Critical Approaches to Food in Children’s Literature
Edited by Kara K. Keeling, Scott T. Pollard
Routledge – 2009 – 276 pages
Critical Approaches to Food in Children’s Literature is the first scholarly volume on the topic, connecting children's literature to the burgeoning discipline of food studies. Following the lead of historians like Mark Kurlansky, Jeffrey Pilcher and Massimo Montanari, who use food as a fundamental node for understanding history, the essays in this volume present food as a multivalent signifier in children’s literature, and make a strong argument for its central place in literature and literary theory.
Written by some of the most respected scholars in the field, the essays between these covers tackle texts from the nineteenth century (Rudyard Kipling’s Kim) to the contemporary (Dave Pilkey’s Captain Underpants series), the U.S. multicultural (Asian-American) to the international (Ireland, Brazil, Mexico). Spanning genres such as picture books, chapter books, popular media, and children’s cookbooks, contributors utilize a variety of approaches, including archival research, cultural studies, formalism, gender studies, post-colonialism, post-structuralism, race studies, structuralism, and theology. Innovative and wide-ranging, Critical Approaches to Food in Children’s Literature provides us with a critical opportunity to puzzle out the significance of food in children’s literature.
Lisa Rowe Fraustino (Eastern Connecticut State University): The Apple of her Eye: The Ideology Mothers Feed Us in Bestselling Picture Books
Lan Dong, Eating Different, Looking Different: Food in Asian-American Childhood
Karen Macnamara, "The Potato Eaters
Genny Ballard (Centre College): Food and Female Role Development in Senel Paz’s Las Hermanas
Richard Vernon, Sugar or Spice?: An Example of Food and Gender Identity from Brazilian Children’s Literature
James Everett (Mississippi College): Oranges in Paradise: The Orange as Symbol of Escape and Loss in Literature about Children
Robert M. Kachur (McDaniel College): A Consuming Tradition: Candy and Judeo-Christian Identity Formation in Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Martha Satz (Southern Methodist University): Prevailing Culinary and Metaphysical Conditions: Meatballs and Reality
Annette Wannamaker, ‘The Attack of the Inedible Hunk!’: Consuming Grotesque, Abject, and Monstrous Food in the Captain Underpants Series
Kara K. Keeling and Scott T. Pollard have published articles on food and children’s literature in Children’s Literature in Education and Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit: A Children’s Classic at 100. They are working on their own book-length study of the topic. Both teach in the English Department at Christopher Newport University, Keeling specializing in children’s and young adult literature, and Pollard in world literature and critical theory.