Researching the World’s Longest-Running Children’s Magazine

Billiken - Jungle Tales

Argentina’s Billiken is the world’s longest-running children’s magazine and will be celebrating one hundred years of publication in November this year. The Billiken Centenary Project draws on different fields including Children’s Literature, History of Education, Childhood Studies and Graphic Design to understand how the changes in the magazine over the years both reflect and shape the perceived role of children in Argentine society. 

Lauren Rea recently took her project’s findings to Argentina where she was invited to give two guest lectures to students and academics over two faculties of the University of Buenos Aires. The lectures were attended by over 450 people linked to the Graphic Design and Publishing degree programmes.
She was also interviewed for the Explorador Cultural programme on Radio Cultura and the recording can be found here.

Bilingual Children’s Publishing

As part of Lauren’s AHRC project she has overseen the publication of Horacio Quiroga’s Cuentos de la selva/Jungle Tales as the first bilingual edition offered by Billiken’s companion book series, Biblioteca Billiken. Cuentos de la selva, arguably the foundational text of Latin American children’s literature, had never previously been published by Biblioteca Billiken as this series traditionally published universal literature adapted for children rather than children’s literature. Lauren’s research has traced the connections between Quiroga and Billiken’s founder, Constancio C. Vigil, from shared publishing networks in their native Uruguay, to Quiroga writing a series of ten unsigned stories for Billiken in 1924. For the launch of Cuentos de la selva/Jungle Tales Lauren led an event with children at a bilingual school in Buenos Aires.

Dr Lauren Rea Jungle Tales

Billiken Centenary Events in the UK

In June Lauren will be welcoming the Billiken’s director, Euhen Matarozzo, to the UK. They will be speaking at academic events in Edinburgh, Belfast and London, reflecting on how the historical research on Billiken is informing plans for the magazine’s future beyond print. They will also attend the Children’s Media Conference in Sheffield and will speak at a Public Engagement event to celebrate the Billiken centenary hosted by the Argentine Embassy at the Ambassador’s Residence in London.

Tags: Argentina, children's culture, bilingual publishing, Billiken magazine