skip navigation
San Diego State University
Stellaluna and her nestmates first flight
Children's Literature Program
homepageabout usContact us!News related to the Children's Literature ProgramGraduate ProgramFacultyCourses Offered  in Children's LiteratureGivingBook reviews by faculty and students in the Children's Literature ProgramLinks  
Images from Janell Cannon's
Stellaluna. Reprinted with
permission from Harcourt Publishers.
Recent News

Center and Faculty News

  • Read the latest news at

  • Alice in Wonderland One Hundred Fifty Years Later: A New Magic Lantern Phantasmämphigory

    Wednesday March 4, 2015, 5pm Love Library, Leon Williams Room (LL 430-431)  

    Alice's Adventures in Wonderland lives one hundred fifty years after its publication not because Alice is a princess in a literary fairy tale, not because of our own flirtation with Charles Dodgson and Alice Liddell, and not because Alice has become embedded in our culture as innocent, vixen, or queen of psychedelia; rather, Alice in Wonderland lives because of its uneasy balance of all of these things and more. Its genius lies in what it does more than what it is. And what it does is nonsense. This talk, part magic lantern show and part paean to Lewis Carroll's nonsense literature, does the unthinkable: it separates analysis from interpretation, it values the cart over the load. It offers the greatness of Alice as a teasing and tempting nonsense process, in its ability, like Humpty Dumpty, always to leave egg on our faces. 

    Free and open to the public

    Michael Heyman is a Professor at Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he teaches courses on Children’s Literature, Poetry, Arthropodiatry, and Nonsensical Nunchaku. He is a scholar and writer of literary nonsense and children’s literature and the editor of The Tenth Rasa: An Anthology of Indian Nonsense (2007). His poems and stories for children can be found in The Puffin Book of Bedtime Stories (2005), The Moustache Maharishi and other unlikely stories (2007), and This Book Makes No Sense: Nonsense Poems and Worse (2012), which he also edited.

  • Jungle Book and Water Cooperation
    Thursday, May 1 at 6:30 p.m.
    Location: Experimental Theatre

    The Common Experience serves to facilitate increased interactions among faculty, staff, and students that extends beyond the classroom. The CE invites participation from across the campus to engage in multidisciplinary activities and apply academic thought towards finding meaningful solutions to real-world problems.

    The United Nations designated 2013 the Year of Water Cooperation and notes that "[p]romoting water cooperation implies an interdisciplinary approach bringing in cultural, educational and scientific factors, as well as religious, ethical, social, political, legal, institutional and economic dimensions."

    Join Margaret Larlham, Professor in the School of Theatre, Television, and Film; Kotaro Nakamura, Associate Professor in the School of Art and Design; and Vinod Sasidharan, Associate Professor in the L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism. Professor Larlham is the director and adaptor of Jungle Book. Professor Nakamura's professional portfolio is noted for its emphasis on sustainable architecture, as well as neighborhood revitalization and renewal, reflecting both private and public sector clients. Dr. Sasidharan's teaching interests include global tourism trends, sustainable tourism, geotourism, ecotourism, cultural tourism, grassroots tourism development, and cross-cultural analysis of tourism and recreation behaviors. The panel will address water cooperation and education through the arts.

  • Conversations with Children's Literature: Jungle Book  
    Friday, May 2 at 6:30 p.m.
    Location: Dramatic Arts Building, Room 101

    You are invited to join us before the show to engage in a conversation led by Director Margaret Larlham, Dramaturg Megan Abell, and a panel of SDSU's National Center for the Study of Children's Literature: Dr. Joseph T. Thomas, Jr., Dr. Mary Galbraith, and Graduate students Alya Hameed, Paloma Hoyos, Alixandria Lombardo, and Kelsey Wadman. The panel will discuss Rudyard Kipling's stories as well as the process of adapting them to the stage.

  • Kate Capshaw, Freedom (and Fury) Now: Civil Rights Photographic Picture Books for Children
    Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014
    5:00-6:30PM (One hour lecture, thirty minutes discussion/questions)
    Location: SDSU Library, Leon Williams Room (LL430/31 combined)

    Sponsored by the National Center for the Studies of Children's Literature. Special thanks to SDSU's Instructionally Related Activities Grant.

    Of her lecture, Professor Capshaw writes: My presentation will explore the photographic picture book, Today (1965), published by the Child Development Group of Mississippi (CDGM), one of the first "Head Start" programs in the United States and the children's organization most committed to civil rights ideals in the mid-1960s. While the CDGM existed only for two years (1965-1967), it emerged at a turning point in the civil rights campaign in Mississippi; born from the Freedom Summer literacy campaign of 1964, initiated after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 but before the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the CDGM aimed to train a new generation of children in the values of the movement. The presentation will then connect Today with the children's photographic books of the Black Arts Movement, including Poems by Kali (1970) and June Jordan's Dry Victories (1972), texts which imagine the child as an icon of black nationhood and express anger at civil rights failures.

    Bio: Katharine Capshaw is Associate Professor of English at UConn and Editor of Children's Literature Association Quarterly. Her forthcoming book, Civil Rights Childhood: Photo Books and Liberation (Minnesota 2014), examines texts from the 1940s to the present day. Children's Literature of the Harlem Renaissance (Indiana 2004), Smith's first monograph, won the Children's Literature Association's best scholarly book award.

  • We are hosting our 10th Semi-Annual Children's Book Review Marathon on campus, Saturday, March 16, 2013, from 12:30-3:30. Nineteen volunteers consisting of current and past graduate students, SDSU faculty, city librarians, and teachers will be on hand to review books. The goal is to review at least 26 books on Saturday, with more reviews coming in over the next few weeks. Reviews will be posted on our blog.
  • Professor Jerry Griswold Retires; Professor Alida Allison named new director of the National Center for the Study of Children's Literature. Read More.

  • KPBS's Maureen Cavanaugh interviews Dr. Alida Allison on "The Best New Children's Books for Summer" (June 28, 2010)

  • SDSU News Center's article "Best Summer Reads for Kids" (June 15, 2010) features an interview with Professor Alida Allison and Librarian Linda Salem, and discusses the National Center for the Study of Children's Literature's Book Review Service (posted 7/18/10)
  • Children's Literature 2010 Reviews are now available! (posted 3/28/10)

  • The Adventures of Mark Twain: A Centenary Celebration: visit our blog for details on SDSU literary and dramatic events held throughout this year celebrating America's Storyteller. (posted 3/28/10)
  • Children's Literature 2009 Reviews are now available! (posted 8/8/09)

  • Check out the new English & Comparative Literature blogspot for the latest dept. news. Several Children's Literature faculty were recently featured. (posted 7/4/08)

  • Be sure to check out Conferences & Events for some upcoming Children's Literature presentations at SDSU (posted 2/27/08)

  • What is that special quality that makes some children's literature writers great? Perhaps they confer with their "inner child" on what fascinates children. Jerry Griswold reflects on this idea in his new book, Feeling Like a Kid: Childhood and Children's Literature. (posted 1/4/07)
  • Children's Book Review Service. Looking for a good children's book? Recommendations by SDSU Children's Literature faculty--from picture books to Young Adult fiction, from Shel Silverstein to Susan Cooper--are being posted at our newly re-opened campus reviews site. These reviews are in addition to those now appearing at Parents' Choice ( where you will find essays by Jerry Griswold, Peter Neumeyer, and Jerry Farber; as well as recommendations for ABC books, pop-ups, books about other cultures, and reviews by Alida Allison, Toni Rowden, and Mark Janssen. The two sites now complement each other. Please visit us at both locations. (posted 1/27/06)
  • New MA Specialization in Children's Literature in English/Comparative Literature. For more information, including graduate program requirements and deadlines, click HERE.

Generous Donation Funds Endowed Professorship

The National Center for the Study of Children's Literature wishes to gratefully acknowledge an extraordinary contribution by longtime friends of the Center, Ray Sabin and A.K. Jones. This gift will make possible, in perpetuity, the Ray Sabin and A.K. Jones Endowed Professorship in Children’s Literature. In creating this position, Jones expressed their hope that "the faculty member hired for this position will inspire others and encourage them to make Children's Literature a part of their everyday lives."
Sabin and Jones are both alums of SDSU. Jones is also an elementary-school teacher who retired after 30 years in San Diego classrooms. Inveterate travelers, "Ray and A.K." remain, nonetheless, deeply involved in the Center's activities and planning, and they can often be found at many of the Center's various events. (posted 1/06)


The NCSCL welcomes contributions to further its work and its aim of fostering an appreciation of Children's Literature among parents and children, students and teachers, and the public at large. We are especially seeking donations that would provide scholarships for needy graduate students and for San Diego school teachers who wish to earn the Certificate and make more use of Children's Literature in their classrooms.

For more information on how to contribute, please visit the Giving section of our website.

For past program and faculty news, please visit our past news section.

To view pdf files you may need to download Adobe Reader.


San Diego State University Homepage English and Comparative Literature Homepage