”May everyone really mean everyone!!

September 12, 2014


”May everyone really mean everyone!! This is the chosen motto for the 34th IBBY Congress. The message from the organisers is that people who read books are in contact with others. When differences in customs, religion, languages, lifestyles etc. occur, they do not make us vulnerable; they enhance us if we know something about the world outside our own.

Some 900 participants listened to Alicia Molina, Mexican writer and key note speaker when she on Thursday opened the congress. She focused on the importance of art and culture for the inclusion of children with disabilities. A truly free society accepts differences, and the concept of the normal – is what? Who is perfect? Nobody. Or everybody, if you stop comparing one person with another. Looking away is the ultimate form of excluding and making people invisible. And this goes for children too. Where are the disabled children in literature for young readers? What is not mentioned in books is not seen and hence not understood. “The experience of literature is the experience of others” says Octavio Paz. Literature is the most important thing mankind has invented to be able to take part in other people’s lives and we should use it, concluded Alicia Molina.

Akoss Aforii- Mensah, publisher from Ghana and member of the IBBY board, started her publishing career with books for children on environmental issues and is today focused on inclusion and children's rights.

Akoss Aforii- Mensah, publisher from Ghana and member of the IBBY board, started her publishing career with books for children on environmental issues and is today focused on inclusion and children’s rights.

Magnificent opening of the IBBY Congress

September 11, 2014

Jella Lepman, founder of IBBY.


Wally De Doncker

The grand opening of IBBY’s 34th World Congress in Mexico City began with the Director and author Wally De Doncker giving an honorable speech about IBBY’s founder Jella Lepman, who was convinced that books can build bridges of peace and understanding between people and countries. The opening continued with more speeches, dinner and finally, after jubilant applauses, acceptance speech of the the laureates of the Hans Christian Andersen Award, illustrator Roger Mello from Brazil, and author Nahoko Uehashi from Japan. The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award is represented by Director Helen Sigeland and jurymember Annika Edlund.



Meet Barbro Lindgren at Göteborg Book Fair September 25

September 10, 2014

Meet Barbro Lindgren at Göteborg Book Fair September 25

Barbro Lindgren will participate in the following program at the Göteborg Book Fair on Thursday September 25. The entire program is in Swedish.

10.30-10.50 Ung Scen, A-hallen
Conversation with author and jury member Mats Kempe.

11.00-11.30 Vi Läser, B06:59
Conversation with journalist and editor Yukiko Duke.

12.10-12.30 Dagens Nyheter, F01:39
Conversation with journalist Lotta Olsson.

13.30-13.55 Se människan, G-hallen plan 2
Conversation with journalist and producer Erika Hedenström.

14.15-14.25 Rabén & Sjögren, B05:22
Conversation with Moa Brunnberg, publisher at Rabén&Sjögren.

15.00-15.45 Seminar, K1
Conversation with literary scholar and jury member Maria Lassén-Seger.

The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award also arranges the following seminars at Ung Scen stage, Hall A.

Friday September 26
16.00-16.20 How do we promote children’s apetite for reading?
Conversation between Reza Saleh, Colette van Luik, Berättarministeriet and Helen Sigeland, Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.

Saturday September 27
13.00-13.20 Meet Boel Westin, new chairperson of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award Jury
A conversation between Professor Boel Westin and Lotta Brilioth Biörnstad, coordinator of Children’s Culture at the Swedish Arts Council.

You are most welcome to the exhibition of Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award at Göteborg Book Fair September 25-28, Ung scen, Hall A.

“A tribute to the game and the imagination” – new book by Barbro Lindgren

September 3, 2014

fula ankungen
She doesn´t really write books for children and young people anymore, she says. But the other week Nu leker vi den fula ankungen (Let´s play the Ugly Duckling) was launched by publishing house Rabén&Sjögren. Barbro Lindgren retells the classic H.C. Andersen-tale of the swan kid growing up in a duckfamily. But in this book, “a tribute to the game and the imagination”, two children with a lot of imagination are playing all the leading characters. The book is also the result of a new collaboration between Barbro Lindgren and Eva Lindström, one of Sweden’s most famous illustrators. Moa Brunnberg is publisher at Rabén&Sjögren:

A new by book by Barbro Lindgren despite of the face that she says she has stoped writing children’s book. Why is that? MB: You´ll have to ask Barbro about that. We are so happy that she continues to write for children.

How come Eva Lindström was chosen to illustrate the book? MB: Eva Lindström is a fantastic illustrator! It felt very natural for us to ask her to illustrate to book. She has an irresistible humor and possesses a visual narrative which is completely unique.

Barbro Lindgren will present the book at the Göteborg Book Fair on Thursday September 26 at 2:15 pm in Rabén&Sjögren’s stand.

Eva Lindström and Barbro Lindgren. Photo: Rebecka Uhlin

Eva Lindström and Barbro Lindgren. Photo: Rebecka Uhlin

IBBY’s library in Gaza destroyed

September 1, 2014

IBBY, International Board on Books for Young people, published the following news on August 12th:

The IBBY library in Beit Hanoun was housed in the building of the al-Ataa Society. In April 2013 the IBBY President visited the centre in Beit Hanoun.  He went with the President of IBBY Palestine, the President of the IBBY Trust and the IBBY Executive Director.  The IBBY library was a place of peace.  The children could go to read, draw or just play.  This visit was so impressive in many ways, not least the dedication of the librarians and the families who participated and encouraged their young ones to go. The library was a bright, clean and welcoming Place.

Today the library and the neighbourhood is a pile of rubble. The children’s homes have either been totally destroyed or partially destroyed. All of them have been displaced with their families.

Link to IBBY’s web here.

Photo: IBBY

Photo: IBBY

Photo: IBBY

Photo: IBBY

ALMA to the IBBY Congress in Mexico City

August 25, 2014

Cartel 2014 lema y logos agrandados_junio.2012
The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award will participate in the international IBBY Congress in Mexico City September 10-13. The Congress gathers more than 130 speakers from 50 different countries; including David Almond, Daniel Goldin, Monika Zak, María Teresa Andruetto, Agustín Fernández Paz and Alicia Molina.

– International reading promoters will be meet at the Congress in Mexico City, says Director Helen Sigeland. Participation is part of our effort to spread knowledge of the award and the laureates, and to establish valuable contacts.

IBBY The International Board on Books for Young People is a non-profit organization that represents an international network of people from all over the world who are committed to bringing books and children together. Today, it is composed of seventy seven National Sections.

Learn more about the works of the laureates

August 22, 2014
The Arrival (2006) by Shaun Tan.

The Arrival (2006) by Shaun Tan.

The Book of Everything (2006) by Guus Kuijer.

The Book of Everything (2006) by Guus Kuijer.

Summer is almost over and a new term has started for most students. Now is perfect timing to read a new book, so why not let our reading guides inspire you? The guides contain an introduction of the author or illustrator, description of the contents, a suggested interpretation and topics for discussions. They are meant to be used in book circles, in schools or just as inspiration for further reading. Twelve books by ten laureates are available and easy to download for free, from Kitty Crowther’s Alors? for younger children, to Sonya Hartnett’s psychological novels for young adults and Shaun Tan’s completely wordless work The Arrival.

Petit, the Monster by Isol

It´s Useful to Have a Duck and Nocturne – Dream Recipes by Isol

The Book of Everything by Guus Kuijer

The Arrival by Shaun Tan

Alors? by Kitty Crowther

Lénfant Racine by Kitty Crowther

The Devil Latch by Sonya Hartnett

The Ghost’s Child by Sonya Hartnett

The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson

Basu ni Notte by Ryôji Arai

Northen Lights by Philip Pullman

My Friend the Painter by Lygia Bojunga

Fly Away Home by Christine Nöstlinger

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Alors? (2006) by Kitty Crowther.

Alors? (2006) by Kitty Crowther.

For more tutorials, have a look at Sonya Hartnett’s web, link here. A tutorial for Shaun Tan’s latest book Rules of Summer can be found here.

Interview with Sonya Hartnett in the Australian

August 19, 2014
Photo: Stefan Tell

Photo: Stefan Tell

Australian author and 2008 ALMA laureate Sonya Harnett is in the limelight now with a new novel for adults, The Golden Boys, (Penguin), “an urban gothic tale”. The Australian’s Literary Editor Stephen Romei met her to talk about the new book, and the result of the interview was published last week. First part the interview here:

‘CHILDREN live in a very animal world, one that’s constantly on the verge of war,’’ says Sonya Hartnett. “You look at childhood and think, how do any of us survive that sort of shit? They are constantly on the edge of peril, particularly from each other. They attack each other mercilessly and I find that so…’’ She pauses to locate the right word. “Endearin­g.’’

In that single word choice, we have the enigma of Sonya Hartnett. She’s an award-winning writer for children and young adults who has no offspring of her own and doesn’t come across as particularly fond of kids, or people in general for that matter. Her YA and adult novels are spot-on in their empathetic depiction of the mind-clouding confusion, embarrassment and latent violence of childhood, yet she says she remembers little of her own childhood and nothing at all of her school years.

She creates vulnerable, volatile characters — 14-year-old Plum in the Miles Franklin-shortlisted Butterfly (2009), to take a recent example — and is a bit surprised when readers take them to heart and are upset by their (fictional) fates. “They do. In a way you think is very insane.’’

She published her first novel at 15 and in the three decades since has written acclaimed books for readers of all ages but says she’d much rather be a “flip woman”, buying, renovating and selling houses, an enterprise for which she has discovered a passion and a talent.

She laments, only half-jokingly, that she has not won enough literary awards, then skewers the newish Stella Prize for Australian women’s literature, adding: “If this means I’ll never win their prize, so be it.’’

She laughs a lot throughout our interview in an outer Melbourne pub — on a couple of occasions literally rolling over on the couch with mirth — but later, on playing back the tape, I real­ise her words are full of existential angst. “I feel we live in a world where nothing matters any more,’’ she says at one point.

Hartnett loves animal similes. In her new novel, Golden Boys, which will be published later this month, there’s a wonderful scene early on when two 10-year-old boys, one fragile, one resilient, meet for the first time: “It’s like a jack russell being introduced to a budgerigar: in ­theory they could be friends, but in practice sooner or later there will be bright feathers on the floor.’’ Elsewhere in the novel children are likened to birds, fish, possums and giraffes, and adults to tigers, lions, wolves, sharks, monsters.

“I’ve always been aware of the fact that humans are animals,’’ she says, “and it puzzles me why we don’t rejoice more in that, why in this day and age we still quietly don’t like the idea that we are just animals. There is a beautiful logic in the way an animal operates.’’

It’s only logical, therefore, to wonder what sort of animal Hartnett might be. A Cheshire cat, perhaps, grinning and grinning and expounding an uneasy philosophy. But when the question is put, she doesn’t have an easy answer. “I am not sure what animal I would associate myself with … something stubborn and solitary, squat and easily annoyed. A badger?’’

HARNETT, 46, is the eldest of six children (four girls, two boys). Her mother was a mater­nity nurse and her father had a series of jobs, including as a proofreader with Melbourne newspapers. The family grew up in Mont Albert, in Melbourne’s east, and unlike her adult experience, they stayed put. Indeed, her mother still lives in the home in which Hartnett grew up. ‘‘Well, she still lives in it in the sense she lives on the same block of land, but they knocked down the house and built a new one,’’ she says.

“I actually found that a hard thing to forgive, that she knocked down our family home, and I don’t know that I ever will really resolve myself to that situation. Often when I think about going to see Mum I still visualise that house.’’

Read full article here


Opening of Lava Library and Workshop

August 15, 2014
The new area at Lava.

The new area at Lava.

Managing Director Benny Fredriksson and Madeleine Sjöstedt, Stockholm County, open Lava Library and Workshop.

Managing Director Benny Fredriksson and Madeleine Sjöstedt, Stockholm County, open Lava Library and Workshop.

This week the Lava Library and Workshop at Kulturhuset (House of Cultre) Stadsteatern opened – a brand new library dedicated for young people aged 14-25, containing space for creative workshops and a brand new library with 6,000 new volumes. So apart from reading and borrowing books you can submit project proposals, seek cultural fundings, listen to your favorite author, test the 3D printer, go to a concert or make your own podcast in an audio workshop, screen printing or produce exhibitions for the Lava Gallery. In a press release earlier this week Managing Director at Kulturhuset Stadsteatern, Benny Fredriksson, stated:

– This is one of the most important initiatives that Kulturhuset Stadsteatern does. Reading is a priority for the entire community.

Photos from Kulturhuset Stadsteatern.

Detail from the Lava Library.

Detail from the Lava Library.

“Tove Jansson was a universal genius”

August 12, 2014
Astrid Lindgren and Tove Jansson 1958.

Astrid Lindgren and Tove Jansson 1958.

Not so many have missed that Finish artist, author and illustrator Tove Jansson would have celebrated 100 years last Saturday, August 9th. Seven years younger than Astrid Lindgren, they both were considered to be two of the Swedish-speaking children’s literature’s biggest names.

Boel Westin, new Chairman of the ALMA jury, is internationally well known for her studies of Tove Jansson, and is fascinated by Tove Jansson’s aesthetic diversity:

– Tove Jansson was a universal genius with a sumptuous expression longing and she worked in a lot of different genres as a writer and artist, she told the ALMA blog a few weeks ago. In her works, there is both passion and emotion, politics and ideology, and through the Moomin world she has developed a philosophy and various attitudes to life. We can recognize ourselves and not the least our surroundings in the stories. They can interpret the world around us.

Tove Jansson in her studio.

Tove Jansson in her studio.

Tove Jansson died in June 2001 at age of 86, but her works is a great inspiration still today. In an interview for Swedish Television Boel Westin point out her feministic attitude:

– When I was going through her ​​letters I found out that she actually formulate feminist positions for herself during the 1940s. It’s about her role as a woman in relation to love and in relation with men.

– She wants to live independently and create art. Work was the most important thing, says Boel Westin.

The Tove Jansson 100 year’s celebration will go on during the entire 2014. More information on the anniversary web “Tove 100”, and for further reading the BBC’s Tove Jansson feature, made earlier this year and this article from the British Library.

The Moomins. ©Moomin Characters

The Moomins. ©Moomin Characters


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