Representation and the Portrayal of Elders’ Characters in Ethiopian Children’s Books: Policy Implication

Dereje Mekonnen, Bonsa Shume, Dessalegn Garuma


The objective of this study was to investigate the Representation and the Portrayal of Elders’ Characters in Ethiopian Children’s Books. To achieve this intention, three different publishers were purposively taken, Mega Enterprise, Aster Nega, and Royal, for the books do have large sellers for children’s present day in Ethiopia. Therefore, 38 different books were gathered from selected independent bookstores and taken from wholesalers along availability sampling technique. A coding sheet was utilized to assist in recording data. The information used to establish this recording aid was adapted from Robinson and Anderson’s (2006) content analyses on older characters. The gathered data under the help of three oriented experts were coded and statistically analyzed (using frequency and percentage). Thus, the study found that the elders’ character mostly appeared in children’s picture books. Further, the most of the elders’ characteristics were found to be positive in nature in the sample picture books. In addition to this, both physical and social basis characteristics of elders were found to be represented and portrayed in Ethiopian children’s picture books. Based on these results, it has been concluded that Ethiopian children’s picture books represented and portrayed elders’ characteristics prevalently and positively which in turn indicates the good and acceptable place that elders do have in Ethiopian children’s picture books. However, this study found that the characteristics of the books that represented and portrayed undermined the additional characteristic of elders with special needs. Further, the characters that presented and portrayed in those picture books may not yet included in to academic textbooks of students. Therefore, it has been recommended that the publishers, the educational experts, and the readers as well as the researchers should enforce the concerned bodies to include the elderly characteristics of individuals with special needs (particularly of those with disabilities) in to the readable picture books and should evaluate the contents of academic textbooks.


Characteristics; Children’s Pictures Books; Elders

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