The works of children’s literature, which have a significant function in child development, stand for an essential constituent for raising the individuals who question their immediate circles, discuss the events occurring or things around, have respect for the arts, science and people, and are able to synthesize sense and logic in a balanced manner. In children’s literature, the principle of suitability to child emphasizes that the literary products for children include the elements which will be able to let the child gain the sense of art and aesthetics and contribute to the child’s linguistic, mental and emotional development. The properties related to the content to be sought in a children’s book that is suitable to child can be assessed under the titles of subject, plot, character/characters, language and expression, and message.
1-Subject: Subject is the most important content feature in children’s books. The age group to which the book addresses and also the characteristic features of this age group are essential determining factors in choosing the subject. Physical, social, cognitive and affective properties of the age group have an influence on their attention and needs.
2-Character: Character is the person experiencing the event and/or occurrence, realizing the action and establishing the relation among the other elements of the story. In children’s books, character is highly important. The reason is that children identify with the character. Therefore, the character must be a credible, reliable, as real-like as is in daily life, respectful towards the universal and moral values and a good person.
3-Plot: Plot is the element which determines the course of events in the story, includes the cause-effect relation in itself and explains the causes for the occurrence of events.
4-Language and Expression: In children’s books, language and expression must be simple and concepts must be clear. Narration in children’s books must be made by using short, simple sentences which is formed by a single subject and verb.
5-Message: In children’s books, by taking the properties related to the age and development of children into consideration, as well as messages referring social norms, humanity, love of nature and animals, unity of family, the ones for the values such as solidarity/cooperativeness, tolerance, love, respect, responsibility, patriotism and being democratic can be included. These messages can sometimes be presented directly, and sometimes in an implicit manner.
Objective of the Research
The objective of this research is to examine and evaluate the appropriateness of the literary products for children, which are in the type of narration and published in Turkey on different dates, translated from Turkish to the Uzbek language by the Uzbek poet Miraziz A’zam in 2012 and published in Tashkent in 2013, according to the principle of suitability to child and in terms of only content properties.
The research was designed in surveying model. In the research, qualitative research model was adopted and accordingly, document review was carried out.
Study Group / Books Reviewed in the Research
The three children’s books in narrative type that were translated from Turkish to the Uzbek language within the scope of “The Ministry of Culture and Tourism Project to Support for Dissemination of the Works for Turkish Culture, Art and Literature”, which was run by the Republic of Turkey’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism in 2012 and abbreviated as “TEDA”, were analyzed within the scope of this research. Information relevant to the books reviewed is provided below:
-Leylek Karda Kaldı, Gülten DAYIOĞLU (Kültür Bakanlığı-1993)
-Yıldız Tozu, Mustafa KUTLU (Erdem Çocuk – 2012)
-Geceleri Mızıka Çalan Kedi, Mustafa Ruhi ŞİRİN (Uçan At Yayınları – 2011)
Data Collection Tool
Within the scope of the research, initially, “The Form for Determining the Feature of Suitability to Child in Children’s Book” that was structured in accordance with the theoretical framework and would be used in the analysis of data was prepared. The sub-category titles considered to be able to reflect the feature of suitability to child (the name of the book; the subject of the story; the plot of the story; the characters in the story; the language and narration of the story; the message of the story) were arranged and presented for expert opinion.
Collection and Analysis of Data
Descriptive analysis method was employed in the review of story books involved in the research scope and in the analysis of the data obtained. In this research, the reason for the use of descriptive analysis method is that the content properties, certain titles and criteria of the children’s books have been determined and emphasized explicitly in the body of literature and within the scope of the principle of suitability to child. Initially, the documents were gathered in order to collect the data. The documents in this research are the children’s books translated from Turkish to the Uzbek language. Afterwards, the books were read three times and each researcher filled in the “Form for Determining the Feature of Suitability to Child in Children’s Books” as separate for each book. In that process, repeated readings were realized in necessary cases, and the notes relevant to the story were reviewed. The chapter, paragraph or sentences related to the research objective were determined and noted by indicating the number of the relevant page. In the research, at every stage as of the process for the preparation of data collection tool, expert opinion was sought for and having arrived at a consensus about the case that each heading in the form corresponded to the objective of the research was considered satisfactory in terms of reliability. Entries made into the data collection tool and text contents were compared consistently.
Conclusion, Discussion and Suggestions
It has been realized that the story book named Güzel Hanım is partially suitable and the other story books are suitable, with regards to the principle for the suitability of the subjects of stories to child, as a result of the research. In all of the literary works reviewed, it has been determined that as well as their relationships with the society, sports, animals and feelings, the relationships of the characters in the stories with the members of the family and peers are fictionalized. In general, it can be stated that the stories are appropriate to the principle of suitability to child, in terms of the plot. The main characters in the books are usually men; however, few characters are women. Additionally, the main characters mostly consist of children or young people. It has been seen that the characters of the stories are not appropriate in the book named Güzel Hanım, but are appropriate in the other books, with regards to the principle of suitability to child.
Children’s books must be smooth and flowing in language and expression, sentences must be short and simple, and contain only one subject-verb. It must be avoided of circumlocution; in other words, of indirect expression and narrations. It has been determined that the linguistic and narrative properties of the stories reviewed within the scope of this research are appropriate to the principle of suitability to child. Considering the stories in terms of the message, generally the messages including the views such as the innocency and optimism of the childhood, praise to and longing for the childhood, the fact that physical and temporary things are not considerable, the requirement of protecting the animals, the necessity of paying attention to the recommendations by the elder people, having respect for the right to life of all living creatures and environmental consciousness, conventionality, the price of telling a lie and being able to be aware of the order and balance in nature are involved. In this regard, it has been seen that the stories analyzed are appropriate to the principle of suitability to child, in terms of messages conveyed. The unity in natural and social surroundings, longing, respect to the elders, friendship, sharing and charity, which have already been presented in the stories, are all the common desire of the whole society. Events/happenings or states are narrated from the viewpoint of a small child, in an unadulterated and optimistic perspective. In the texts which the relationships with animals are narrated, it is noticed that the animals display their own natural characteristic features. In the stories, some certain facts of life (death, economic woes, illnesses, and etc.) are also mentioned by means of the memories from the childhood. Moreover, intentionally or unintentionally, child psychology and the sociology of childhood have been included between the lines, and social facts have been added into the content. Children, who have finished reading the stories, can be or feel sorry in the face of social facts and/or realities narrated. It is expected that the messages in the stories appeal well to the child’s world of sensation as they enhance their language – thinking skills. As based on the research results, it can be put forth that the literary constituents in the story books addressing to children in general must take some specific properties related to child psychology and development into consideration, as well. In other researches to be carried out, visual characteristics or linguistic properties of the books reviewed in this research can be dealt with. Only the story books translated from Turkish to the Uzbek language were analyzed in the research. However, in the researches to be made in future, any other story books translated from Turkish to different languages except Uzbek may also be examined. In addition to this, for these books translated into the Uzbek language, the level of their being read by the children in Uzbekistan and children’s opinions on these books may be investigated.
Keywords: Children’s book, relative to the child, children’s literature