Like so many scholars of children’s literature, I came to children’s lit- erature through teaching. Trained as a Victorianist, I saw a gap in my department’s course offerings and somewhat naively offered to fill it with a children’s literature course, banking on my work on childhood in the Victorian novel and my pedagogical skills to carry me through. The Children’s Literature Association and Children’s Literature were my mentors during those years—as they continue to be—teaching me how to teach and think about children’s literature both as a genre and as a course of undergraduate study.

Francelia Butler’s entrée into the field was somewhat similar. With a doctorate in Renaissance literature, she entered the field not, initially, as a scholar of it, but as one asked to teach large lecture courses to aspiring teachers: her popular course is recalled by others in this fo- rum. Unlike me, however, she had neither a journal nor a professional association to mentor her; instead, she helped found them. The story of her impact on children’s literature scholarship, despite that perhaps inauspicious beginning, is outlined throughout this forum, especially in the essays by Margaret Higonnet and Peter Hunt; here, I want to take up Roberta Seelinger Trites’s challenge in her forum piece to think more seriously about Butler’s, and the journal’s, contributions to children’s literature pedagogy as well.

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