Welcome to our inaugural issue!
The University of Alberta Libraries (UAL) is delighted to have the blessing of Dr Andrea Deakin and the Okanagan College Library to assume all responsibilities of the eponymous “Deakin Newsletter” (www.okanagan.bc.ca), which is now renamed “The Deakin Review of Children’s Literature”. An enthusiastic team of book reviewers and editors from UAL will review English language children’s books and publish thoughtful reviews and recommendations using a four star system (four stars: highly recommended; three stars: recommended; two stars: recommended with reservations; one star: not recommended). With so many children’s books published each year we know that it can be a dizzying task to find the good ones, so we will make every effort to review at least 25 books in each issue (published quarterly), including pop-ups, ABCs, young adult fiction, picture books, ebooks, board books, and works of non-fiction.
Nearly a year ago I had the opportunity to meet Dr Andrea Deakin over lunch and we talked for hours about children’s books. Her enthusiasm was infectious and I was in awe when I learned that she had been reviewing children’s literature in Canada for nearly half a century. She explained that her career as a teacher and book reviewer had offered so many rewarding opportunities to promote children’s literature, and in retirement she continued her prolific book reviewing activities in an electronic newsletter hosted by the Okanagan College Library. She was recognized for her exemplary contribution to the humanities when Okanagan College awarded her an honorary Doctor of Letters degree in 2004. Dr Deakin has earned her reputation as one of the great champions of children’s literature and we are greatly honoured that she has given us this wonderful opportunity to launch a new journal in her honour.
The reviewed books will be catalogued and processed as a non-circulating special collection, The Dr Andrea Deakin Collection of Children’s Literature, which will be stored at the University of Alberta’s Book and Record Depository, and made available to researchers in the reading room of the Bruce Peel Special Collections Library.
We welcome your comments and suggestions about our publication, so please send me an email if you wish to get in touch.
Best wishes for a pleasant summer, filled with splendid children’s books!Robert Desmarais