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Sunday, September 09, 2018

Victorian 'interactive' books on show in Cambridge | Cambridgeshire - BBC News

The 1893 Speaking Picture Book reproduces nine animal sounds including moos, tweets and a cuckoo. 

While the earlier Dogs' Dinner Party had tabs on the side to allow children to move them some of the animals from side to side or up and down.
Photo: Homerton College/Cambridge University

A "rarely seen" Victorian interactive children's book which reproduces animal noises is to go on display following an academic conference on picture books.

The Speaking Picture Book was published in 1893 and replicated nine sounds.

Cambridge University's Professor Maria Nikolayevna said picture books are a "misunderstood" genre, yet have been around for up to 200 years.

The 1855 Dogs' Dinner Party, which includes dogs moved by tabs, will also be in the Homerton College exhibition...

Prof Nikolayevna said the study of picture books had come of age and they "are not books for pre-literate children - many are complex and demanding".

"Twenty years ago, it would be absolutely unheard of that a doctoral student would be able to do research on picture books which were seen as kiddie books," she said.

She added neuroscience has revealed children have an evolutionarily conditioned ability to use both hemispheres of the brain to understand and combine words and pictures.

Prof Nikolajeva said: "As adults, we lose the skills... but as educators we should try to retain and develop these skills and this is what international picture book scholarship is doing."

Source: BBC News