For the vast majority of you who’ve probably never heard of the Internationale Jugendbibliothek (International Youth Library), here’s a quick introduction. Built in 1439, the castle, whose proper German name is Schloss Blutenburg (Blood Castle), was once a fully-functioning hunting lodge and mini-fortress complete with a moat. Several decades ago, in 1983 to be exact, the long-dormant castle was re-imagined as an international haven for children’s literature. Today, it boasts the largest and arguably the finest collection of children’s books in the world and is filled with scholars who are incredibly knowledgeable about different aspects of the still-burgeoning field.
About a year and a half ago, I was lucky enough to actually get to go to this marvelous castle-turned-library. My research in children’s literature thus far has focused on the lovely María Elena Walsh, a beloved Argentine children’s book author and subversive political figure in her home country. But she deserves a post of her own.
To cut to the chase: I was recently asked to contribute a blog post about my research experience to the International Youth Library blog, which you can read here. And while I was in Germany, I did make a quick expedition to Salzburg – more on that here (bottom of page).
Children’s literature is a fascinating and somewhat under-recognized subject & academic field. I’ll be talking about it quite a bit more on this blog, but in a critical way – no oh-my-god-my-favorite-book-when-I-was-five-was-the-hungry-caterpillar types of posts, I promise.
Thanks to the lovely Petra for asking me to contribute to the IYL blog!