Children’s Stories Supporting the Development of Critical Literacy and Intercultural Understanding

  • Jaana PesonenEmail author
Part of the Educating the Young Child book series (EDYC, volume 16)


This chapter examines the possibilities of applying children’s storybooks in supporting the development of critical literacy as well as intercultural understanding. Valuing and supporting children’s reading is known to provide understanding and empathy towards other human beings. The chapter focuses on theoretical notions related to promoting critical literacies through children’s storybooks, but also includes practical examples of utilizing multicultural children’s stories. The chapter introduces different strategies that parents and teachers can use to support the development of critical literacy, including critical thinking and understanding multiple perspectives. Focus is especially on young children, because they already are capable of moving beyond what is in front of them on the page. Since children’s storybooks offer possibilities for readers to question implicit assumptions about self and others, books can support readers in becoming more culturally aware and sensitive. Consequently, reading storybooks can affect children’s intercultural understanding, and the role of storybooks in children’s moral development – both shaping and changing attitudes – should be seen as transformative.


Critical literacy Intercultural understanding Moral development 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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