2011 IRSCL Award to PICTURING CANADA by Judith Saltman and Gail Edwards

Congratulations! Congratulations!  A shout out to Judi Saltman and Gail Edwards!

The International Research Society of Children’s Literature, at the recent Congress in Brisbane, Australia, announced that the IRSCL Book Award for 2011 goes to PICTURING CANADA.  Huzzah!

Many of you may remember the visit of Clare Bradford to Vancouver in September 2010.  As outgoing president of IRSCL, she read this citation:

“IRSCL Award

This award honours a distinguished book by an IRSCL member published in the two years prior to the Congress. The winners for 2011 are:

Gail Edwards and Judith Saltman for Picturing Canada: A History of Canadian Children’s Illustrated Books and Publishing, University of Toronto Press, 2010.

This book comprises an account of the history of children’s English-language publishing in Canada, concentrating on illustrated works and picture books, from the beginnings of Canadian children’s literature to 2005.

The authors have plotted the evolution of Canadian publishing for children against the cultural and political shifts which have characterised Canadian history. They focus in particular on how illustrated books and picture books have negotiated Canadian debates over nationhood and national identities, with particular reference to Indigenous peoples and texts, and ethnocultural diversity. The distinctive contribution Edwards and Saltman make is that this is not merely a literary history, but Picturing Canada investigates the networks of publishing, librarianship, education, retail, reviewing and research which attend the production and reception of Canadian books for children.”

This is an occasion for rejoicing in the community of children’s literature across Canada–particularly among the scholarly members. However, those of us in the west can say, “Brava, brava!” to our own for this signal honour in the world of children’s literature scholarship. Shouts loudest, perhaps, in the History Department at Douglas College, as well as at UBC (especially SLAIS and MACL), among Vancouver Children’s Literature Roundtable members, and BC Librarians.

– Jane M. Flick, Associate Professor Emerita, Department of English, UBC