The Looking Glass : New Perspectives on Children's Literature, Vol 8, No 3 (2004)

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TLG 8.3 Introduction

Frame of
Reference

by Jane Goldstein


For my neighbor, going to "camp" in Maine is a treat that has been unspoiled in the one hundred years her family has spent at the same place on a quiet lake. She assures me that they have no heat, a very rough dormitory like a cabin, and only paddle their motorless boat. For me, a newcomer to the New England tradition, camp in Vermont is a heated house with everything but mechanical air-conditioning. In my more civilized surroundings I take a few days to do nothing but listen to the loudness of the hummingbirds in the quietness off my deck and get a new perspective on life as I walk the Mad River Valley with my dachshund, Louie. It always amazes me that I can get such good planning done after a few days of doing nothing and that my batteries can feel so recharged as I head back to reality.

Summer allows us to do some of those things we don't have time for in the winter. Conferences and reconnecting with old colleagues, meeting new contacts and sharing perspectives are another joy of summer. Discussing children's literature over lunch at an outdoor café reminds us of what drew us to the field in the first place. It wasn't the money certainly!

Elizabeth Pandolfo Briggs, The Looking Glass's terrific assistant editor, and I had a chance to sit on her deck in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains recently and ponder new changes to this journal. We hope to iron out some little glitches and add some new features while broadening the readership and contributorship in other ways. We both feel strongly that The Looking Glass can move to explore how literature for children impacts on all aspects of their lives. We will begin to seek out more information on Children's Studies to do this. Many of the founding members came from the field of library science and that will be a place to start.

Some of the contributing editors were at family camps in New England and their emails reflect new enthusiasm and some new ideas for me to ponder. Perhaps summer allowed you to really check out our site and articles. As always, we invite your ideas through an email to our various website addresses.

This issue starts with Alice's Academy and Kenneth Kidd's thoughts on how Allen Eckert deals with feral issues in his Newberry Honor winner Incident at Hawk's Hill.

Jill May of Purdue University submitted her student's paper for The Mentor. In it Allyson Casares explores the effect of censorship and children, especially with the Harry Potter series. Mirrors and Windows features a paper by Canadian Jen Waters to pose the question "Do I Dare Disturb the Universe?" The column looks at anti-authoritarian novels for young adults.

Debra Angel joins the staff and shares some personal insights in publishing as she discusses the impact of the politically charged effort called "No Child Left Behind" in United States education. Ruth Allen gives her impressions of the winner of the Carnegie Medal awarded this summer for a superior book published in the year 2003 as well as the winner of the Kate Greenaway award. Ruth spent a few days at the annual Children's Literature New England gathering. She warns that attending this event can be addictive and highlights the events of her time there this summer.

Judith Saltman seems to have an endless group of talented students with papers to share. In Picture Window her student, Ginger Mullen, discusses not only folktale picture books but also methods for the analysis of illustrations.

Evelyn Perry really did go off to camp in New England and came back with so many ideas that Curiouser and Curiouser will feature only the first section of her new thoughts on folk retellings. She will share her other two chapters in future issues.

The Looking Glass concludes with some postings of awards and paper calls contributed by readers and some new contacts from those summer conferences. As you prepare for classes for students or as students, consider sharing information about The Looking Glass with those you work with.

Editorially yours,

Jane Goldstein


Volume 8, Issue 3 The Looking Glass, September, 2004

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"Frame of Reference"
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The Looking Glass: new perspectives on children's literature

ISBN 1551-5680