Frame of Reference

About The Looking Glass

The Looking Glass: New Perspectives on Children's Books is an electronic journal about children's literature. The site was launched April 2, 1997 -- International Children's Book Day. As our name suggests, we combine an interest in the traditional with an eye to the modern. Our readers and contributors are academics, librarians, teachers, parents and anyone else fascinated by the world of children's literature both in Canada and abroad.

Who We Are - What We Do - How To Find Us - How To Support Us

Who We Are

We are a small group of volunteers. Our expertise includes writing, editing, teaching, publishing, librarianship -- various aspects of the children's book trade. In the beginning, our parent organization was the Toronto Centre for the Study of Children's Literature (TCSCL), then housed at the Faculty of Information Studies, University of Toronto, now at York University. However, as of 1 July 1998, we have been independent of institutional support.

The Staff (in alphabetical order):

Allen Briggs, technical advisor, is a software developer for Wasabi Systems, Inc. and owner/operator of Ninth Wonder in Blacksburg, Virginia. In true Carollian fashion, he is easily distracted into explorations of other worlds.

Doug Crane, publicity and subscription manager, is the Electronic Resources Coordinator for the Palm Beach County Library System. He has been working with The Looking Glass since its first issue.

Annette Goldsmith, editor, is a Canadian children's librarian with the Miami-Dade Public Library System. She spends a lot of time reading, reviewing, sharing and promoting children's and young adult books, both in person and online.

Beth Graham, editorial consultant, was formerly a children's librarian at San Francisco Public Library and with the Stockton-San Joaquin County Public Library System. She now volunteers in elementary schools and works as a freelance proofreader.

Katherine Matthews, design editor, is a Canadian writer living in Lyon, France who has a particular fondness for Canadian children's literature. She is also a keen knitting designer who keeps in touch with fellow textile artists on the Internet, especially with her latest venture, ModKnit.

The Editors (in alphabetical order):

Ruth Allen trained as a librarian and is currently (and con-currently!) a partner in Bufo Books, specializing in (used) modern children's literature; a PhD student, researching medieval archaeology; and the editor of The Abbey Chronicle, the Elsie Jeanette Oxenham Appreciation Society's newsletter. She lives in the UK and tries to keep abreast of current trends [t]here.

Kathleen Bailey is a Toronto children's librarian who has always liked exploring other countries beyond the looking glass. She often stays up late devouring a good book.

Martha Baker (also known as The Midwife) is a collection development librarian. She has been actively interested in the issues of translation for many years. Still in mid-life, at mid-career, she is occasionally to be found in mid-flight across the mid-Atlantic, due to long-term residence in mid-Europe.

Jeffrey Canton is a freelance journalist who spends much of his time with his head in a book trying to keep up with what's best and brightest. As well as being a regular contributor to Children's Book News, Quill and Quire, The National Post, Chapters Bookstore and Reader's Showcase, he is the children's book editor for Books in Canada magazine and a founding member of TVOntario's More to Life Book Club.

Sue Corbett is the children's book reviewer for the Miami Herald. Her column is carried by the Knight Ridder/Tribune News Wire. She is the author of two forthcoming novels for middle-grade readers from Dutton. The first, 12 Again, will be published in July 2002.

Sarah Ellis is a Vancouver librarian and writer with a highly developed bump of hilarity. Her latest books are a pair of writing guides, for children The Young Writers' Companion, and for teachers, From Reader to Writer: Teaching Writing Through Classic Children's Books.

Elizabeth Pandolfo-Briggs is a children's literature scholar, editor, and writer living in Virginia. She spends her free time reading, caring for cats, traveling, quilting, hiking, and camping.

Judith Saltman is Professor, School of Library, Archival and Information Studies, University of British Columbia, Vancouver.

Joanne Schott is the former Children's Literature Specialist at Boys and Girls House in Toronto, and now enjoys a retirement that includes playing pirate with her grandchildren, conversing with her cats, and of course solving puzzles. She is a violin student, a violist in three modest string ensembles, and has just finished a course in Braille transcription.

Martha Scott, (also know as "The Dodo"), formerly the Children's Resource Collection Specialist at the Lillian H. Smith Branch of the Toronto Public Library, now works as Librarian at the Toronto Public Library's Osborne Collection of Early Children's Books.

The Cook loves serving up a fine kettle of fish, along with a helping of tongue in cheek, and finds inspiration in the pages of her favourite children's books -- Hansel and Gretel notwithstanding. After all, children are for reading to -- not eating!

The MaD hAtTeR is a bon vivant and literary man about town who has been poking his nose into the lives of literati everywhere for longer than he cares to think about. As well as writing Spyglass, the MaD hAtTeR runs a modest hat shop somewhere in Megapolitan Toronto.

The Editorial Board (in alphabetical order):

Adele Fasick is Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Information Studies, University of Toronto, a consultant in San Francisco, and an adjunct instructor at the School of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University.

Jeffrey Garrett is Humanities Bibliographer and Lecturer in German at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and immediate past editor of Bookbird: World of Children's Books.

Daniel D. Hade is Professor, College of Education, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania.

Lissa Paul is Professor, Faculty of Education, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton. Lissa's book Reading Otherways, is published by the Thimble Press. Her expertise is in feminist theory and children's literature. Her work is included in The Routledge Interational Encyclopedia of Children's Literature. She aslo publishes in Signal and The Horn Book.

Judith Saltman is Professor, School of Library, Archival and Information Studies, University of British Columbia, Vancouver.

Geoff Williams is Senior Lecturer in English, Department of English, University of Sydney, Australia.


What We Do

Regular departments include a variety of columns, editorial, acrostic, gossip and discussion sections, as well as refereed academic contributions.

Alice's Academy, our refereed section, hosts scholarly articles of interest to specialists and non-specialists alike. Contact: Elizabeth Pandolfo-Briggs .

The Caucus-Race is a guided tour of Internet sites on a given topic. (The column takes its name from the random yet connected game to which the Dodo introduces Alice.) We provide links to these sites, so the reader can race about madly and then (virtually) collapse. Contact: Martha Scott.

Dinah's Kitty Corner, COMING IN A FUTURE ISSUE, looks at research from the other side of the street, through interviews with researchers. If there's a good story behind a particular publication or work-in-progress, you can trust our Dinah to sniff it out. Contact: Dinah.

A Distant Mirror is an occasional view of children's literature as it is reflected from the British side of the Atlantic. Contact Ruth Allen.

Frame of Reference is our editorial. Sometimes it functions as a guide to the current issue, rather like a chatty table of contents. Other times it expresses editorial thoughts on the subject of the day. Contact: Annette Goldsmith.

Humpty's Wall, COMING IN A FUTURE ISSUE, will allow readers to participate in an ongoing discussion of our more provocative pieces. Contact: TBA

Illuminating Texts invites authors and illustrators to talk about the influences that have shaped their work. Contact: Sue Corbett.

In the Twinkling of an Eye is our humour column. We welcome contributions of all sorts -- prose, poetry, artwork -- likely to provoke a grin or even a serious laugh from the children's literature aficionado. Contact: Sarah Ellis.

ykcowrebbaJ considers the subtle art of translation in children's books, be it in terms of language, style, or format. Contact: Martha Baker.

LG Acrostic offers both novices and aficionados the chance to test their knowledge of children's literature while enjoying a good puzzle. Contact: Joanne Schott.

LG Lore is a passionate reader's personal response to Canadian children's literature classics, old and new. Guest columnists needn't be Canadian -- just eager to share their enthusiasm for their favourite Canadian children's books. Contact: Jeffrey Canton.

Mirrors and Windows is both inward- and outward-looking in its approach to children's literature. It is open to a wide range of subjects and views. Contact: Kathleen Bailey.

The Monitor looks at the connections between the electronic and real worlds of children and their books. We are interested in fresh insights into the effects of the new technology on a very old industry. Contact: Mary Beaty.

My Own Invention highlights innovative projects in the field of children's literature. Like the White Knight, that keen inventor, this column takes a pragmatic approach. And even if the invention was a dud, it may still be worthy of mention. Contact: Mary Nix

Personal Reflections chronicles the growth of a professional thinker, as she traverses the nether region between theory and practice. Contact: Sue Easun.

Picture Window examines the many facets of children's book illustration and design. Contact: Judith Saltman.

Pig and Pepper explores the connection between food and books for children and young adults, accompanied by the occasional recipe. If you have a favourite book that features food, or an idea related to books and food you yourself would like to serve up, the kitchen is always open. Contact: The Cook.

Spyglass shares gossipy tidbits about children's book people, current or historical. Anecdotes should be benign in nature. Contact: The MaD hAtTeR.

How To Find Us

Submissions and letters to the editor should be sent to Annette Goldsmith. Subscription inquiries should be sent to Doug Crane. All other inquiries should be sent to Jane Goldstein.

How To Support Us

This journal exists thanks to the efforts of many volunteers. If you like what you see in The Looking Glass, please consider contributing towards our expenses; inquiries regarding donations may be made to The Publisher.


Volume 6, Issue 1, The Looking Glass, 2002

Site design and content, except where noted, © The Looking Glass 1997.
"Frame of Reference - About The Looking Glass" © 2002
Send general correspondence regarding The Looking Glass c/o The Editor