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Cécile Boulaire conference – Roubaix – 1 June 2023

Cécile Boulaire conference – Roubaix – 1 June 2023

Cécile Boulaire
Logo Médiathèque de Roubaix
In partnership with
Last book published

"What literature for little ones?"

Registration essential (see bottom of article)
subject to availability.

On 18 March 2022, we invited Cécile Boulaire to give a conference on “Reading stories to babies”. It was a fruitful, dense and delightful talk, which prompted us to renew our invitation. We are delighted to welcome her to Roubaix for a conference on literature for young children:

Thursday 1st June
9.30am – 12.00pm
Auditorium of the Archives nationales du monde du travail
78, boulevard du Général Leclerc – Roubaix
Registration required

In partnership with the Médiathèque de Roubaix La Grand Plage as part of the 30-year anniversary of the early childhood programme, celebrated from 30 May to 4 June (programme HERE).

“What literature for little ones?

Since the 1980s, people have become familiar with the idea that “books are good for babies”, thanks in particular to the media coverage of discoveries in developmental psychology.

Associations such as ACCES (which coined this slogan, also the title of a book by Marie Bonnafé) encouraged new ways of reading to young children. They have led to the creation of a large number of associations, such as Lis avec moi (La Sauvegarde du Nord), whose readers have been invited into early childhood centres, particularly the PMI (Mother and Child Health Centres).

At the same time, public libraries and media libraries have opened up to early childhood, devising places and facilities to welcome babies, and adding to their collections.

Publishing saw this as such an opportunity that, by the 2000s, books for young children had become a lucrative “niche market”. Today, there is an abundance of ‘baby’ books on offer, and if we add to this the games books and all the ‘augmented’ book objects (especially audio books), we can imagine young parents and early years professionals being swamped.

But in this field, as in others, not everything is created equal. Recommendation sites help to sort children’s picture books by age or theme, but very few reviews take a literary approach to these first books. And yet they are indeed a literary debut. What literary criteria could we use to assess the literary quality of these picture books for toddlers?”

Cécile Boulaire is a qualified lecturer at the University of Tours (InTRu laboratory). Her main area of research is children’s picture books. She presents her research and thoughts on her personal blog:
She is editor-in-chief of the journal STRENÆ – Research into children’s books and cultural objects.
She is also a member of the board of the Livre passerelle association ( French department of Indre et Loire).
Latest publication: Lire et choisir ses albums, petit manuel à l’usage des grandes personnes, Didier Jeunesse, 2018. (“Reading and choosing picture books, a little manual for grown-ups”)

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