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Picturing Canada

Picturing Canada: A History of Canadian Children's Illustrated Books and Publishing

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    Picturing Canada
    Book Description:

    An interdisciplinary history,Picturing Canadaprovides a critical understanding of the changing geographical, historical, and cultural aspects of Canadian identity, as seen through the lens of children's publishing over two centuries.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-9894-9
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. vii-x)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. A Chronology of Children’s Print History in Canada
    (pp. xv-2)
  6. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 3-16)

    In a 1996 article, ‘Margaret K. McElderry and the Professional Matriarchy of Children’s Books,’ the American scholar Betsy Hearne discusses the secondary place given to children’s literature and children’s publishing in literary, publishing, and educational histories. She described children’s publishing as ‘a matriarchy of cultural activity that has received little recognition outside a small professional circle,’ whose stories about their professional practice are used as reference points to define kinship structures.¹ This study traces the genealogies of children’s book publishing in Canada through the particular lens of children’s illustrated books in order to explore the histories of the communities of...

  7. CHAPTER TWO Beginnings to the 1890s: Canadian Children’s Books in the Imperial Era
    (pp. 17-30)

    When children in centuries past picked up illustrated books with Canadian subject matter, they usually saw a reflection of the country in texts and images created by expatriates, visitors to Canada, and armchair travellers, published in Britain and the United States for middle-class domestic readers fascinated with the exotic and unfamiliar. These publications, written from the metropolitan centre, draw on the literary traditions of travellers’ tales, pioneer and emigrant narratives, outdoor adventure and survival sagas, in an imaginative recreation of the colonial space as a romantic and alien wilderness, very different from the urban domesticated social space inhabited by the...

  8. CHAPTER THREE The 1890s to the 1950s: ‘And Whether We Are Yet a Nation’
    (pp. 31-50)

    By the late nineteenth century, the culture of children’s literary production had been transformed in the English-speaking world. In 1871, the majority of Canadians lived in rural areas, and were Canadian-born. Rapid social, economic, and demographic changes brought about by industrialization and urbanization stimulated anxiety about social stability, heightened by concerns about the assimilation of immigrant populations. By 1921, 3.8 million immigrants had arrived in Canada, and almost 10 per cent of the population were foreign-born. Montreal and Toronto each had tripled in size, and almost half of all Canadians lived in urban areas.¹

    Measurements of the degree of literacy...

  9. CHAPTER FOUR The Postwar Period: Creating a Children’s Publishing Industry
    (pp. 51-68)

    The financial constraints on publishers and institutional budgets during the 1930s, and paper rationing and labour shortages throughout the Second World War resulted in an overall downturn in publishing in English Canada, despite heightened nationalism during the war years.¹ While Canada’s first graphic design firm, Eveleigh-Dair, was established in the 1940s, the few active book designers in the Canadian publishing industry worked in relative isolation from their American and European counterparts, their work further circumscribed by the limitations imposed by printers’ restricted range of typefaces and lack of experience with fullcolour printing.²

    It was in this context that the comments...

  10. CHAPTER FIVE The 1970s: Developing a Children’s Publishing Industry
    (pp. 69-98)

    At the outset of the 1970s, despite the critical acclaim given to the picturebooks and illustrated books published by Oxford University Press and McClelland and Stewart, the majority of Canadian trade publishers who issued children’s books were cautious in developing their children’s lists. They continued to focus on a few narrow genres with strong curricular links. May Cutler, who ran a bookshop in Montreal in the 1960s, remembers that a sales representative, on hearing that she was interested in publishing children’s books commented, ‘“That’s easy. You just bring out a hockey book and an Eskimo or Indian legend each year.”...

  11. CHAPTER SIX The 1980s: The Flowering of Canadian Children’s Illustrated Books
    (pp. 99-131)

    In the 1980s, the Canadian publishing scene for children expanded rapidly. Knowledgeable authors, illustrators, and editors, and a new focus on the design and marketing of children’s titles, transformed children’s illustrated books. Strong international co-publishing agreements and foreign rights sales increased publishing of Canadian editions of foreign titles, and joint projects between trade and educational publishers expanded the economic potential for growth. Affluent baby-boomer parents who supported specialty children’s book stores, widening media coverage, and increasingly popular events like writers’ festivals and author tours all helped to bring Canadian children’s books to a broadening market, and in the process reshaped...

  12. CHAPTER SEVEN The 1990s to the Present Day: Structural Challenges and Changes
    (pp. 132-152)

    The concerns and obstacles facing Canadian children’s publishers in the last two decades are generally the common plight of all Canadian publishers in the broader context of increasing globalization. Canadian publishers have had to respond to a rise in production and distribution costs, cutbacks in government subsidies and grants, and ongoing mergers, consolidations, and bankruptcies among publishers, distributors, and retailers.¹ They have also had to deal with issues of particular concern to children’s publishers, from the shrinking of childhood populations in Canada, to reductions in funding for school and public libraries, the competition for the attention of young readers from...

    (pp. None)
  14. CHAPTER EIGHT Children’s Illustrated Books, 1990 to the Present Day
    (pp. 153-190)

    From the early 1990s to the present day, the publishing industry has had to adapt to changes brought about by the rapidly shifting globalized market. At the same time, the introduction of computerization at every level of industry from initial creation to layout and design, and changes in the technology of printing, have significantly improved the quality of reproduction of coloured images on the printed page. The combination of flexible printing technologies and the cost savings realized by moving printing offshore to countries with lower wages have brought full-colour printing within the reach of the smallest publishers.

    The range of...

  15. CHAPTER NINE Canadian Cultural Identity, Canadian Cultural Identities
    (pp. 191-226)

    The question of Canadian cultural identity and literary production has been raised repeatedly by Canadian literary critics and scholars. The idea of a national literature that expresses an identifiable and distinct national character, and reflects a common set of beliefs and values, is embedded in literary criticism. As Sarah Corse notes, traditional definitions of nationalist literature are rooted in the problematic of national exceptionalism, the belief that literature can reflect an essential national character that is identifiable, distinct, and ‘unique.’ Texts for inclusion into a national canon are evaluated for the degree to which they can be read ‘through the...

  16. Notes
    (pp. 227-292)
  17. Bibliography
    (pp. 293-358)
  18. Index
    (pp. 359-382)
  19. Back Matter
    (pp. 383-384)