Author: Sophie Heywood

A New Wind Blowing from the Left: The Surge of Anti-Authoritarian Picturebooks in Germany after 1968

Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer (University of Tübingen) In the wake of the 1968 student movement, German educationalists, authors, illustrators, and publishers turned towards children’s literature as a means to disseminate anti-authoritarian ideas. Between the years of 1968 and 1974 they produced a significant number of picturebooks, story books, theatre plays, and novels…

Julie: the girl with a boy’s shadow

By Sophie Heywood This blog post looks at one of the best-known anti-sexist picturebooks produced in France: Histoire de Julie qui avait une ombre de garçon, written by Christian Bruel and Anne Galland, with illustrations by Anne Bozellec (1976). Produced in the aftermath of the protest movements of ’68 and the…

1968 and Children’s Illustration

A guest post by artists Sarah Blair and Bill Prosser In her Radical Children’s Literature Kimberley Reynolds (2007) describes the vital seam connecting children’s book design and modernist creative experiment from the 1920s onwards. She quotes Esther Averill writing on French avant-garde illustration in 1930 (p.30): The avant-garde harps on…

Coleen the Question Girl

By Kim Dhillon In the early 1970s, three independent feminist collectives were organized in the US with the purpose of writing, illustrating, publishing, and distributing non-sexist children’s books. Dissatisfied with the children’s literature on offer, and mobilized by the consciousness-raising of the Women’s Liberation Movement, these do-it-yourself styled collectives of…

Cirkeline on Holiday (1971): the politicization of television for preschoolers in Scandinavia

By Helle Strandgaard Jensen In mid-January 1971, the national public service broadcaster in Denmark aired an animation film aimed at three to six year-olds called Cirkeline on Holiday. The main character is the elf Cirkeline who travels to Spain with her friends, the two mice Frederik and Ingolf. Here they…

Joe 90: futuristic 9 year-old action hero of 1968

By Jonathan Bignell The British television series Joe 90 (1968) was one of several children’s programmes in the 1960s that used puppets and numerous special effects in action-adventure storylines set about 30 years in the future (Bignell 2011). The series protagonist was the adopted nine year-old son of a scientist,…

The Little Red Schoolbook (1969)

This first blog post offers a brief introduction to one of the most notorious examples of children’s rights activism from the period: Bo Dan Andersen, Jesper Jansen and Søren Hansen’s Den lille røde bog for skoleelever (The little red schoolbook) from 1969. It is a useful place to start our…