Bookbird 2 / 2015

The articles featured in this issue of Bookbird span a great many topics, approaches, genres and locations. Geographically, two of the articles concern children’s literature of the West Indies. There are also two articles with Australian settings. A New Zealand perspective is provided in one article. There is also one article on South African Youth Literature.

There is also great variety when it comes to the kinds of books being discussed. Two of the articles, for instance, focus specifically on the picture book, including one concerning Anthony Browne’s Little Beauty (Gorilla, from that book, can be seen swinging through a room on the cover of this Bookbird).

In this issue you will also find an entirely new feature: “Authors and Illustrators and their Books.” Here, the Swedish author Monica Zak shares her experience with The Ostrich Boy, an adventure that takes her to the refugee camps in Western Sahara. The Ostrich Boy, as she tells it, turns out to be a true “bookbird.” Culturally and linguistically it flits and flies between languages and nations. It is a story that the author picks up in Africa, writes about in Swedish, then returns it in a third language (Arabic), and takes it back to its source. There it acquires new meaning in the building and affirmation of identity and culture.

In the Letter-section we find a text that connects to Zak’s article in interesting ways: Hala Bizri’s Letter “The Children’s Literature of the Arab Countries”. Both of these texts deal with the central, but also complex role, that Arabic plays in many countries when it comes to children’s books

Björn Sundmark

Feature Articles

The Portrayal of Puerto Ricans in Children’s Literature by Maria Acevedo

“A Different Sunshine”: Writing Jamaican National Identity through a Girl’s Coming-of-Age Story in Paulette Ramsay’s Aunt Jen by Paige Gary

The Perfect Place to Set a Novel about the End of the World? Trends in Australian Post-Nuclear Fiction for Young Adults by Elizabeth Braithwaite

Challenging Stereotypes: Randa Abdel-Fattah’s Use of Parody in Does My Head Look Big in This? by Colin Haines

Cross-Continental Readings of Visual Narratives: An Analysis of Six Books in the New Zealand Picture Book Collection by Penni Cotton and Nicola Daly

Debating Equal Representation in South African Youth Literature Written in English (2000–2013): A Statistical Assessment by Sandra Stadler

Posthumanism, Philosophy for Children, and Anthony Browne’s Little Beauty by Karin Murris 59

Authors and Illustrators and Their Books

A Book Like Rain in the Desert by Monica Zak


“The Children’s Literature of the Arab Countries: The Question of Language” by Hala Bizri 

Books on Books


Focus IBBY

2014 Hans Christian Andersen Award Winners

Maurice Saxby and Virginia Allen Jensen In Memoriam