NPR

In Children's Storybooks, Realism Has Advantages

Young children have an easier time exporting what they learn from a fictional storybook to the real world when the storybook is realistic, says psychologist Tania Lombrozo.
Source: Getty Images

A few years ago, my daughter requested that her nightly lullaby be replaced with a bedtime story.

I was happy to comply, and promptly invented stories full of imaginary creatures in elaborate plots intended to convey some important lesson about patience or hard work or being kind to others.

But my daughter was not pleased. She had very particular ideas about what her bedtime stories should be about. She wanted stories about a little girl planning a girl. A human girl about her age. And what fascinated her were the mundane details: the theme for the party, the location, who was invited, and (most importantly) what they had for dessert.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR1 min read
Gang Starr, Hip-Hop's Chilliest Pair Of Heads, Returns
The East Coast kings of understated confidence and louche jazz interpolation drop a surprise on their fans, with an assist from J. Cole.
NPR2 min readPolitics
Saudi Attack Draws New U.S. Sanctions Against Iran
The Trump administration ordered new sanctions on Iran, in response to the attack in Saudi Arabia that temporarily cut off nearly 6% of the world's oil supply. The sanctions' effect may be limited.
NPR2 min readScience
Mass Protests In Australia Kick Off Global Climate Strike Ahead Of U.N. Summit
The rallies in Sydney, Melbourne and elsewhere drew tens of thousands of people. Similar protests were expected across the U.S., U.K., Germany, France and elsewhere.