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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Nature and grief : an ecocritical analysis of grief in children's literature Lankford, Megan


This study explores the role of nature in three picture books that broach the topics of death, grief, depression, or loss: Bryan Mellonie and Robert Ingpen’s Lifetimes, Shaun Tan’s The Red Tree, and Roni Schotter and Kimberly Bulcken Root’s In the Piney Woods. Using a close reading of both the text and the visual images, these picture books are analyzed for their use of nature in discussing the concepts of death, regeneration, life, and the life cycle. The three texts reflect two primary historical trends of ecocriticism that of nature-as-space and nature-as-knowledge as exemplified by writers in the Romantic era, the American pastoral, and the Victorian period. Through a further examination of the text and image relationship within the text, the texts are then analyzed for their effectiveness and accessibility to children within the practice of bibliotherapy.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International