No study to date has been uncovered in regard to the presence of First Ladies in children's biographies. However, related prior studies, such as a study on the effect of gender in scientific children's biographies (Owens, 2009) have stated that the portrayal of women in children's biographies has evolved over time. Therefore, I wondered how First ladies were portrayed in children's books, specifically biographies, for elementary aged students. Therefore, this study examined a collection of picturebook biographies written for children about First Ladies in order to explore how First Ladies are portrayed. For the purpose of this study, I chose to analyze how the roles of the First Lady was represented, both domestic and political. Across the 11 books analyzed, there were 57 mentions of political duties, including mentions of the First Lady being a political partner (15), champion of social causes (13), and a diplomat (7). Across the 11 books analyzed, there were 20 mentions of domestic duties, including wife, mother, and hostess. According to this research, the books, as a sample, have shown a bigger focus on the political achievements of the First Lady over their domestic life, including being a wife and mother while being First Lady.
Roberts, Sherron Killingsworth
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Community Innovation and Education
Elmore, Kaitlin N., "Exploring the Portrayals of Modern First Ladies in Children's Picturebook Biographies" (2018). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 417.