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Dear Bookbird Readers,
I am pleased to present Bookbird 51.1, the first of 2013’s two guest-edited, themed issues of IBBY’s journal. This year, IBBY celebrates its 60th Anniversary. This organization of more than 70 national sections all over the world has come a long way since its remarkable founder, Jella Lepman (1891–1970), invited delegates to Munich to attend International Understanding through Children’s Books, the meeting that eventually led to IBBY’s foundation in October 1953. This issue of Bookbird has been prepared in collaboration with another well-established organization: the Commonwealth Educational Trust (CET), which shares many of the same goals as IBBY. Like IBBY, the CET is an international organization of people who are committed to increasing the opportunities for children to develop the critical thinking, empathy, and cultural literacy essential for a child to thrive in today’s societies. By bringing books and children together, both organizations aim to promote international understanding and responsible citizenship.
The expertise and energy guest editors Alice Curry and Lydia Kokkola have brought to this issue, and Bettina Kuemmerling-Meibauer is bringing to the Multicultural issue (Summer 2013), ensure these issues will resonate with the journal’s international audience. And their collective and individual work on and for children’s literature has had me thinking about all the members of our global community who work with children and their books. Like A River of Stories collected by Alice for the CET, Bookbird brings together people with diverse backgrounds, from disparate cultures, and a variety of disciplines. I hope you enjoy this issue which, thanks to Alice and Lydia, brings together work from across the Commonwealth, from people who dedicate their effort and talent to this discipline and its audience. [End Page iii]
Roxanne Harde is an Associate Professor of English and a McCalla University Professor at the University of Alberta, Augustana Faculty. She studies and teaches American literature and culture. She has recently published Reading the Boss: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Works of Bruce Springsteen, and her essays have appeared in several journals, including International Research in Children’s Literature, The Lion and the Unicorn, Christianity and Literature, Legacy, Jeunesse, Critique, Feminist Theology, and Mosaic, and several edited collections, including Enterprising Youth and To See the Wizard.