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  • Editing Bookbird 2009–2011
  • Sylvia Vardell

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I am sure every person who serves in the editorial role for Bookbird feels immensely privileged to shepherd this special journal for a few years. I know I did! It gave my co-editor Cathy Kurkjian and me the opportunity to work with writers, illustrators, scholars, teachers, and publishers from around the world. It took us to IBBY Executive meetings and Congresses in fascinating places—as well as to the Bologna Children's Book Fair, a lifelong dream of mine. I learned so much! And we tried a variety of new things as all editors do. My favorite? I loved featuring a poem for young readers on the final page of each issue. Poetry is a special love of mine, so showcasing a poem in Bookbird was such a pleasure. I sought out poets from a different country for each issue and was so pleased at the variety of award-winning poets who were willing to share their work. We were able to present poems in their original language and in English wherever possible. Additional translations were even available at the IBBY website. These little literary nuggets were a lovely way to close each issue, show the beauty of poetry in many languages, and leave the reader with something to think about and share with others.

The Bookbird poems for our issues included "Just Living" by Hans Christian Andersen (in the special Andersen awards issue), "El casament del llapis i la goma" ("The Wedding of the Pencil and the Rubber") by Miquel Desclot (for the Spain Congress issue), "Chanted Word" by Dorothy Warehoka (New Zealand), "Vsi Naši Otroci" ("All Our Children") by Tone Pavček (Slovenia), "Morning Relay" by Shuntaro Tanikawa (Japan), "Família Poliglota" ("Multilingual Family") by Bartolomeu Campos de Queirós (Brazil), "The Dubai Sonnet" (a sonata made of seashells) by Ted van Lieshout and "The Man Who Writes Fairy Stories" by Annie M. G. Schmidt (both from The Netherlands), "Books" by J. Patrick Lewis (United States), "Imagination—An Infringement of Health and Safety Regulations" by Andrew Fusek Peters (United Kingdom), and "Palestine" by Ibtisam Barakat (Palestine/U.S.). You can find all these wonderful poems in previous issues of Bookbird available via the digital resource, Project Muse. [End Page 93]



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