I presented my project this week and the feedback was mostly good, the main issue that was pointed out to me was that my research has been too focussed on the psychology side of birthmarks - so much so that my project sounds like a psychology project instead of a design one!
To combat this I'm going to add more research into illustration and picture books to my repertoire.
To start I finally borrowed the textbooks I found in the library a few weeks ago:
So far I haven't found "In The Picture" useful for my project. The choice of the font family for the body copy is also highly questionable and difficult to read.
An...interesting design choice...
Although this one quote here from page 21 might be relevant to my exegesis:
'books are not neutral aesthetic/literary objects, but sites of ideological production where forms of knowledge reflecting certain cultural assumptions are presented to the reader' Paley (1992, p.160)
Conducting a Survey of Picture Books
I'm also going to see if I can get my hands on some of the best-selling picture books that encourage good self-esteem from my local library. Amazon has a good list for me to jump off of.
I'm hoping by surveying these I can understand some common thread, styles, and techniques that a popular with readers and parents.
The lists on tolerance and disability look promising too and I've started putting holds on what the library has available.
Articles on Picture Books
In my research, I also found this article on the psychology Today Website called "The Importance of Picture Books: On the benefits of reading to children and even babies." It supports my theory that children can learn not just simple concepts from picture books at a young age:
"Altogether, simple storybooks have the power to teach infants and children new words, actions, and even more complex scientific concepts like camouflage and evolution. Note that these books were all designed to read like storybooks—not like educational books that children get in school—and children’s interactions with these books were very brief. Yet children still learned from them"