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"Have People in Toronto Seen What I've Seen?" A Comparative Analysis of Place, Identity and Migration in the Context of Two Canadian Picture Books (Erin Spring)

Abstract:
The focus of the following paper is to probe the relationship between place, identity and migration within Laurel Croza and Matt James’s I Know Here (2010) and David Bouchard and Henry Ripplinger’s If You’re Not From the Prairie (1993), both of which portray identification with the Canadian prairie province of Saskatchewan. While the picturebooks share a geographical setting, they offer varying perspectives on the theme of migration, or movement between places, particularly through their portrayal of the local and global, and associated feelings of ‘insideness’ and ‘outsideness’. A comparison of both picturebooks offers an opportunity to discuss themes of place and identity through the lens of Canadian children’s literature. To begin, the author considers how each text presents the reader with an understanding of the local, through which we gauge an appreciation for the established place-based identities. She then questions how each picturebook presents a view of the global, or the theme of outsideness, which facilitates an understanding of movement between places.

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