Perhaps children prefer a facsimile because it offers a sense of control over a frighteningly diverse world. Most of us, in fact, not only children, cannot resist a simulacrum.
Certainly, there is an irresistible charm to any well-done replica. We get to see a bit of the world in duplicate, a magical projection, a hard copy of our mental image of reality.
The appeal is amplified when the scale of the projection is significantly altered. Who can resist an accomplished miniature? We are released from our usual, limited view and can suddenly see the world from a god’s eye perspective. Here is Joe Fig’s tiny rendering of the great Jackson Pollock at work. Pretty nifty.
But the issue for children is qualitatively different. They are surrounded by a largely incomprehensible world they must learn to decode: a monumental challenge. Small wonder that a simplified, made-safe rendering of reality holds such appeal for them. Of course, most often these facsimiles are a designed for play and aimed specifically at them, worlds where they reign supreme.