Perry Nodelman

Biography

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 over a hundred articles in scholarly journals and chapters in books on various aspects of children’s literature, many of them focusing on literary theory as a context for understanding books for children. I’ve also written four books on the subject: Words about Pictures: The Narrative Art of Children’s Picture Books; The Pleasures of Children’s Literature, a textbook used in universities across North America and elsewhere (I wrote the third edition of Pleasures in collaboration with Mavis Reimer); The Hidden Adult: Defining Children’s Literature; and most recently, Alternative Narratives in Fiction for Young Readers: Twice Upon a Time, a study of novels that switch between the stories of different characters (Palgrave Macmillan 2017). As a co-editor with Naomi Hamer and Mavis Reimer, I also recently published More Words about Pictures: Current Research on Picture Books and Visual/Verbal Texts for Young People (Routledge, 2017), a collection of articles in celebration of the publication of Words about Pictures three decades earlier. Words about Pictures has been translated into Greek and Chinese for use in China. Pleasures has been translated into Chinese for use in China and Taiwan and also into Korean. The Hidden Adult has been translated into Chinese for use in China.

I have been Editor of two academic journals, the Children’s Literature Association Quarterly for five years (1983-87), and CCL/LCJ, the Canadian children’s literature journal for five years (2004-2008). I have also been President of the Children’s Literature Association.

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, Behaving Bradley, a comic satire, and 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. In collaboration with Carol Matas I’ve also written a series of four fantasy novels for young adults: Of Two Minds, More Minds, Out of Their Minds, and A Meeting of Minds, and more recently, the Ghosthunter trilogy: The Proof that Ghosts Exist, The Curse of the Evening Eye, and The Hunt for the Haunted Elephant.

Current Projects

I am currently working on Posthuman approaches to texts such as A.A. Milne’s Pooh books and picture books that tell stories about fish. I have another project about depictions of Indigenous people in Barrie’s Peter Pan and later texts based on it. As a result of my recent experience as a volunteer guide first at The Winnipeg Art Gallery and then at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, I am also in the early stages of a project focused on picture books that depict children visiting art galleries.

I am also working on Little Lord Stink, a novel about the last expedition of the explorer Henry Hudson.

Featured Publications

Non-Fiction

Fiction