Published in Bookbird!

Bookbird

Work on this article began nearly three years ago, in September 2011, when I was starting my junior year in college. Craziness! The research/publishing cycle really does take as long as they say.

I’ve alluded to this article on my “About” page, and it’s still hard to believe that it’s finally here. I like to think that since Bookbird is one of the top international children’s literature journals (it really is; there aren’t that many of them!), that my inclusion in the magazine legitimizes all of those children’s literature posts I like to do. See? I’m not just some random person on the Internet posting stuff about children’s literature left & right. I’m a real, published (article) author!

Article in Bookbird

The article, which is around 3,500 words long if I remember correctly, is entitled “María Elena Walsh and the Art of Subversive Children’s Literature.” In the essay, I argue that Walsh, probably the most famous of all of Argentina’s children’s book authors, was a Lewis Carroll figure in her home country. Her subversive books for children challenged all sorts of societal norms and undermined the dictatorial government.

To be honest, I haven’t read my article since I submitted the final version back in September last year (!!), so I’m not sure whether I would be embarrassed by it at this point. I hope not. I remember thinking that I had some good analysis in there, particularly towards the ending!

Article in Bookbird

Writing the article was a challenge, but a welcome one. My mentor, Jeff, encouraged me from the very beginning of my research project to consider submitting an article to a scholarly journal. I’m not sure if he actually expected it to happen (it’s quite rare for undergraduates, especially those outside of the sciences, to get published!), but I took his word for it. And may I just say that most professors don’t give their students/research assistants enough credit. I was very lucky to find a mentor who took me even more seriously than I took myself!

My research on María Elena took me to the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany, and to Buenos Aires itself — Walsh’s home city. Perhaps even more important than those fabulous trips was the permanent installation of a lifelong appreciation for children’s literature. It’s one of those genres/subjects that people tend to overlook or consider worthless. All I can say is that much of the artwork in picture books, and much of the writing in children’s/YA books, far exceeds the pithy offerings churned out for adults.

Unfortunately, the article isn’t open access just yet. You can download the PDF from Project Muse if you have access via your institution. If you can’t download the PDF, however, just contact me and I’ll see what I can do. I also have an extremely lengthy bibliography on Walsh that I compiled for my senior honor’s thesis. It’s a bit of a researcher’s bonanza, if I’m being honest!

In addition, if any of you are curious to hear more about the details involved in researching, writing, and submitting an article for publication, let me know and I’ll see if I can’t whip something up.

As for this blog, I’ve got a couple of very good children’s literature posts coming up soon, if I do say so myself!

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23 thoughts on “Published in Bookbird!

    1. Yay thank you!! I’m looking forward to exploring more of the children’s literature from NZ and Australia. Did you ever own any picture books by Mem Fox as a kid? I saw her at the U.S. Board on Books for Young People conference last October. She read a few of her books & it was fantastic!

      1. That’s awesome, I loved Mem Fox! Possum Magic was my favourite picture book ever, and the illustrations were beautiful too. I also really loved Pamela Allen and always thought she was an Aussie but turns out she’s a New Zealander. She’s great!

  1. I’d like to hear more about the process, I took some Children’s Lit courses in University and know that it is a criminally neglected side of literature from an academic standpoint. It’s pretty cool that you got some grants to do research on your topic.

    1. Yeah, I was all about the grants! I went to a very expensive university, and the amount of money available in grant form was astonishing. I made sure to take advantage of it! Thanks for your comment, and I’ll put up a post discussing the process in greater detail sometime soon.

  2. Congrats, Alina, that is exciting! Having tried to get published (for law journals) a few times and failing, I know how much work and time you must have poured into the project. Those research trips didn’t sound half bad either. 🙂 I hope I get to read this piece someday.

    1. The best part about those research trips was that I got grants for them. So, I got paid to go to Munich and Buenos Aires! Course, the grant writing/approval process is lengthy as well. As for the article, I’d be happy to email you a PDF if you like!

      1. That’s terrific that you got grants to travel and research! My kind of travel. Yes, that would be awesome to read your paper. It would be a new and I am sure an enlightening subject for me. When you have time, you can email me at ngansequitur@gmail.com.

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