Most children’s Literature is used for entertainment, learning and conveying messages. The majority of children’s literature has a dual target audience of children and adults. I will be comparing the text of the Mail online and the Roald Dahl website. The presentation of both texts is very different. For example, pictures in the Mail online appeal to a range of people. In the article there are two pictures. One is a photograph of Scott McIntyre, his son and a packshot of the book he wrote.
In the photograph of Scott and his son, the boys are both wearing matching hoodies which happen to be blue.
The fact that the hoodies are both the same and are both the colour blue shows that the audience is most likely a parent or more specifically, a father. This is because the colour blue is often related to boys. The photograph also shows Scott smiling. This relates to the perspective of the newspaper about children’s literature, and that the newspaper believes that anyone can be children’s writer.
In contrast, the pictures used in the Roald Dahl website are fun and exciting. We see the illustrations of Roald Dahl’s signature illustrator, Quentin Blake.
There is an illustration of Roald Dahl himself and in the corner we see an illustration of a monkey. These illustrations appeal specifically to the target audience, children. The fact that we see a monkey, which represents children themselves as they are fun and cheeky and full of energy means that Roald Dahl is trying to attract an audience of children.
It also means that his perspective on children’s literature is that it should be enjoyable and fun. The languge in both texts is also used in a very different way. The language used in the Mail online is very simple.
There are examples of superlatives in the text and also examples of exaggeration. For example: “awesome sidekick” “greatest little boy” “Meanest cat around” “fastest kid in town” “Jake has become famous”. It shows that the vocabulary of the people reading this is limited. We learn that the audience is maybe a little bit uneducated and is situated in the middle or low class of the social and economic system. Unlike the Daily Mail, Roald Dahl uses interesting comparisons and intriguing words. For example,”It was the same with a young person writing an essay”.
Dahl compares the fact of writing a book to an essay so that young people can relate. This shows the target audience is not only young children but also children with experience. The way education is seen in both texts is very different. In the Roald Dahl interview education plays an important part in Roald Dahl’s views and concepts. For example, he mentions “Hemmingway, a great American writer. Children are not supposed to know who Hemmingway is, but the fact that Dahl mentions him in his text shows that Dahl wants the children to find out.
He also mentions him to subtly attract the parents to his website. This matches the idea that children’s literature has a dual audience. Dahl wants to attract the adults hopefully to gain some money. Disimilarly, Mail online does not focus on education as being a very important part in children’s literature. For example Scott “failed his higher English” and he was “disappointed by the children’s books” that were “filled with morals and messages about good behaviour- and he wanted something more fun”.
The fact that Scott failed his higher English shows to the audience that anyone can write a book and doesn’t need to learn how to write first. Scott believes that books about messages and morals are boring, this shows that his perspective of children’s literature is that books should be just for the purpose of entertainment and nothing else. In both texts the idea of family against independent children is explored. In the Mail online, family is an extremly important part of children’s literature. For example, the main character in the book by Scott McIntyre “like many children’s characters, goes home to his mum for a bath”.
McIntyre also mentions that “Apart from when I got married and had my two children (…) best moment of my life. ” This shows that the adult audience of McIntyre’s book and of the article is an audience that believe in traditional British values and value stereotypical beliefs. In the Roald Dahl interview, the audience is independent and doesn’t take children’s literature as a very family thing. I can see this because Dahl subtly talks about Hemminway to attract the adults and then seperatly uses the right vocabulary for children.
When you are going good stop! ” “If you stop when you are stuck, then you are in trouble! ” It shows that Dahl is speaking to children in particular and that he wants their attention. Lastly I want to compare the structure of both texts. The Mail online has a very simple structure to attract an almost illiterate tpe of audience. It is stuctured in small paragraphs with breaks in between each paragraph. The text is edited and therefore it is made to suit the audience. It also has two very large images which have been used for the more visual learners.
The text and structure has been adapted so the reader is drawn to it by the pictures and simple layout. It has been made for an audience of aduts who do not know how to read and write very well. The purpose of the text is mostly to make money and entertain the reader, not really to educate or teach the reader. In contrast to the Mail online, the Roald Dahl structure is a spoken interview which can also be listened to and it is written word for word. The fact that the interview is directly from Roald Dahl speech and it is his stream of consciousness makes it much more interesting and real.
There are grammatical errors because the the text is unedidted, but the fact it is unedited and the errors reflects the nature of Dahl’s perspective of children’s literature. In conclusion I believe that both texts are very different in the way they view and adress children’s literature. I believe that the purpose and audience of both texts is also very different. The only similarities are that they both agree on the dual audience of children’s literature but one text more than the other one.