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date: 17 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article discusses the formal similarities and distinctions between comic strips and narrative children's books, exploring the historical development of the “comic strip child,” especially in the context of the Peanuts strip (1950–2000). Charles M. Schulz's vision and aesthetic in Peanuts were fundamental to the construction of childhood in the postwar era. Schulz's achievement offers an opportune way of undertaking that larger task. Some Peanuts gags revolve around the disparity between the kids' smallness and the overwhelming size of their surroundings. The Peanuts kids developed conflicted and believably complex personalities. Their concerns were genuine and relatable. What made Peanuts groundbreaking was its knowing, sometimes surprising revision of the comic-strip child, the fact that Schulz's “li'l folks” spoke for children and adults alike. Peanuts reached grown-ups through its recollections of childhood and reached children by recognizing the seriousness of their social and emotional lives.

Keywords: Peanuts, Charles M. Schulz, cross-writing, comic strips, narrative children's books

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