Second Volume of Yearbook of the German Children’s Literature Research Society Published

The second volume of the Jahrbuch der Gesellschaft für Kinder- und Jugendliteraturforschung (GKJF)/ Yearbook of the German Children’s Literature Research Society is now online: Its focus is on “1968.” Contributions in German or English on this thematic focus are augmented by ones with a theoretical or historical focal point, and an extensive section with book reviews completes the 200-page issue.

Fifty years after this ‘paradigmatic’ caesura, the second volume of the Yearbook brings the cipher “’68” into focus to discuss historical and contemporary dimensions of this junction and to examine the manifold implications of the topic from theoretical and subject-oriented angles and in its different medial forms. It discusses these, thanks to international contributions, in a European context and reflects their significance for today’s children’s and young adult culture. It further illuminates previously explored terrain, develops new questions and critically reexamines established positions and texts.

Beyond this focus theme, and in line with the concept of the Yearbook, two fundamental theoretical and historical articles on questions of children’s literature and media present current research approaches and perspectives. The articles are followed by book reviews of some thirty academic titles.

The articles of the Yearbook are peer reviewed by members of an Advisory Board of twenty-four international experts to ensure the maintenance of the highest standards of research and transparency. The Yearbook is published as an open-access journal. Articles can be downloaded as individual PDFs at, and a PDF of the entire volume is also available for download.

The editors of the Yearbook are elected every two years at the GKJF’s annual general meeting. The current volume was edited by Ute Dettmar (Goethe-University Frankfurt/M.), Gabriele von Glasenapp (Cologne University), Emer O’Sullivan (Leuphana University Lüneburg), Caroline Roeder (PH Ludwigsburg), and Ingrid Tomkowiak (Zürich University).

New ISSCL Podcast – Come Away, Oh Human Child!: The Adaptation of Adult Texts for a Child Audience

IRSCL member the Irish Society for the Study of Children’s Literature is pleased to announce that its third podcast, which addresses the topic of adapting adult texts for children in the context of the work of two of Ireland’s most renowned authors (Jonathan Swift and W. B. Yeats), can be accessed at

In the podcast, Anne Markey explores the relationship between children’s literature and Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels in this, the 350th anniversary of the author’s birth, and Noreen Doody discusses issues involved in editing The Moon Spun Round: W.B. Yeats for Children.

Recent Publications by IRSCL Members

The following books by IRSCL members have been recently published or are forthcoming:

The Courage to Imagine: The Child Hero in Children’s Literature by Roni Natov (Bloomsbury, November 2017)

The act of imagining lies at the very heart of children’s engagements with literature and with the plots and characters they encounter in their favorite stories. The Courage to Imagine is a landmark new study of that fundamental act of imagining. Roni Natov focuses on the ways in which children’s imaginative engagement with the child hero figure can open them up to other people’s experiences, developing empathy across lines of race, gender and sexuality, as well as helping them to confront and handle traumatic experience safely. Drawing on a wide range of theoretical approaches from the psychological to the cultural and reading a multicultural spectrum of authors, including works by Maya Angelou, Louise Erdrich, Neil Gaiman and Brian Selznick, this is a groundbreaking examination of the nature of imagining for children and re-imagining for the adult writer and illustrator.

Imagining Sameness and Difference in Children’s Literature From the Enlightenment to the Present Day edited by Emer O’Sullivan and Andrea Immel (Palgrave, 2017)

This book investigates how cultural sameness and difference has been presented in a variety of forms and genres of children’s literature from Denmark, Germany, France, Russia, Britain, and the United States; ranging from English caricatures of the 1780s to dynamic representations of contemporary cosmopolitan childhood. The chapters address different models of presenting foreigners using examples from children’s educational prints, dramatic performances, travel narratives, comics, and picture books. Contributors illuminate the ways in which the texts negotiate the tensions between the Enlightenment ideal of internationalism and discrete national or ethnic identities cultivated since the Romantic era, providing examples of ethnocentric cultural perspectives and of cultural relativism, as well as instances where discussions of child reader agency indicate how they might participate eventually in a tolerant transnational community.

Figuring Korean Futures: Children’s Literature in Modern Korea by Dafna Zur (Stanford UP, 2017)

This book is the story of the emergence and development of writing for children in modern Korea. Starting in the 1920s, a narrator-adult voice began to speak directly to a child-reader. This child audience was perceived as unique because of a new concept: the child-heart, the perception that the child’s body and mind were transparent and knowable, and that they rested on the threshold of culture. This privileged location enabled writers and illustrators, educators and psychologists, intellectual elite and laypersons to envision the child as a powerful antidote to the present and as an uplifting metaphor of colonial Korea’s future. Reading children’s periodicals against the political, educational, and psychological discourses of their time, Dafna Zur argues that the figure of the child was particularly favorable to the project of modernity and nation-building, as well as to the colonial and postcolonial projects of socialization and nationalization.

Recent Publications by IRSCL Members

The following books by IRSCL members have been recently published or are forthcoming:

The Routledge Companion to International Children’s Literature edited by John Stephens (Routledge, September 2017)

Demonstrating the aesthetic, cultural, political, and intellectual diversity of children’s literature across the globe, The Routledge Companion to International Children’s Literature is the first volume of its kind to focus on the undervisited regions of the world. With particular focus on Asia, Africa, and Latin America, the collection raises awareness of children’s literature and related media as they exist in large regions of the world to which ‘mainstream’ European and North American scholarship pays very little attention.

The Routledge Companion to Picturebooks edited by Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer (Routledge, November 2017)

Containing 48 essays by leading and new scholars, this Companion is the ultimate guide to picturebooks. It contains a detailed introduction by the editor, surveying the history and development of the field and emphasising the international and cultural diversity of picturebooks. Divided into 5 key parts the book covers: concepts – from within picturebooks, but also applied from literary theory; genres – from baby books to picturebooks for adults – their relations to other forms such as comics and visual media; domains and theoretical approaches; and adaptations and media.

More Words about Pictures: Current Research on Picture Books and Visual/Verbal Texts for Young People edited by Naomi Hamer, Perry Nodelman, and Mavis Reimer (Routledge)

This volume represents the current state of research on picture books and other adjacent hybrid forms of visual/verbal texts such as comics, graphic novels, and book apps, with a particular focus on texts produced for and about young people. When Perry Nodelman’s Words about Pictures: the Narrative Art of Children’s Picture Books was published almost three decades ago, it was greeted as an important contribution to studies in children’s picture books and illustration internationally; and based substantially on it, Nodelman has recently been named the 2015 recipient of the International Grimm Award for children’s literature criticism. In the years since Words About Pictures appeared, scholars have built on Nodelman’s groundbreaking text and have developed a range of other approaches, both to picture books and to newer forms of visual/verbal texts that have entered the marketplace and become popular with young people. The essays in this book offer ‘more words’ about established and emerging forms of picture books, providing an overview of the current state of studies in visual/verbal texts and gathering in one place the work being produced at various locations and across disciplines. Essays exploring areas such as semiological and structural aspects of conventional picture books, graphic narratives and new media forms, and the material and performative cultures of picture books represent current work not only from literary studies but also media studies, art history, ecology, Middle Eastern Studies, library and information studies, and educational research. In addition to work by international scholars including William Moebius, Erica Hateley, Nathalie op de Beeck, and Nina Christensen that carries on and challenges the conclusions of Words about Pictures, the collection also includes a wide-ranging reflection by Perry Nodelman on continuities and changes in the current interdisciplinary field of study of visual/verbal texts for young readers. Providing a look back over the history of picture books and the development of picture book scholarship, More Words About Pictures also offers an overview of our current understanding of these intriguing texts.

Canon Constitution and Canon Change in Children’s Literature edited by Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer and Anja Müller (Routledge)

This volume focuses on the (de)canonization processes in children’s literature, considering the construction and cultural-historical changes of canons in different children’s literatures. Chapters by international experts in the field explore a wide range of different children’s literatures from Great Britain, Germany, Scandinavia, the Low Countries, Eastern and Central Europe, as well as from Non-European countries such as Australia, Israel, and the United States. Situating the inquiry within larger literary and cultural studies conversations about canonicity, the contributors assess representative authors and works that have encountered changing fates in the course of canon history. Particular emphasis is given to sociological canon theories, which have so far been under-represented in canon research in children’s literature. The volume therefore relates historical changes in the canon of children’s literature not only to historical changes in concepts of childhood but to more encompassing political, social, economic, cultural, and ideological shifts. This volume’s comparative approach takes cognizance of the fact that, if canon formation is an important cultural factor in nation-building processes, a comparative study is essential to assessing transnational processes in canon formation. This book thus renders evident the structural similarities between patterns and strategies of canon formation emerging in different children’s literatures.

Dans les rêves de grand-père by Jean Perrot (Albin Michel)

Jean Perrot quitte sa stature de spécialiste de littérature enfantine et dévoile ici son rôle de grand-père. Avec cet album, il livre à son petit-fils quelques poèmes, jalonnant les étapes de la naissance à l’envol de l’enfant devenu adulte. Attention, étonnement, goût du jeu, inquiétude, admiration… le grand-père dit, en quelques mots, les émotions et les sentiments ressentis sur ce chemin partagé. Des mots pétris d’écoute et de délicatesse, qui se chargent, au fil du temps qui passe, du sens de la vie et qui expriment cet art merveilleux d’être grand-père.

New Publication: One Child Reading: My Auto-Bibliography by Margaret Mackey

One Child Reading Cover IRSCL member Margaret Mackey has just published One Child Reading: My Auto-Bibliography, a book that sets out to explore the question of what we can learn about the act of reading from a single child’s experience of becoming literate in a particular place and time. Dr. Mackey draws together memory, textual criticism, social analysis, and reading theory in an extraordinary act of self-study. Seeking a deeper sense of what happens when we read, she revisits the texts she read, viewed, listened to, and wrote as she became literate in the 1950s and 1960s in St. John’s, Newfoundland. The result is not a memoir, but rather a theorized exploration of how a reader is constructed.

For more information, read an interview with Margaret Mackey about One Child Reading in the Edmonton Journal.

Fellowships to study at Kent State University’s Reinberger Children’s Library Center

Kent State University’s School of Library and Information Science is pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications for two $1,500 research fellowships:

The Jacqueline M. Albers Guest Scholar in Children’s Literature Fellowship was endowed by SLIS alumna Jacqueline M. Albers to support a guest scholar who will study children’s literature using the collections in the Reinberger Children’s Library Center.

The Kenneth and Sylvia Marantz Fellowship for Picturebook Research, supported by Dr. Kenneth and Sylvia Marantz, encourages scholarly research on the study of picture books using the resources of the Marantz Picturebook Collection for the Study of Picturebook Art.

If awarded, funds could be used to coordinate a research visit with attending the Marantz Picturebook Research Symposium, July 24-26, 2016.

Each fellowship provides a stipend of up to $1,500 for outstanding scholars to spend approximately one week on site, researching picture books, posters or ephemera related to picturebooks in the Reinberger Children’s Library Center and Marantz Picturebook Collection at the Kent State University School of Library and Information Science in Kent, Ohio, U.S.A. Stipends may be used toward travel, lodging, food and research-related supplies.

Mission of the Reinberger Children’s Library Center and the Marantz Picturebook Collection for the Study of Picturebook Art

From historical books for children to contemporary literature for young people, the Reinberger Children’s Library Center and the Marantz Picturebook Collection encompass diverse collections of youth literature that span geographic, cultural, physical, technological and temporal borders. The collections represent the best literature and related materials for young people. They also demonstrate the processes involved in producing, publishing and marketing such literature over time, from evolving means of production to differing constructions of childhood. In addition, the state-of-the-art Center provides opportunities to study connections between literacy, reading and digital technologies, which is valuable for practitioners as well as scholars.

The Center’s purpose is threefold: 1) to support and encourage scholarly research within its collections; 2) to provide professional training to students and practitioners; and 3) to engage in activities and outreach to the community and beyond. The Center’s collection is of interest to interdisciplinary scholars and practitioners from such fields as youth services librarianship, school library media, children’s literature, education, English, communication, media studies, design, and others interested in studying youth literature, publishing, young people and reading in both an historical and contemporary context.

The Reinberger and Marantz collections combine to form a research library collection of more than 30,000 books and related ephemera.

Following is a sampling of the types of studies which could be done using the collections:

  • The art of picture book illustration (media and techniques)
  • Themes and trends in children’s literature
  • Social construction of childhood through children’s literature
  • Social justice in children’s picturebooks
  • Studies of American Children’s Award winners
  • Historical perspectives on children’s literature (and the work of May Hill Arbuthnot)
  • Contemporary perspectives (ebook vs. print picture books)
  • Reviewing studies (Including the work of Ken and Sylvia Marantz)
  • Publishing studies on books for young readers
  • Study of pop-ups/paper engineering

Criteria for Eligibility

  • Albers: Applicants will be evaluated based on their proven dedication to the study of children’s literature (not specifically picture books) and selection of a topic of study related to the Reinberger and Marantz collections.
  • Marantz: Applicants will be evaluated based on their proven dedication to the study of children’s picture books and selection of a topic of study related to the Reinberger and Marantz collections.
  • Preference will be given to topics likely to be published or otherwise disseminated.
  • Awards also will be based on applicants’ scholarly qualifications.
  • Applicants from diverse academic disciplines are welcome to apply, including but not limited to: youth services librarianship, school library media, children’s literature, art, education, English, communication, media studies, design, art education, illustration, publishing, and others interested in studying youth literature, young people and reading.
  • Applicants must hold at least a master’s degree.

Application Process

Please provide the following materials using the form at this link:

  • A two-page summary addressing the topic of your proposed study and the potential impact of your work. Include an outline of the project and its relationship to previous and current scholarship in the field, how the resources of the Kent State collections will support your research, as well as the anticipated outcome of the project and plans for publication.
  • Curriculum vitae / resume including name, title, contact information, education.
  • A proposed budget of anticipated travel and research expenses, and suggested dates of study in Kent.

Stipends must be used within one year from receipt of funds, at which time expenditure reports will be due.

Applications must be submitted on the appropriate form ( no later than midnight on Jan. 30, 2016.

Winners will be announced via email on or before March 1, 2016.


  • Recipients of the Marantz Fellowship for Picturebook Research must be willing to present (in-person or online) their research related to the fellowship findings at a future picture book symposium hosted by Kent State University’s School of Library and Information Science.
  • Recipients of the Albers Fellowship must be willing to present (in-person or online) their research related to the fellowship findings at a future symposium hosted by Kent State University’s School of Library and Information Science.
  • Recipients must be willing to have their name, photo and title of research promoted via publicity and marketing channels at Kent State University.
  • Any publications resulting from this support should credit the appropriate fellowship.
  • Applicants agree to send a copy of any ensuing publications to the Reinberger Children’s Library Center at Kent State University’s School of Library and Information Science.

For questions please contact Michelle Baldini: or Marianne Martens:

15th International Brothers Grimm Award Winner

The International Institute for Children’s Literature in Osaka (IICLO) is pleased to announce Perry Nodelman as the fifteenth recipient of the International Brothers Grimm Award.

In September 2014, IICLO sent questionnaires to 400 scholars in which they requested recommendations for candidates, and by the end of November 2014, the IICLO had selected 12 nominees. In December 2014, after researching these nominees and their achievements, the Japanese committee members narrowed the list of candidates down to the following four:

Clare Bradford (Australia)
Hans-Heino Ewers (Germany)
Perry Nodelman (Canada)
Roberta Seelinger Trites (U.S.A.)

In March 2015, a final meeting of the Japanese committee was held, and decided that the winner was Professor Perry Nodelman in Canada. The award presentation ceremony and Professor Perry Nodelman’s commemorative lecture will be held on 21 November 2015. At the ceremony, a trophy and a prize of one million yen will be given by the Kinrankai Foundation, a supporter of the award.

Dr. Perry Nodelman, Professor Emeritus of University of Winnipeg, is an exemplary researcher of children’s literature and picture books internationally. His main works published in book form are: Words About Pictures: The Narrative Art of Children’s Picture Books (1988), The Pleasures of Children’s Literature (1992), and The Hidden Adult: Defining Children’s Literature (2008), all of which are highly esteemed. Words About Pictures in particular has received international recognition as a groundbreaking work in the field of research on picture books. The Pleasures of Children’s Literature is renowned as a textbook for the research of children’s literature for university students and has been translated for publication in China, Taiwan, and Korea.

He was editor of the Children’s Literature Association Quarterly for five years (1983-87) and Canadian Children’s Literature/Littérature canadienne pour la jeunesse for five years (2004-2008). He also wrote many articles on children’s literature theory and reviews of research books on children’s literature, all of which contributed to development of research in the field.

He is also a writer of twelve books of children’s and young adult fiction. Among them, the four books of the Minds Series, written with Carol Matas, are works of fantasy which encourage logical thinking and have been translated into Japanese.

Dr. Nodelman taught at the University of Winnipeg in Canada for thirty-seven years and provided valuable support to many researchers.

Pīsim Finds Her Miskanow Picture Book Published

Piisim Finds Her Miskanow Book CoverThe Centre for Research in Young People’s Texts and Cultures (CRYTC) is pleased to announce the publication of the picture book Pīsim Finds Her Miskanow. This book, written by William Dumas and illustrated by Leonard Paul, is the result of a six-year research collaboration between a group of scholars and educators from the University of Winnipeg, the Manitoba Museum, and the Government of Manitoba, and land-based members of the South Indian Lake community. The project of developing the story and collecting the additional information on Rocky Cree language and culture, archaeology and history, maps, and songs included in the book was supervised at CRYTC.

Pīsim Finds Her Miskanow is about a week in the life of Pīsim, a young Cree woman living in the late 1600s. The 1993 archaeological excavation of the remains of a woman and her belongings from Nagami Bay at South Indian Lake, Manitoba, was the inspiration for the story. In the story, Pīsim begins to both recognize her purpose for being and develop her gifts for fulfilling her purpose. On the edges of the words and pictures of the story, readers will find supplementary material — maps, diagrams, explanatory notes, Rocky Cree vocabulary — to help them to situate and to extend the meanings of the story.

Pīsim Finds Her Miskanow was published in August by Highwater Press and is available through their website (, McNally Robinson, Indigo, and

Reviews for Pīsim Finds Her Miskanow:

This enchanting book deserves a place in every school and library. It is a beautiful rendition of historical fiction that can give all young people a collective understanding of the power of our history in shaping who we are. Through the collaboration of many, the book has transformed a three hundred year old story of a young girl living on the shores of what is now South Indian Lake into a magical narrative that will enthrall young audiences, and I dare say many older readers as well.
— Hon. Lloyd Axworthy, President & Vice-Chancellor, University of Winnipeg

Pīsim Finds Her Miskanow is an honour song of beauty and life. Through rich story and complex detail, it brings alive the history and language of Asiniskow Ithiniwak in Manitowapow while illustrating the cultural breadth of a dynamic community. This book is a joy to read, teach, and share with my daughter.
— Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Native Studies, University of Manitoba

In imagining the life of a young Cree woman, this volume provides a wonderful evocation of the wisdom and language of Cree elders that seamlessly incorporates archaeology, ethnology, and oral traditions.
— Stephen Loring, Arctic Studies Center, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC

The brilliant teamwork between archaeologists, the Cree, and an accomplished children’s book author gives us . . . a beautifully written and illustrated journey into a centuries-old world . . . [the book] promises to be a classic of Canadian history.
— Brian Fagan, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Barbara, and author of The First North Americans

Pīsim finds her Miskanow . . . is a wonderful bringing together of archeology, anthropology, history, and Cree language to make a story that brings these disciplines to a living place in our hearts and minds. William Dumas has presented Pisim and her family in such a way that their lives will be etched into our memory. The story is complemented by the beautiful and realistic illustrations of Leonard Paul. . . . This book is wonderful!
— Joe McLellan, Author of Nanabosho

2013 Fickling Lecture by Sarah Brown

The 2012-13 Fickling Lecture will be delivered by Sarah Brown on 25 April 2013. Sarah Brown is an advocate for women’s health and global education issues around the world. She is a member of the High Level Panel for Global Education, the Founder and President of the Children’s charity PiggyBankKids, and the author of Behind the Black Door, an account of life in Downing Street during the Prime Ministership of her husband, Gordon Brown.

This year’s Fickling Lecture stresses the importance of supporting literacy and education initiatives globally, a need brought to public attention when Taliban gunmen attempted to assassinate schoolgirl-activist Malala Yousafzai in October 2012. Sarah Brown’s Lecture will be called “A Promise to Malala – Children’s Literature and Education for All.” It will focus on the Education for All drive to get the 61 million children into school who are missing out, and the 200+ million more who need education and learning. Sarah will have children’s literature as her starting point as the basis of good learning and personal development, and will reference international examples of children’s stories used in learning/education context. She will talk about the scope of the campaign and various global activities to provide education for every child by the end of 2015 (the deadline for the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, including Universal Primary Education). Sarah will also talk about her visits to Seven Stories and her engagement with Book Trust over the years.

The lecture will be delivered from 5:30-6:30 in the Curtis Auditorium, Herschel Building, Newcastle University, directly opposite Haymarket Metro Station. Previous Fickling Lectures can be viewed by clicking on the archives tab at and typing in the names of speakers (the first three Fickling Lectures, given by Philip Pullman, Andrew Motion and James Naughtie) were not recorded but you can watch and listen to Sandi Toksvig, Nick Hornby, Roddy Doyle, Shami Chakrabarti and, if you can’t attend her lecture in person or would like to listen to her again, in due course, Sarah Brown).

IRSCL Member Book Announcements

Contemporary Adolescent Literature and Culture: The Emergent Adult
edited by Mary Hilton and Maria Nikolajeva, University of Cambridge

Offering a wide range of critical perspectives, this volume explores the moral, ideological and literary landscapes in fiction and other cultural productions aimed at young adults. Examining in depth significant contemporary novels, including those by Julia Alvarez, Stephenie Meyer, Tamora Pierce, Malorie Blackman and Meg Rosoff, among others, Contemporary Adolescent Literature and Culture illuminates the ways in which the cultural constructions ‘adolescent’ and ‘young adult fiction’ share some of society’s most painful anxieties and contradictions.

Visit Ashgate Publishing for more information.

Child-Sized History: Fictions of the Past in U.S. Classrooms
by Sara L. Schwebel, University of South Carolina

Books like Johnny Tremain, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Island of the Blue Dolphins, and Roll of Thunder, Hear Me Cry stimulate children’s imagination, transporting them into the American past and projecting them into an American future. As works of historical interpretation, however, many are startlingly out of step with current historiography and social sensibilities, especially with regard to race. Unlike textbooks, which are replaced on regular cycles and subjected to public tugs-of-war between the left and right, historical novels have simply—and quietly—endured. Taken individually, many present troubling interpretations of the American past. But embraced collectively, this classroom canon provides a rare pedagogical opportunity: it captures a range of interpretive voices across time and place, a kind of “people’s history” far removed from today’s state-sanctioned textbooks. Featuring separate chapters on American Indians, war, and slavery, Child-Sized History tracks the changes in how young readers are taught to conceptualize history and the American nation.

Visit Vanderbilt University Press for more information.