Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)




Frank Cammuso


children's book illustration, children's literature, picture book, portrayal of death


This thesis examines the portrayal of death in children's literature from three different perspectives. Firstly, it explores how authors approached the topic during the Victorian era when death was an everyday reality due to rampant diseases. Secondly, it analyzes how authors depict death in different ways, including involuntary death, the pursuit of the sublime, and the nature of life cycle. Thirdly, it explores how authors address children's psychological states when dealing with death, including reducing pre-death pain, using poetic expression, promoting healing from grief, and associating memory loss with death. Finally, the author creates a children's book that confronts the author's own fear of death and the loss of loved ones.In conclusion, this thesis highlights the evolution of the portrayal of death in children's literature, from avoiding the topic altogether to acknowledging it as an inevitable reality. The contemporary approach focuses on alleviating children's fear of death and guiding them through the grieving process with healing words and images, emphasizing love, resilience, and memory.


Open Access



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