Pictures from NCRCL Open Day

Here are a selection of photos from our NCRCL Open Day, held on Saturday, 18 May, and taken by Jonas Kontautas. We were treated to cupcakes, bunting made by Jane Carroll, and inspiring talks from author Melvin Burgess and academic Louise Joy (Cambridge).

Call for Papers – IBBY/NCRCL Conference – Feast or Famine

University of Roehampton, London.
Call for Papers on the theme of ‘Feast or
Famine: Food and Children’s Literature’

As a focus for imaginative gratification, food has a long-standing relationship with children’s literature. Sinclair’s jam-filled ‘coach-wheel’ in The Holiday House (1839) revolutionised Evangelist writing, as culinary reward overshadows recrimination; marmalade sandwiches and honeypots are as iconic as the Paddington and Pooh bears who favour them; and the delights of feasting reach from the comic visualization of The Beano to the excessive wizardry of Hogwarts banqueting. Darker shadows also trouble this relationship though; Brenda’s philanthropy in Froggy’s Little Brother (1875) witnesses the starvation of mice and children, while Andy Mulligan’s Trash (2010) condemns capitalist greed. Moving beyond the immediate concerns of children’s literature, the rise of cup-cake culture in the early 21st century and the recent success of the BBC’s The Great British Bake Off point to an on-going fascination with food that extends beyond sustenance to creation, image and consumption. This evident cultural fascination draws in adults and children alike and thus it seems timely to consider the rich complexity of the relationship between food and children’s literature.

The conference will include keynote presentations by well-known writers, publishers and academics. Proposals are welcomed for workshop sessions (lasting about 20 minutes) on the following or other relevant issues/areas from any period in the history of international children’s literature:

  • the metaphoric treatment of food in children’s books;
  • the visual representation of food in comics, film or picture books;
  • the lack of food – famine, hunger, starvation, or rationing;
  • over-indulgence and greed;
  • food-writing and culinary trends related to childhood;
  • global cuisines – national, ethnic etc.
  • the historical representation of food in children’s books (non-fiction or fiction);
  • environmental, historical and political concerns with food distribution, farming, waste management or consumption – e.g in dystopian fiction;
  • the impact of body image in youth culture – e.g. literary engagement with diet, health issues or eating disorders;
  • oral fixations of early childhood;
  • the consumption of flesh, body or blood: vampirism, cannibalism etc.;
  • food in fairy tales, fantasy literature and myth – e.g. animate and magical food;
  • food and power – the giving and withholding of food;
  • bad food or poison;
  • gender issues: e.g. feminist engagement with nurture, nature and mothering;
  • food and celebration or socializing – birthday cake, honorary banquets/feasts or tea parties.


We welcome contributions from interested academics and others researchers in any of these areas.

The deadline for proposals is 19th July 2013 . Please email a 200-word abstract (for a 20-minute paper), along with a short biography and affiliation to