Feast or Famine? Food and Children’s Literature

In November 2013, the joint annual conference of the British branch of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY UK) and the MA course at the National Centre for Research in Children’s Literature (NCRCL) at Roehampton University took as its focus ‘Feast or Famine? Food in Children’s Literature’.

Food is central to both children’s lives and their literature. The mouth-watering menu of talks given to the conference delegates is richly reflected in this book. Speakers examined the uses of food in children’s books from the nineteenth century to the present day, and in a wide variety of genres, from ancient fable to twenty-first-century fantasy. From the contributions to this collection, it is shown that food within literature not only reflects the society, culture and time in which it is prepared, but also is widely used by authors as a means to instruct their juvenile readers, and to deliver moral messages.

Bridget Carrington and Jennifer Harding have previously collaborated as the editors of earlier IBBY UK/NCRCL MA conference proceedings: Going Graphic: Comics and Graphic Novels for Young People; Conflicts and Controversies: Challenging Children’s Literature; It Doesn’t Have to Rhyme: Children and Poetry (Pied Piper Publishing, 2010, 2011, 2012); Beyond the Book: Transforming Children’s Literature (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013).

Bridget Carrington’s doctoral research investigated the early history of novels for young adult girls. Formally a teacher, she now researches and reviews a wide range of children’s literature. She has contributed to the Oxford Encyclopedia of Children’s Literature (2005) and the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, and examined the novels of Flora Shaw in A Victorian Quartet: Four Forgotten Women Writers (edited by L. Thiel, E. Lomax, B. Carrington and M. Sebag-Montefiore, Pied Piper Publishing, 2008). She was the Editor of the Journal of Children’s Literature Studies (no longer published).

Jennifer Harding is a freelance editor and indexer with a regular clientele ranging from children’s literature to politics and mathematics. Formerly a lecturer in further education for seventeen years, she followed this with fifteen years with a well-known educational publisher as an in-house editor. She edited What Do You See? International Perspectives on Children’s Book Illustration (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008), with Pat Pinsent; and Deep into Nature: Ecology, Environment and Children’s Literature (Pied Piper Publishing, 2009), with Elizabeth Thiel and Alison Waller. She is Associate Editor of IBBYLink, the journal of IBBY UK.

"It is hard to believe that the IBBY/NCRCL conferences have been running for 20 years, but here’s the proof of the pudding – if I can put it like that, for it’s something that this volume is particularly effective at conjuring up. We have 19 courses to go at, dealing with the use of food as both a disciplinary tool and as a celebratory indulgence, from its prodigal abundance to its life-threatening absence, across works of fiction, poetry and even non-fiction, including a look at some cookbooks, too. It is a most handsomely produced volume, guaranteed to delectate the senses."

David Rudd Professor of Children’s Literature, University of Roehampton

Buy This Book

ISBN: 1-4438-6142-1

ISBN13: 978-1-4438-6142-7

Release Date: 16th July 2014

Pages: 296

Price: £47.99