Introduction to Volume 41

Åsa Warnqvist

JCLR. 2019 Feb 11; 41: 10.14811/clr.v41i0.369
doi: 10.14811/clr.v41i0.369


© 2018 Åsa Warnqvist

Research on children’s and young adult literature is flourishing. The number of theoretical works published by international university presses is increasing, and in the past few decades several scholarly journals dedicated to children’s and young adult literature have been established internationally. This positive development can also be seen in Sweden. Many monographs and anthologies have been published in recent years, and thanks to reforms in our work with Barnboken the number of manuscripts submitted to the journal has also increased. We see the result of this in the 2018 issue of Barnboken, where we publish 15 articles and 20 reviews of theoretical works, which marks a record in the history of this journal.

Barnboken: Journal of Children’s Literature Research is an Open Access journal and since 2012 it is only published electronically. Barnboken mainly publishes articles on Swedish or Nordic material, but the journal has readers worldwide. An improvement made in recent years was to employ a review editor, which has made the review section grow considerably. In-depth discussions in the form of reviews of the theoretical works published are important for the scholarly conversation, and this year Barnboken is proud to present 20 insightful analyses of both Swedish and international research. As of 2018, Hanna Liljeqvist is the review editor of Barnboken and has been in charge of the review section for the past year.

A development made by the journal during 2018 was to begin collaborationg with guest editors for different themes. This year’s themes are “Nordic Children’s Literature Around 1968” and “Focusing on the Picture”, skilfully edited by Associate professor Olle Widhe (Gothenburg University) and Associate professor Mia Österlund (Åbo Akademi University) respectively. Aside from these articles, the latest issue of Barnboken also includes an article highlighting the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. This article along with Olle Widhe’s article on the ’68 theme were edited by the managing editor.

Five articles have been published on the theme of “Nordic Children’s Literature Around 1968”, discussing the different ways in which the children’s literature of the late 1960s approached this important period in Swedish and international culture. In addition to Olle Widhe’s introduction, which offers an overview of the debates about children’s literature around 1968, the theme includes four articles addressing different aspects of prominent Swedish authorships – Maria Gripe’s, Astrid Lindgren’s, Barbro Lindgren’s and Katarina Taikon’s – as well as an article on the international reception of the notorious Danish book Den lille røde bog for skoleelever (1969).

As guest editor of the theme “Focusing on the Picture”, Mia Österlund has edited no less than nine articles, which together display a range of perspectives on the role and function of the picture in children’s and young adult literature. Österlund’s introduction is followed by an overview describing the establishment and expansion of Nordic picturebook research as well as a number of articles discussing reader interaction and reader response in terms of pictures, the picture’s significance for the interpretation of a work, the interplay between sound and picture, and much more. Authors and artists discussed include Mollie Faustman, Tove Jansson, Maria Parr, Art Spiegelman, and Jakob Wegelius.

Barnboken: Journal of Children’s Literature Research welcomes readers to immerse themselves in this new, exciting, and inspiring research.

<sig> Åsa Warnqvist
Managing Editor of
Barnboken: Journal of Children’s Literature Research and
Research Manager of the Swedish Institute for Children’s Books</sig>


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