Sunday, February 28, 2010

SoCal Children's Lit Scholars Meet

The second meeting of SoCal Children's Literature Group (hosted by California State University in San Bernardino, February 27-28, 2010) was a pronounced success. Organized by Professor Joe Sutliff Sanders [], the conference featured a presentation on children's television by Heather Hendershot ( a professor of media studies at CUNY). The two dozen or so participants also discussed their current research projects. SDSU's Children's Literature program was well represented by faculty and graduate students (both current and past) who were active in discussions of scholarship and enjoyed the socializing (with folks from CSU San Bernardino and Northridge, UC Riverside, Hollins College, and elsewhere).

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Year of Mark Twain

2010 is a big year for Samuel Clemens, best known by his pen name Mark Twain. Jerry Griswold explores his life, his work and his legacy in Parents' Choice:

Monday, February 22, 2010

CFP Secret Garden: MLA in LA (Jan 2011)

A Century of The Secret Garden
Frances Hodgson Burnetts The Secret Garden has come to dominate its authors literary reputation. This session represents an opportunity for both reflection and redirection. How has The Secret Garden served the field of childrens literature in recent decades? What have traditional readings missed? Is there any way that The Secret Garden can lead us to investigate other aspects of Burnetts life and career, such as her insistent self-identification as both British and American, her receding importance as a writer for adults, or her mixed emotions about times and places lost? 250-word proposals due March 15, 2010.
Joe Sutliff Sanders, California State University at San Bernardino.
SoCal Children's Literature Group: Research, Scholarship, and Theory.

Swedish Journal Appears, ja!

Barnboken – tidskrift för barnlitteraturforskning
Journal of Children’s Literature Research

is now available as an open-access journal, at the following website:

It is still possible to subscribe and get the printed version.

Content issue 1, 2010
”If you thought this story sour, sweeten it with your own telling” – Cross-cultural intertextuality and a feminist poetics of rewriting in Susan Price’s Ghost dance av Sanna Lehtonen.”Hemma längtar jag bort, borta längtar jag hem.” Andra världskrigets finska krigsbarn i svensk barn- och ungdomslitteratur av Ulf Boëthius. (Finnish child refugees of the Second World War in Swedish literature for children and youth.)På vei mot barnelitteraturens grense? Erlend Loes Kurtby (2008) av Åse Marie Ommundsen(Toward the limit of children's literature? Erlend Loe's Kurtby (2008)).

Inre landsskap i text och bild / Anna-Maija Ksokimies-HellmanReviewer: Agnes-Margrethe BjorvandFantasy, myth and the measure of truth / William GrayReviewer: Maria NikolajevaThe hidden adult: defining children´s literature / Perry NodelmanReviewer: Maria Lessén-SegerPli på pojkar / Conny SvenssonReviewer: Magnus ÖrnAstrid Lindgren – Werk und Wirkung: internationale und interkulturelle AspekteReviewer: Corina Löwe

Lillemor TorstenssonInformation Officer, Editor
The Swedish Institute for Children's Books, Odengatan 61, SE-113 22 Stockholm tel +46 8-54 54 20 51,mobile +46 704 80 49 94,

73 Reviews of New Children’s Books

The Book Review Service (at SDSU’s National Center for the Study of Children’s Literature) evaluates hundreds of children’s books published every season. Only some make the grade and become the subject of book reviews.

The Book Review Service has just published 73 new reviews of children’s books that were published in Fall 2009. These include:
*Pop-up and ABC Books
*Picture Books (including offerings by Ursula Le Guin, Margaret Mahy, and Leo Lionni)
*Beginning Readers (see Carole Weatherford’s "First Pooch: The Obamas Pick a Pet" and Jane Yolen’s "Sea Queens: Women Pirates Around the World")
*Middle Grade Fiction (e.g., Walter Dean Meyer’s "Jazz")
*Young Adult and Graphic Novels (including a favorite, Matt de la Pena’s "We Were Here")
*as well as a special section on novels inspired by Norse mythology

This season’s reviews are the work of ten individuals–some students, some faculty (some past, some present). Responsible for eight essays (among them evaluations of editions of "Alice in Wonderland," "Make Way for Ducklings," and "Wynken, Blynken, and Nod") is special contributor Peter Neumeyer, a book columnist for the Boston Globe and the now retired founder of SDSU’s Children’s Literature Program.

The Book Review Service is directed by Professor Alida Allison. It is mounted on the internet by the very tech savvy Emily Moore. And after they are evaluated, books sent by the publishers are donated to SDSU’s Love Library and to schools in San Diego County.

Contact: Alida Allison at

Saturday, February 20, 2010

CFP: Child Lit & Nostalgia (MLA in LA, Jan 2011)

Dear Colleagues,I am hoping that this call for papers will be of interest to many of you. The panel will be at the Modern Language Association’s convention (January 6-9, 2011) in Los Angeles. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.Best wishes,Lee Talley
From the turn of the twentieth century’s reverence for nostalgia to contemporary criticism’s concern with the way it distorts, nostalgia has been a central part of children’s literature and theory. Is nostalgia critically productive? To what ends does nostalgia work? Papers examining nostalgia’s role in criticism or using nostalgia as the theoretical lens through which to read specific works of children's literature from any era are welcome. Please send 500 word proposals to Lee Talley at outbind://2-00000000A4E05F4EACAE5F449EF2674EA9F05A0924E13500/ by March 15, 2010.

Friday, February 19, 2010

"Armando and the Blue Tarp School" as a Musical

"Armando and the Blue Tarp School" by local author Judith Josephson...

Don’t miss it!!
Based on a California Young
Readers Award finalist book,
the play brings to life the work
of teacher and humanitarian
David Lynch, who 30 years
ago placed a blue tarp on the
garbage dump in Tijuana and
began to educate the children
who lived and worked there.
MARCH 19th & 20th at 7:30 pm & MARCH 21st at 3:30 pm
(910 Melba Rd, Encinitas)
Donations (tax deductible): All proceeds will go to David’s organization, Responsibility,
which continues to educate thousands of children still living on the dumps of Latin America.
Reserved seats: $20 (first row), $10 (2nd and 3rd rows), $5 (all other seats)
(Tickets will also be on sale at the door)
To reserve seats or for more info, visit:

Dear Friends,
I am so excited about a children's musical based on the California Young Reader Medal-nominated book Edith Fine and I co-wrote, called Armando and the Blue Tarp School. Pat Lydersen and Wendy Woolf have collaborated to bring to the book to the musical stage with the Park Dale Players' newest production, Armando and the Blue Tarp School, performed by elementary and junior high students from North San Diego County. Both the book and the show are based on the true story of humanitarian David Lynch who, thirty years ago, lay a blue tarp on the ground by the Tijuana garbage dump and began teaching the children of the pepenadores (trash pickers). He has touched the lives of thousands of young learners since then.
The Park Dale Players will debut the Armando musical at Ocean Knoll Elementary School, 910 Melba Road, Encinitas, first as field trips for elementary schools, and then for the general public on Friday and Saturday, March 19 and 20 at 7:30 pm, and on Sunday, March 2 at 3:30 p.m. A great activity for families and friends—come one, come all!
You can find more information and can buy tickets at this website, At this link, you'll hear a KPBS interview with Pat and Edith (and one of Wendy's songs sung by two of the young actors) on KPBS before a fall preview show by The Park Dale Players at a gala for Responsibility, the non-profit responsible for building schools and teaching kids who live by garbage dumps in Tijuana and Matagalpa, Nicaragua. For California Young Reader Medal information:, or visit the Armando book site:
Thanks to Pat and Wendy, all the money raised at the performances will go directly to Responsibility. We're eager to spread the word about this project, so please feel free to forward this email to anyone who loves theater and knows the importance of early education, no matter where the young learners live.
Thank you so much for your support. Let me know if you have any questions.
See you at the show!
All the best,
Judith Josephson

More on Tim Burton

Check out Tim Burton's official website to familiarize yourself with his art: -Jaimee

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Alice in Wonderland' screenwriter is ready for haters: 'It's audacious, what we've done'

I really enjoyed this L.A. Times article about the screenwriter. As a bonus, it links to several other "Alice" articles at the bottom that cover topics like the musical score by Danny Elfman, previous film adaptations of "Alice," etc.

Tim Burton and Johnny Depp interview for Alice In Wonderland

Alice has jumped back down the rabbit hole to Wonderland, and it’s a whole lot more surreal. Mark Salisbury joins Tim Burton and Johnny Depp on the set of their new 3D extravaganza .

By Mark Salisbury in the Telegraph (UK)

Adolescent Dystopian Novels

Like Leopold, hundreds of thousands of today's teens are reading future-as-a-nightmare novels—and not just the 1984 and Brave New World classics required by their teachers. Publishers will be releasing dozens of new dystopian titles over the next few years. Among the scenarios: no more gas, no more water, viruses run amok, genetic manipulation gone awry, totalitarian leaders, reality TV gone too far, and so on . . .

and what's happening in New Zealand:

Monday, February 15, 2010

PAMLA & 2010 Conference in Hawaii

thanks to Joe Sanders...

Dear Southern California Children's Literature Friends,
The Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association (PAMLA) is a warm, welcoming, and intellectually-exciting scholarly association dedicated to helping its members share their research in ancient and modern literature, linguistics, foreign languages, and cultural studies (and importantly for us--children's literature studies). Our annual conference last year, held at San Francisco State University, had over four hundred participants and over a hundred different sessions.
This year PAMLA's 108th annual conference will be held on Saturday and Sunday, November 13-14, 2010, at Chaminade University, Honolulu, Hawaii.
This year, PAMLA has four different approved sessions dealing with various aspects of children's and young adult literature:
Children's Literature (a general session open to any topic) Islands in Children's and Adolescent Literature (chaired by Jerry Griswold) Lilo's O'hana Exploring Young Adult Literature
If the presiding officers receive enough wonderful paper proposals to justify doing so, I am willing to create mutliple sessions out of each of these areas, so we could conceivably have eight or even more sessions at the conference dealing with children's and young adult literature.
For further information about PAMLA and the 2010 PAMLA Conference, please visit the PAMLA website: .
To view our list of approved sessions for the 2010 PAMLA Conference in Hawaii, and to propose a paper for the conference by our April 5, 2010 deadline, you may go to: . We have 100 approved sessions on almost every imaginable topic. As PAMLA grows as a scholarly association, we'd love to have more professors, lecturers, and graduate students doing important and interesting work on children's/young adult literature. For any further questions about the conference or about membership in PAMLA, please feel free to email me at
All my very best, Craig Svonkin

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Red Queen = Leona Helmsley? Tim Burton says

Are you ready for a trip down the rabbit hole? Tim Burton, Johnny Depp and Disney are adding a strange new chapter to the Lewis Carroll classic with their "Alice in Wonderland," a film that presents a young woman who finds herself in the world of the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat and the Red Queen . . .

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Twain Events at SDSU Library 2010

America's Storyteller
The SDSU Library is commemorating the 100th anniversary of the death of Mark Twain with a yearlong retrospective titled “The Adventures of Mark Twain: A Centenary Celebration.” Below is the schedule of events:

March 12-21
The SDSU School of Theatre, Television, and Film and the library are co-sponsoring the play A Mark Twain Centenary Tribute, which was written and directed by SDSU faculty member Margaret Larlham. Learn more about it here.

March 23
Shelley Fisher Fishkin, director of Stanford University's American Studies Program, will discuss "Mark Twain - Ambassador at Large" at 3:30 in Room LL430. Fishkin is the author of many works on Twain, including the forthcoming Mark Twain's Book of Animals.

April 20
Lecture by Jerry Griswold, SDSU professor of English and Comparative Literature, "Twain's Twins, But I Repeat Myself," at 3:30 p.m. in Room LL430.

April 27
Edward Blum will speak about "Mark Twain and His Religious War Against Imperialism" at 3:30 p.m. in Room LL430. Blum is an SDSU assistant professor of history and a Pulitzer Prize nominee.

May 4
Linda Morris will discuss "Escaping in Style: Racial and Gender Crossing in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" at 3:30 p.m. in Room LL430. Morris is a professor emeritus of the University of California, Davis, and the author of Gender Play in Mark Twain. This lecture is co-sponsored by the SDSU Women's Studies Department.

Fall 2010
The library's Special Collections Department will host a Mark Twain exhibit on loan from Vanderbilt University.

Fall 2010
The library will be screening several films related to Mark Twain, including a filmed version of Hal Holbrook's famous one-man play Mark Twain Tonight, the 1985 version of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and Ken Burns' series Mark Twain. Time and place will be announced later.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Twilight to Graphic Novel et al.

Last month Yen Press announced that it would print 350,000 copies of a graphic-novel adaptation of “Twilight,” the first part of the immensely popular vampire saga created by Stephenie Meyer. Now comes word from Dark Horse Comics ...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Cambridge Inaugurates Impressive New Child Lit Centre

From Maria Nikolayeva (see also following post)

The Cambridge/Homerton Research and Teaching Centre for Children’s Literature
Officially inaugurated on February 3, 2010
Homerton College and the Cambridge Faculty of Education have a long tradition in children’s literature which has earned both institutions a strong national and international profile for high quality research and teaching. Distinguished scholars have taught the subject to many undergraduate, postgraduate, Advanced Diploma, masters and doctoral students over the years with excellent results. Between them, both institutions have hosted a dozen highly appreciated international conferences, all of which have resulted in well reviewed edited volumes. Members of the research and teaching team have made a name for themselves in influential roles on the national and international stage, as well as publishing excellent books, chapters, articles and literary guides. Homerton College Library boasts a superb collection of twentieth century children’s fiction and some rare books. Homerton also hosts the annual Philippa Pearce Memorial Lecture.
The Centre has several distinctive features in comparison to other existing centres in the UK. Its members have unique expertise in poetry, film and multimedial texts, including picturebooks, as well as in teaching and promoting writing for children. The team has a strong international focus and a special interest in historical and sociocultural perspectives on children’s literature. We offer an exemplary balance of literary, aesthetic and educational approaches to the subject, as well as substantial theoretical expertise and wide experience of conducting empirical research in the field. We have strong links with the artistic community of authors, artists and poets (the Poet Laureate is an Honorary Homerton Fellow) and literary and artistic institutions such as the Arts Council, Poetry Society, Poetry Book Society, Book Trust, and British Council.
The key objectives of our centre are:
· running excellent courses for our undergraduate, postgraduate and higher degree students
· developing and consolidating research in children’s literature
· creating and enhancing a favourable scholarly community for advanced research in children’s
· attracting research students
· attracting visiting scholars
· offering recurrent scholarly conferences, symposia, workshops and other events
· promoting Homerton College and the Faculty of Education as an outstanding research community in
children’s literature
· making links with practitioners in schools, libraries, other universities
· supporting practitioners through dissemination of high-quality research
· active networking with other centres and research institutions, nationally and internationally
For further information please visit
Or contact Maria Nikolajeva,

Chil Lit @ Cambridge: Video Games, Etc.

Scholar Maria Nikolayeva--who taught for two years at SDSU and remains friends with many here--talks about video games in a leading UK newspaper:

Related stories:

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Canadian Journal Appears

The Centre for Research in Young People's Texts and Cultures is pleased to announce that the first volume of Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures is now available! Issues 1.1 and 1.2 were published in summer and winter of last year and feature the following:

Lisa Orr’s “'Difference That Is Actually Sameness Mass-Reproduced': Barbie Joins the Princess Convergence”
Ellen Singleton’s “Pretty Sweet? Hegemonic Masculinity, Female Physicality, and the Regulation of Gender in a Vintage Book Series for Girls”
Joseph Nnadi’s “Représentations des identités masculine et féminine en littérature jeunesse d’Afrique et du Canada: quelques exemples”
Marc Ouellette’s “‘Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid’: Discourses of the Sexual Abuse of Boys”
Jane Newland’s “Towards a Zeroth Voice: Theorizing Children’s Literature with Deleuze
Pauline Greenhill and Steven Kohm’s “Little Red Riding Hood and the Pedophile in Film: Freeway, Hard Candy and The Woodsman”
Isabelle Nières-Chevrel’s “Retraduire un classique: Dépoussiérer Alice?”
Roxanne Harde’s “‘Better Friends’: Marshall Saunders Writing Humane Education and Envisioning Animal Rights”

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Feature length Bluebeard in the works?

Film gossip Shelley McRoberts advises that a full-length animated "Bluebeard" is in the works from Cartoon Saloon, the Irish crew that just got an Oscar nomination for "The Secret of Kells"

2010 Oscar Nominations & Children's Films

The 82nd Annual Oscar Nominations

Best Picture* "Avatar" James Cameron and Jon Landau, Producers * "The Blind Side" Nominees to be determined * "District 9" Peter Jackson and Carolynne Cunningham, Producers * "An Education" Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey, Producers * "The Hurt Locker" Nominees to be determined * "Inglourious Basterds" Lawrence Bender, Producer * "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire" Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness, Producers * "A Serious Man" Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, Producers * "Up" Jonas Rivera, Producer * "Up in the Air" Daniel Dubiecki, Ivan Reitman and Jason Reitman, Producers
[Note that "Up" is the first animated film to be nominated for Best Picture since "Beauty and the Beast" in 1992]

Animated Feature Film* "Coraline" Henry Selick * "Fantastic Mr. Fox" Wes Anderson * "The Princess and the Frog" John Musker and Ron Clements * "The Secret of Kells" Tomm Moore * "Up" Pete Docter

Music (Original Score)* "Avatar" James Horner * "Fantastic Mr. Fox" Alexandre Desplat * "The Hurt Locker" Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders * "Sherlock Holmes" Hans Zimmer * "Up" Michael GiacchinoMusic (Original Song)* "Almost There" from "The Princess and the Frog" Music and Lyric by Randy Newman * "Down in New Orleans" from "The Princess and the Frog" Music and Lyric by Randy Newman * "Loin de Paname" from "Paris 36" Music by Reinhardt Wagner Lyric by Frank Thomas * "Take It All" from "Nine" Music and Lyric by Maury Yeston * "The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)" from "Crazy Heart" Music and Lyric by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett

Writing (Original Screenplay)* "The Hurt Locker" Written by Mark Boal * "Inglourious Basterds" Written by Quentin Tarantino * "The Messenger" Written by Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman * "A Serious Man" Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen * "Up" Screenplay by Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, Story by Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, Tom McCarthy■

Awards Presentation: March 7
Literary Antecedents to "Up." Jerry Griswold in the Los Angeles Times: