Welcome to Swampish, the blog of the University of Florida’s Center for Children’s Literature and Culture. The Center is devoted to the exploration of children’s literature and culture through critical and creative investigations, symposia, seminars, and the development of innovative ways to make the interdisciplinary research and concerns of our members available to the general public.
Swampish provides a wide ranging look at this vital area of our cultural life, brought to you by UF graduate students and faculty as well as Gainesville community members who work in various ways with the wide world of children’s literature and culture. The blog features reviews of children’s materials as well as examinations of children’s culture on a global, national, and local scale. Speaking of local, Swampish is very fond of our home here in Gainesville, Florida, and will be sure to highlight the many people, places, and things that make our community so rich in children’s culture. Indeed, interesting things are always turning up in the swamp. Here is just a sampling of what you can find here:
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’ The Yearling
While we can never quite forget our proximity to that ever-persistent packager of childhood (), we live closer to Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’ homestead in Cross Creek, where she wrote the Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Yearling (1938) about a 12-year-old boy and his pet fawn living in the Florida scrub. The mug-ringed, scribble-ridden, cigarette burned manuscript pages of the novel, which reveal the rumination, revision, and restlessness required to craft a ‘children’s classic,’ provide the background of this blog.
The Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature
The Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature on UF campus contains its own store of treasures, including the supremely surreal 1969 Salvador Dali illustrated edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, several limited edition works illustrated by Arthur Rackham, and comparative editions of Robinson Crusoe, Pilgrim’s Progress, and Aesop’s Fables.
The University of Florida
The University of Florida is also home to many scholars and storytellers who have produced marvelous works exploring children’s literature and culture. Check out the books above for some examples of the diverse work that happens in the swamp.
So explore the swamp for a while! And see our official site here, and connect with us on Facebook here.
“Yearling.” Courtesy of University of Florida Digital Collection (UFDC). Holding Institution: University of Florida, http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00076709/00001?search=yearling
“Who Stole the Tarts.” Courtesy of the Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature.
“Aesop’s Fables.” Courtesy of University of Florida Digital Collection (UFDC). Holding Institution: University of Florida, http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00053418/00001/1j?search=aesop%27s+%3dfables