. Those texts generate masses of data, which means that it comes down to making choices. We looked into how often characters from certain age groups are depicted speaking in books, and whether differences are to be found regarding gender. We also wanted to find out which topics these characters talked about, and whether differences in age could be revealed. Books by Bart Moeyaert and La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman formed touchstones for these first steps. The observations and hypotheses that were the result of this particular study serve as guidelines for further research.
Joosen, Vanessa. ‘Constructing Age for Young Readers’.
International Research in Children’s Literature, vol. 14, no. 3, 2021, pp. 252–268.