Picturebook conference, Day One

Okay, technically Day Two, but we were too lazy/ tired to write yesterday!

A small Cambridge contingent - Faye, Zahra, Eve, Clementine and Ross, not to mention, of course, Prof N - are currently in Stockholm for the lovely Picturebook Conference organised by Elina Druker - 'Picturebooks as meeting-places'.

And a meeting-place it is indeed - between students and professors, between postmodern picturebook pals and ebooks enthusiasts, between iconotexts  (cf Kristin Hallberg, whom everyone met for the first time with the same cry: 'I'VE CITED YOU!') ancient and recent. Meeting-places around, of course, a lot of coffee. And some meatballs.

But before the conference started, Faye and Clementine, uber-sleep-deprived (we'd woken up at 2.30 am to catch our plane) joined forces with Maria to go to the Children's Literature Museum. Because of course we had to.


Because you CAN'T be ALIVE in this world and know that there is a children's literature museum like this in it and you haven't been to it yet.

It has whole houses and villages from children's books recreated lifesize! (well, child-sized).

It has a train of stories!

And... Villa Villekula, of course. Can you spot the three children's literature scholars having a bit too much fun before a conference?

And the children's literature scholar imitating her favourite freckled childhood heroine?

Then Eve, Faye and Ross had a whole day of PhD-workshopping - getting good experience in peer-reading, peer-reviewing, and being polite to peers while still communicating constructive feedback. Prof N., meanwhile, was busy nursing a very stiff neck with a microwaved pillow full of wheat.

We then had drinks at the Children's Book Institute, for there is such a thing - and then headed for the Pelikan restaurant, recommended by Prof N's numerous children who clearly have excellent taste - Faye in particular seemed to enjoy the enormous pork knuckle she ate in more or less three minutes.

We managed to get a picture at T+1second

The happily Pelikaned team - Eve, Zahra, Ross, Clem, Faye

Today - Friday - was the first day of the conference proper - with me (Clem) first in line to talk about -

The rest of the day took us on another train of stories and theories via the jungles of non-fiction science books for children, the loops and puns of wimmelbooks, the darkness of Varmint, the labyrinths of Baghdad, and flotsam and woods and neighbours and neighbouresses, and a lot of ecocriticism.

Tonight was, for Eve and me, a conference dinner full of laughter and steamy gossip with Elina, Mia, Sara and Anna - while Ross was making new friends:

And Faye and Zahra were patiently waiting for Eve and me in their IKEA bunk bed in our shared room of the Best Hostel (the Best is a lie; there are horny drunk boys outside our room,who even walked in to 'say hello'). Look at their cute little faces (Faye and Zahra, not the boys) -

Tomorrow, Day Two of the conference!

In the meantime, earplugs and sleep.

The Cambridge contigent x

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