Nature and Becoming in a Picturebook About “Things That Are”

  • Marianne Røskeland
Part of the Critical Approaches to Children's Literature book series (CRACL)


In her ecocritical reading of the Norwegian picturebook Sånt som er (2010, Things That Are) by Svein Nyhus, the author studies the representations of nature and the child character’s relation to her environment. This chapter examines how this picturebook may both influence and interact with the child reader’s images of nature and natural elements and thus participate in the formation of the child as an ecocitizen. The author draws attention to the both playful and defamiliarizing aesthetic quality of the book, which makes the readers aware of their natural surroundings in ecopoetic ways. The concept of nature offered is manifold and diverse, and the book demonstrates how the affordance of one’s natural surroundings is relative to the perceiver’s experience.

Works Cited

  1. Clark, T. (2014). Nature, Post Nature. In: L. Westling ed., The Cambridge Companion to Literature and the Environment. New York: Cambridge University Press, pp. 75–89.Google Scholar
  2. Garrard, G. (2012). Ecocriticism. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Gibson, J. (1978). The Ecological Approach to the Visual Perception of Pictures. Leonardo, 11, pp. 227–235. Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  4. Gibson, J. (2015). The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception. Classic Edition. New York and London: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
  5. Glotfelty, C. (1996). Introduction. In: C. Glotfelty & H. Fromm eds., The Ecocriticism Reader: Landmarks in Literary Ecology. Athens (Georgia) and London: University of Georgia Press, pp. xv–xxxvii.Google Scholar
  6. Iser, W. (1978). The Act of Reading. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Karlsen, G. (2015). Natur og danning. In: B. O. Hallås & G. Karlsen eds., Natur og danning. Profesjonsutøvelse, barnehage og skole. Bergen: Fagbokforlaget, pp. 21–35.Google Scholar
  8. Khaneman, D. (2011). Thinking, Fast and Slow. New York: Farrar, Strous and Ferroux.Google Scholar
  9. Lidström, S., & Garrard, G. (2014). Images Adequate to Our Predicament. Ecology, Environment and Ecopoetics. Environmental Humanities, 5, pp. 35–53.
  10. Massey, G., & Bradford, C. (2011). Children as Ecocitizens: Ecocriticism and Environmental Texts. In: K. Mallan & C. Bradford eds., Contemporary Children’s Literature and Film: Engaging with Theory. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 109–126.Google Scholar
  11. Nyhus, S. (2010a). Bildebokskolen 50. Loaded from:
  12. Nyhus, S. (2010b). Bildebokskolen 40. Loaded from:
  13. Nyhus, S. (2012). Sånt som er. Oslo: Gyldendal.Google Scholar
  14. Rhedin, U. (2013). Kaos och ordning - att berätta ur barnets perspektiv och våga möta barndomens mörker. In: U. Rhedin, Oscar K., & L. Erikson eds., En fanfar för bilderboken. Alfabeta, pp. 37–63.Google Scholar
  15. Sjklovskij, V. (1916 [1991]). Kunsten som grep. In: A. Kittang, A. Linneberg, A. Melberg, & H. H. Skei eds., Moderne litteraturteori. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, pp. 11–25.Google Scholar
  16. Westling, L. (2014). Introduction. In: L. Westling ed., The Cambridge Companion to Literature and the Environment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 1–13.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Western Norway University of Applied SciencesBergenNorway

Personalised recommendations