Our Publications

politics and ideology

Marian Thérèse Keyes & Áine McGillicuddy, editors, Politics and Ideology in Children’s Literature

Four Courts Press: 2014

The seventh volume in the Studies in Children’s Literature series, this volume examines how children’s books retain the ability to transform, activate, indoctrinate or empower their readers. From utopian and dystopian voices to children’s literature written in response to war situations to critiques of misogynistic assumptions that normalize or eroticize violence, these essays demonstrate the potential of children’s literature to radically challenge cultural norms.


on the move cover

Nora Maguire & Beth Rodgers, editors, Children’s Literature on the Move: Nations, Translations, Migrations

Four Courts Press: 2013

From translating Alice in Wonderland for a newly independent Ireland to Turkish children’s comics at the time of Atatürk, and from ‘Pangur Bán’ to post-communist Eastern Europe, the sixth volume in the Studies in Children’s Literature series places Irish children’s literature in international and multilingual contexts, drawing new connections across and beyond Europe. The essays collected here examine the creation and contestation of national identities in Polish, Estonian, Turkish, French, Irish, English and Canadian writing. Authors discussed included Siobhan Dowd, Faïza Guène, Jacek Dukaj, James Heneghan, Caroline Pignat and Aino Pervik. The collection closes with an essay by Siobhán Parkinson on translating children’s literature in contemporary Ireland.


what do we tell cover

Ciara Ní Bhroin and Patricia Kennon, editors, What Do We Tell the Children? Critical Essays on Children’s Literature

Cambridge Scholars Publishing: 2012

This peer-reviewed collection of critical essays on children’s literature addresses contemporary debates on what constitutes “suitable” texts for young audiences. The volume examines what adult writers “tell” their child readers with particular focus on the following areas: the representation of sexuality, gender and the body; the treatment of death and trauma; concepts of race, prejudice and national identity; and the use of children’s literature as a tool for socializing, acculturating, politicizing and educating children. The focus of the collection is on Irish and international fiction addressed at readers from mid-childhood to young adulthood.




Mary Shine Thompson, editor, Young Irelands: Studies in Children’s Literature

Four Courts Press: 2011

The essays in this book, the fourth in the Studies in Children’s Literature Series, examine how various texts read by children since the eighteenth century reflect concepts of Irish national and/or imperial identity, and how they resist the empire and the nation’s normative concepts. They also explore how non-Irish readers receive Irish children’s books. Subject matter ranges from works by Jonathan Swift and Maria Edgeworth and the revivalist texts of the Táin to the translation of contemporary fiction and the reception of Padraic Colum’s work in the United States. The book examines the resistant works of James Joyce and Oscar Wilde, Arthur Mee’s Children’s Encyclopedia and the periodicals of Na Fianna and Our Boys. It also addresses aspects of national identity in twentieth-century and contemporary fiction.


Mary Shine Thompson & Valerie Coghlan, editors, Divided Worlds: Studies in Children’s Literature

Four Courts Press: 2007

This volume explores the political, social and cultural divisions that dominate children’s books, ranging over Irish and international topics and texts. Articles on the fiction of Katherine Tynan, Maria Edgeworth and Somerville & Ross, as well as modern Ulster fiction and contemporary children’s publishing, are indicative of the range of Irish material. The international focus extends from Luigi Bertelli’s treatment of fascism and Gianni Rodari’s communism to the English contexts of Cecil Alexander’s English hymns. Rosemary Sutcliffe’s Roman Britain series is revisited to explore its masculinities, and gendered divisions are the subject of a review of Oisin McGann’s recent fantasy fiction.



Celia Keenan & Mary Shine Thompson, editors, Treasure Islands: Studies in Children’s Literature

Four Courts Press: 2006

Ranging from Daniel Defoe to Siobhán Parkinson, from Shakespeare to Enid Blyton, this collection of essays takes the reader on a fascinating voyage to the Treasure Islands of children’s literature. Picture books, myths, movies, newspaper columns and boys’ periodicals all come under scrutiny, and the critical journey travels to Australia, America and Scotland, as well as to the more familiar islands of English and Irish stories.


studies in children's literature

Celia Keenan & Mary Shine Thompson, editors, Studies in Children’s Literature, 1500-2000

Four Courts Press: 2005

Ranging from the fundamental question, whether a children’s literature is possible, or what its formal and contextual parameters might be, to the exigent issues of contemporary cultural studies – postcolonialism, gender, race and class – this essay collection inserts children’s literature into literary, theoretical and historical debate.




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