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Welcome to this Blog

Kia ora koutou
And welcome to this blog about my fellowship at the International Youth Library/Internationale Jugendbibliothek  (IJL) in Munich in October and November 2017.

This library was founded in 1949 by Jella Lepman and is the world's largest international library for children and young people's literature. Their work is guided by the belief that "children and your people's books are an essential part of the cultural life of a society and of a country, and as such must be preserved documented and shared".

The IJL has a fellowship programme and each year up to 15 scholars from around the world come to work on research projects using the library's books and facilitities. This is the programme I am participating in.

My project aims to extend my work on Māori/English Dual Language Picturebooks and at the Marantz Collection on Spanish-English Dual Language Picturebooks.  However, in this project I will be examining picturebooks featuring three or more languages, using a Linguistic Landscape approach, and answering questions such as What language hierarchies are present?  How is language presented in relationship to identity and culture? What assumptions are made about language and nationhood?

And as I go, I will be keeping this blog to share my experiences with friends, family, colleagues, and fellow bibliophiles.

Watch out for my first entry the week of October 16th.


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Day 2: The Research begins

Today was another warm autumn day, a pleasure to walk to work in. I arrived at 9.30 and started looking through the box of books I ordered through the IJB catalogue before I arrived. It is very difficult searching for books which are multilingual as this is not a tag in the search criteria. The books found were a mixture of quite a few bilingual Japanese/English books, and a selection of books featuring English and a minority language such as Cree, Spanish, Inuktituk and Greenlandic. There were also three picturebooks featuring characters discussing issues relating to being bilingual, for example in Yoko Writes her Name (Rosemary Wells, 2008), Yoko can write her name in Japanese and English. Her classmates respond with jealousy and in the process draw on several common prejudices around bilingualism.
The search also did manage to identify 5 picturebooks with between 3 and 5 languages in them, and I spent most of the day really enjoying analysing the linguistic landscape of the first t…

Day 9: Multilingual books from South Africa, Germany and Poland

Today I was working with several multilingual books, including one with eleven, yes eleven languages. I’ll outline three here to give you a feel for the range.
The first book entitled The Rights of a Child (2004) is a book about the ten principles of the United Nations Declaration of Children’s Rights presented in the eleven national languages of South Africa: Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, isiXhosa, isiZula, Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, siSwati, Tshivenda, and Xitsong. English, however,dominates the cover and front matter (including a foreword from Desmond Tutu) of the book. I have read that the ANC has promoted English as the language of government, so maybe this explains its dominance in this book.
I also examined Tsunami Mein Verlorenes Paradies/ My Lost Paradise/ Mon paradis perdu/ Mi paraiso perdido which is a book published by the Kinders Kunt Museum (Museum of Children’s Art) of Berlin recording voices and artistry of children who survived the Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004 in German…