Student Profile: Flávia Lins e Silva, The Magical Hammock

NCRCL Distance Learning MA student, Flávia Lins e Silva, writes about her experience visiting the Roehampton Library and explains the inspiration behind many of her children’s books.


By Flávia Lins e Silva

This summer, I visited the Roehampton campus with my character, Pilar, and was really impressed with the library. Books by J.M. Barrie that I have never heard of before and the amazing collection of Richmal Crompton! Wow! If you are near this library, you are lucky! But I live in Brazil and, as a distance learner on my second year of the Children’s Literature MA, I could only spend a day there.

I was on my way to the Gothenburg Book Fair where Pilar had a meeting with Pippi Longstocking and the Moomin family! Well, in fact, I was going to give a speech about ‘how we get interested in other cultures’. In my Pilar’s Diary series, the main character travels with a magical hammock to Greece, Egypt, Nigeria, Machu Picchu, and the Amazon (illustrated by Joana Penna). On each trip, she hears local stories, local myths, languages, and recipes and the adventure transforms her.

I am a Brazilian Children’s writer from what I would call the 3rd generation. First, we had the generation of Monteiro Lobato, who created Sítio do Picapau Amarelo and the famous Emilia doll. Then came the 2nd generation of writers like Lygia Bojunga and Ana Maria Machado, both winners of the Hans Christian Andersen Prize. Now the third generation, the one I am included in, and that has talents like Luciana Sandroni, Bia Hetzel, Mariana Massarani, and the great Roger Mello who just won the Hans Christian Andersen for Illustration.

When I was young, only a few books were translated in Brazil and we had to import expensive books from Portugal to read stories like The Hobbit. Now, many books that are considered classics in the U.K. are finally arriving in Brazil. (And we can buy e-books, what a revolution!).

I believe we can discover a new culture with many senses. With our ears: hearing a music from Cape Vert, for example. With our mouths: tasting a delicious curry from India… And travelling. But travelling is still unaffordable to many people. So a way to travel is through stories, page by page, book by book.

Continue reading “Student Profile: Flávia Lins e Silva, The Magical Hammock”

Mary Galbraith: The Narrative Art of Raymond Briggs

The National Centre for Research in Children’s Literature 

You are invited to a research seminar

Wednesday 14th October 2015
1.00 -2.00pm

Fincham 001

The Narrative Art of Raymond Briggs

Mary Galbraith, San Diego State University

Raymond Briggs is a picture-book auteur and a pioneer of the graphic memoir.  His best-known works are The Snowman, Fungus the Bogeyman, When the Wind Blows, Father Christmas, and Ethel and Ernest. My current project focuses on Briggs’s representation of himself and his parents in cartoon strip format and his handling of two narrative universes—fantasy fiction and memoir.  Since my approach is eccentric in a number of ways, the final version of this project will lay out my understanding of biographical interpretation, fictional epistemology, and the definition of narrative art.  

Mary Galbraith is on sabbatical from San Diego State University, where she teaches many courses in children’s literature. Her primary focus is on classic children’s novels and picture books.  She is currently a visiting scholar at Roehampton University.  Her articles on picture books include “Meditation on The Polar Express,” “Agony in the Kindergarten: Indelible German Images in American Picture Books,” and “Madeline as a Secret Space of Ludwig Bemelmans’ Childhood.”


Booking is open for the 2015 IBBY/NCRCL Conference!

22nd annual NCRCL MA/IBBY UK Conference

Saturday 14th November 2015

Froebel College, University of Roehampton

Steering the Craft:

Navigating the process of creating children’s books in the 21st century

Booking now open!

Ursula Le Guin provides the title for the 22nd annual NCRCL MA/IBBY UK Conference, a writer and thinker who has contributed a great deal to discourse surrounding the craft of writing. This year’s conference starts with the concerns of Le Guin’s Steering The Craft (1998), considering the role of writers in book production, and moves beyond this to explore the wider processes involved in creating books for young people. Developments in digital technology and social media, along with the shifting economic climate, have transformed the landscape of book production in recent years and this conference seeks to consider the implications of these changes for children’s books. We invite delegates and contributors to think about book production in the widest sense, taking in the various role of: authors; illustrators; translators; editors; designers; printers, agents; publishing houses/marketing teams; book reviewers; booksellers; curriculum design….and so on.

The conference will include keynote presentations by well-known writers, publishers, academics, and key figures in the children’s literature domain as well as an array of fascinating presentations during the parallel sessions.