Bookbird 1 / 2015

On the cover of this Bookbird readers can see Andrea Offerman’s illustration of a man and woman standing back to back, joined by bolts and wheels and machinery. The one is intently reading; the other is gleefully holding a man on a bike in his hand. At the same time they seem to be manipulated themselves by dolls (or is the other way round?) standing above them like miniature puppet masters. This image encapsulates the special theme of the issue – “Machines, Monsters and Animals: Posthuman Children’s Literature.”

As guest editor Dr Zoe Jaques points out in her scholarly introduction, posthuman children’s literature is concerned with human and animal ethics, utopia/dystopia, anthropomorphism, and ecocriticism. Five articles follow. We go from “Uglies” to “Gracelings” via the human-simian Eva. The articles range from the “(post)human animal body” in Harry Potter to the early posthumanism in Elizabeth Stuart Phelps’s writings. In the Letter-section we find a description of “Strange creatures and mechanical marvels from Canada,” which coincidentally fits the special theme perfectly too.

We, of course, also find texts that go well beyond the theme in the Letter and Postcard-sections, as well as in the reviews found in Books on Books. In the Focus IBBY section we get the most important news with a bearing on our organization. Finally, in the Children and Their Books-section we find an article on the Bolivian “Biblioteca Th’uruchapitas,” reminding us of the hard hands-on work for literacy that is being carried out all over the world.  

Björn Sundmark

Introductionby Zoe Jaques

Feature Articles

“Doncher be too sure of that!”: Children, Dogs, and Elizabeth Stuart Phelps’s
 Early Posthumanism by Roxanne Harde

Harry Potter and the (Post)human Animal Body by Holly Batty

Beyond Human: Escaping the Maze of Anthropocentrism in Peter Dickinson’s ”Eva” by Lydia Kokkola and Aliona Yarova

“Little Girls are Even More Perfect When They Bleed”: Monstrosity, Violence and the Female Body in Kristin Cashore’s Graceling Trilogy by Patricia Kennon

“What have they done to you now, Tally?” Post-Posthuman Heroine vs Transhumanist  Scientist in the Young Adult Science Fiction Series ”Uglies” by Petros Panaou

Children & Their Books

Biblioteca Th’uruchapitas by Elizabeth Cramer, Gaby Vallejo Canedo, and Linda Veltze


Strange Creatures and Mechanical Marvels from Canada by Josiane Polidori

Wild Reading by Susie Spikol Faber

Books on Books

Reviews compiled by Jutta Reusch and Christiane Raabe

Focus IBBY


IBBY World Congress, Mexico City