Frame of Reference


Jane Goldstein

This issue of The Looking Glass reflects many transitions since the outstanding April 2002 edition focusing on poetry. Annette Goldsmith's passion for children's literature and her dedication to The Looking Glass were eloquently reflected in the articles which she chose for her final issue as editor. Many of the columnists were part of her team of friends and colleagues at the University of Toronto when the idea of an online journal specializing in children's literature was developed. The tone and the creativity which they brought to the readers will be a challenge to maintain. Many of the recent columnists will continue as before. As Annette told you in her last issue, some are moving to new endeavors.

Ruth Allen's second contribution to The Looking Glass appears in this issue. In "A Distant Mirror" she writes on the challenges facing the libraries in the United Kingdom.

Elizabeth L. Pandolfo Briggs continues as editor of "Alice's Academy" and highlights Linda Montag's gender readings on George MacDonald's little known short story "The Day Boy and the Night Girl".

Three new columns begin in this issue. "The Mentor" will provide opportunities for professors to encourage students to prepare articles for journal publication by submitting their papers to The Looking Glass. The editor of "The Mentor" is Caroline E. Jones, a doctoral candidate in English Studies at Illinois State University, specializing in children's literature. She completed her Master of Arts at Hollins University, also in children's literature, and has taught courses in children's literature at ISU and at Southwest Texas State University. She lives in Austin, Texas and is completing her dissertation on female sexuality in children's and young adult literature.

Margaret Parish heads a new column with a familiar name from previous issues. "Mirrors and Windows" is designed as a forum in which readers may respond to Maggie's opinions. Maggie is newly retired from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington where she taught for 27 years. Most recently, her efforts included developing an online class focusing on award winning children's literature and the effective use of the vast wealth of materials available to students and teachers in cyberspace. Her academic credentials include an MLS from Simmons College, a Ph. D. from Michigan State University at Lansing, and Post-Doctorate work at the University of Miami (Ohio).

The third new column to debut with this issue is called "Curiouser and Curiouser". This column is something Annette Goldsmith began developing with Evelyn Perry. The focus is on folktales and innovative retellings of folktales. Evelyn teaches courses on folk literature as well as creative writing classes at Framingham State College in Massachusetts. Evelyn has an extensive list of publications to her credit.

The 2003 issues for April and September will contain general interest articles. The January 2004 edition will look at literature and literacy issues for Arabic children in their world. The Looking Glass will also consider contributions which deal with Arabic influences on other literature of the world and of the influences of other cultures on Arabic literature for children. For the special issue, please submit ideas or abstracts by June 2nd, 2003, and plan for a copy deadline of November 15th, 2003. Referred columns will need more time, so submissions should be in by April 1st.

Contributions are always welcome and can be submitted by email to Jane Goldstein. They will be passed on to column editors for consideration. Some columns no longer have active editors but focus on areas that are still of interest and importance. Guest columnists are always welcome. Check our website under the heading "What We Do" and consider submitting a paper. We are a totally volunteer organization and are always looking for new contributors. The website will also have the most up-to-date descriptions of themes for future issues.

Allen Briggs has stepped into the role of publisher and has made some changes which are intended to make The Looking Glass more accessible without detracting from the intent of the founders. It is the hope to open the journal to new opportunities to study children's literature globally. The Looking Glass is grateful to have his help.

Maggie Parish shared the following paraphrase from Wind in the Willows, "there is nothing, simply nothing, like messing around with books." A big thanks to Annette Goldsmith for the fun and information she added to our connection with children's books. I hope that The Looking Glass continues to bring that enjoyment for us all.

Editorially yours,

Jane Goldstein

Volume 7, Issue 1, The Looking Glass, January, 2003

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