Animals and wildlife have a central place in the representations of nature in children's literature, and is often presented as an unproblematic idyll. This arises from the conception of the tight relationship between children, animals and nature. The picturebook Kaninliv (1978) [Die Kanincheninsel, 1977] by Jörg Müller and Jörg Steiner is sticking out with heavier and more disturbing themes, examining industrial society's exploitation of animals and nature, and conveys a critical eye on a fur farming involving restrictions on unfolding opportunities for the animals. The scope of this article is to discuss how the concept of nature is expressed and negotiated in the dialogue between pictures and verbal text represented in Kaninliv. Nature and wildlife will be read from an ecocritical perspective, in relation to the nature/culture dichotomy, as well as from an allegoric point of view. The analysis is a part of the research project Nature in Children's Literature: Fostering ecocitizens, initiated at Bergen University College, and is discussed in relation to a matrix developed by the research group that places the texts along the two axes “nature celebrating versus nature problematizing” and “anthropocentric versus biocentric”.
The family house is a distinct and recurrent context for child protagonists in picturebooks by Gro Dahle and Svein Nyhus. Based on Mikhail Bakhtin's concept of the chronotope, which denotes the unity of time and space in a literary work, this article explores how concepts of time and space are depicted in three picturebooks by Dahle and Nyhus that are set within the family house context. The books were all published around the year 2000. Following Bakhtin's understanding that the literary chronotope emerges from real historical time and space, the article illustrates how the family house chronotope in the work of Dahle and Nyhus sheds light on the condition of being a child at the turn of the century. Furthermore, it is suggested that what I will term the Dahle and Nyhus’ family house chronotope frames and enables both a vulnerable and strong child, thus reflecting an understanding of childhood in a Scandinavian postmodern context around the year 2000.