Parent–child shared reading of scratch-and-sniff books: the communicative affordance of olfaction
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionKucirkova, N., & Jensen, I. B. (2023). Parent–child shared reading of scratch-and-sniff books: the communicative affordance of olfaction. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 1-14. 10.1080/1350293X.2023.2254532
This study extends the research on shared book reading (SBR) by specifically examining the role of smell in parent–child SBR sessions observed at home. Drawing on qualitative methods, we analysed the verbal engagement of ten Norwegian families and their three to five-year-olds reading an olfactory book (the scratch-and-sniff book Peter Follows His Nose). We followed socio-semiotic theorisations (Kress and Van Leeuwen Citation2002), to critically evaluate the role of olfaction as a communicative resource in SBR. We outline the principal ways in which smell fulfils three linguistic metafunctions during adult–child SBR with olfactory storybooks: the interpersonal function of signalling individual interests, the textual function of creating a dialogic space and the ideational function of revealing divergent interpretations. We propose that olfaction can be seen as a semiotic mode in SBR, which similarly to colour, has distinct grammar and systematic communication properties, with unique multimodal qualities.