chapter  9
17 Pages

Spatialities of Emotion

Place and Non-place in Children’s Picture Books
ByKerry Mallan

One of the key functions of literature and film is to represent and evoke emotion. Unlike conventional narrative approaches common to novels and films that rely on narrative action and dialogue to evoke emotion, picture books offer a different affect through minimal dialogue or description, aesthetics, and stylistic inventiveness. The concept of non-place offers an additional means for exploring how places and spaces in picture books embody some of the characteristics that Augé describes. Writers for young people often promote emotional engagement with characters and place by orienting their readers in both real and imaginary spaces, creating geographies of emotion. Sara MacKian says that the emotional geographies of individual lives are brought into particularly sharp focus by life-changing experiences. Augé says that certain places exist only in the words that evoke them. The Enemy deals with a different treatment of anxiety, one that is accompanied by emotions of fear and solitude.