About


I received my Ph.D. as a specialist in Victorian literature from Yale (1969 — I did a dissertation on the poetry of Tennyson– but since about 1975 I’ve concentrated on teaching and writing about children’s literature (for further information about why, see the article in the University of Winnipeg Alumni Journal). I taught in the English department at the University of Winnipeg for 37 years, from 1968 to 2005, and am now Professor Emeritus. I’ve published about a hundred or so articles on various aspects of children’s literature in scholarly journals, many of them focussing on literary theory as a context for understanding books for children. I’ve also written two books on the subject: Words About Pictures: The Narrative Art of Children’s Picture Books, and The Pleasures of Children’s Literature, a textbook used in universities across North America and elsewhere. I wrote the latest, third edition of Pleasures in collaboration with Mavis Reimer. Pleasures has been translated into Chinese for use in Taiwan and also into Korean. I was Editor of an academic journal, the Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, for five years (1983-87), and President of the Children’s Literature Association for a year. In 2005, I became editor of CCL/LCJ, the Canadian children’s literature journal. I’ve just finished a theoretical book about the generic characteristics of children’s fiction: The Hidden Adult: Defining Children’s Literature (Johns Hopkins UP).

I’ve now begun a new project, on children’s novels with two, three or more alternating narrators, tentatively titled Twice Upon a Time.  I plan to use this blog mostly to do some thinking related to that project.

As a writer of children’s and young adult fiction, I’ve written four novels: The Same Place But Different, (a fantasy ), its sequel A Completely Different Place, a comic satire, Behaving Bradley, and most recently Not a Nickel to Spare: the Great Depression Diary of Sally Cohen, a novel about the Christie Pits Riots in Toronto in 1933 in Scholastic Canada’s  Dear Canada series.  I’ve also written a series of four fantasy novels for young adults in collaboration with Carol Matas: Of Two Minds, More Minds, Out of Their Minds, and A Meeting of Minds. Carol and I have recently finished The Proof that Ghosts Exist, first of a three book series called The Ghosthunters, published in Canada this spring and in the US this summer.  Carol and I are now working on book 2 of the series, The Curse of the Evening Eye.

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Comments
  1. spark says:

    Hi Perry, I know they fall outside your immediate interests in alternating narrators, but have you considered An Na’s “Wait for Me” or Marie Lee’s “Somebody’s Daughter”? In “Wait for Me” the older sister speaks in the first person while the younger sister, who has some kind of handicap, speaks from the third. The two narrators in “Somebody’s Daughter” are a Korean birth mother and her birth daughter Sarah, who is now an adoptee in the Midwest. Their alternating voices tell the story of Sarah’s conception, adoption, and search for her birth mother.

    I’m so happy to hear Pleasures was translated into Korean. I know a lot of people in Korea will be excited 🙂

    Thank you for sharing your research and blog on child_lit!

    P.S. My friend brought me a small jar of Canadian maple syrup last month. Delicious!

    • pernodel says:

      I*’ve read and made notes (not online) on Wait for Me, which does fit very nicely into context of my project. But I wasn’t aware of the other book, which I’ll put in my list of ones to get and read. Thank you for the suggestion.

      I envy you your maple syrup. Here on the prairies, we’re miles from maple trees, and it has to be imported from Quebec, at great expense.

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