Bookbird 1 / 2016

This issue of Bookbird focuses on Indigenous children’s literature. The cover is from Arctic Stories by the author Michael Kusugak (discussed in one of the articles) and illustrator Vladyana Krykorka. The illustration—with the Inuit girl, the huskies, the snow and ice—can serve as a reminder of a world and way of life that may be rapidly vanishing. All peoples should of course have the right to choose and shape their own future: to adopt and embrace the new, but also to choose what to keep of the old ways. However, when the world is damaged, such options are reduced—and most drastically for those who are the least to blame. Thus, to me the illustration also serves as inspiration to continue the fight against global warming. Maybe this is what the girl is telling the black bookbird on the cover; maybe she is sending us a message.  But these are just my private musings. Roxanne Harde, who I welcome back to Bookbird as guest editor for this issue, provides a critical yet personal introduction to the theme, where she draws on her own extensive work and research into Indigenous children’s books. In her overview, she comments on the themed texts: three articles, a Letter, and an essay in the Children & Their Books section.  I am also happy to announce that yet another Bookbird editor emerita, Barbara Lehman, makes a comeback in this issue in the capacity of Postcard editor. As usual, there is also a full review section (the “Books on Books”) collected and edited by Christiane Raabe and Jutta Reusch of the International Youth Library in Munich. Liz Page reports from the wide world of IBBY. In the Letter section, we find Nita Berry writing on the topic “Social Change through Children’s Books—An Indian Perspective.” And finally, a text that I have slotted, tongue in cheek, under the heading “Dogs & Their Books”—an essay by Helene Ehriander on a project with “reading education assistance dogs,” or “Book Dog.”   In other words, there is much to read in this issue of Bookird for human and canine alike.

Björn Sundmark (editor)