Archive for January, 2010

Happy Birthday Moomin – you haven’t aged a bit!

January 29, 2010

Yesterday Tove Janssons big-bellied troll celebrated his 65th birthday in Stockholm. Hostess of the evening was Sophia Jansson, niece to the creator of Moomin, and today the CEO of Moomin Characters Ltd.

Hundreds of Stockholmers and came to pay tribute to Moomin, among them TV-presenter and celebrity Mark Levengood who, just like Tove Jansson, is Finland-Swedish (i.e. born in Finland but with Swedish as native language). He interviewed Sophia Jansson about her relationship to her world-famous aunt and the creation of Moomin, who first appeared in the book: The Moomins and the Great Flood in 1945. Little My was also present, angry that she wasn’t the center of attention.

With the pioneering work of Tove Jansson and Astrid Lindgren, Scandinavian children were introduced to a new type of children’s literature where the child, its needs and rights were in focus. Today the children of Scandinavia are as familiar with Moomin as with the Brother’s Lionheart.

The Award Office will celebrate Moomin by rereading the novels, delightful reads for young and old! (And possibly by dressing as our favourite Moomin characters over the week-end…)



New and Traditional Illustrations World Wide

January 27, 2010

Bibliodyssey is a beautiful blog that does great work  showcasing different traditions, teqniques and themes in illustration and book art world wide. Mixing the historical with the contemporary and the provocative with the aestetic it is a great site for your daily dose of interesting and inspiring images, as well as informative texts on the subjects. A few examples below, more on  


Judging by the Cover

January 26, 2010

We all know that you shoudn’t judge a book by it’s cover…But that doesn’t mean it is a crime to love all aspects of the book: the feel, the smell, and the great cover designs – as well as the beautiful words and interesting illustrations. The Book Cover Archive collects book covers – looking through their site is a great inspiration.  Sadly, children’s and young adult books are few in their collection. Why ? We don’t know, but we hope someone will do something about it.  In the meantime: check out some examples below, and more on their site 

Trilogies That Were Worth the Wait

January 26, 2010

Imogen Russel Williams discusses trilogies in children’s literature on the Guardian’s Books Blog: the pros and cons – using His Dark Materials by ALMA recipient Philip Pullman as a shining example of a pro, of course.

Inkheart, His Dark Materials, Peter Dickinson’s Changes, and Jonathan Stroud’s Bartimaeus are all superb, and all the better for coming in three volumes. And rather than starting a series which spools away into infinity, it’s often good to know that you’ll be left wanting more at the end of a third book, not being gradually disillusioned by an increasingly shopworn formula.”

However: for those of us who’d rather read more about the Dark Materials world than “be left wanting more” she lights a beacon of hope: “Pullman has been working indefatigably on a full-length novel set in the His Dark Materials universe, The Book of Dust, for several years.”

If you’re anxious for more Pullman updates, check out his webpage for his latest news, and for his own illustrations to the trilogy (see example below.)


We are making a list…and checking it twice

January 25, 2010

It’s that time of the year: time to send out the invites to the announcement of this year’s Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. Right now we’re busy checking to make sure we have the right adresses to all of our friends around the world. IF you are aware that you have moved lately (kid’s lit people seem to move A LOT) and want to be certain not to miss your invite – do not hesitate to let us know at literatureaward (at)…

And of course: those of you who cannot travel to Vimmerby or Bologna – please follow the announcement online – 13.00 CET, March 24 at

An Hour for Haiti

January 25, 2010

Our thoughts are with the people of Haiti at this time. A few days ago, the Award Office received an email through the IBBY (International Board of Books for Young People) network, which really throws their needs into focus. Please take the time to read about Children in Crisis in Haiti below – and join us in sending a contribution to the network if you can. 

Through the Children in Crisis fund, IBBY have been working in Haiti since January 2009: trying to give children better access to books, reading and other things to improve their quality of life. When Jocelyne Troulit, who manages Children in Crisis in Haiti went missing after the recent events, we all waited with baited breath. However – Jocelyne was one of the lucky ones. Her e-mail, sent last week, serves to remind us of the need of Haitian children.

The Universite Caraibe and most universities in Port au Prince are completely destroyed. Most schools too.  Thousands of school children and university students are under those buildings.  Many cadavers have been removed from the streets by the state today.  We have survivors.  Thousands of houses have collapsed.  Rich and poor have lost families and houses.  I cannot describe the horrors.

I have seen so many corpses today, many of my own students are dead or injured, I don’t want to describe it.

I hope to be able to coordinate some help next week.  For now, we have to bury the dead.  The children of Haiti will need some psychological help and bibliotherapy will certainly bring some healing to them.  Schools will not reopen until September or October.  The buildings and the teachers are not there.   We will have to find other places, many churches have also been destroyed.

Thank you again for your support.

Most of the IBBY books that were in storage at the Universite or at the schools have been destroyed.  I asked today if I could find them in the debris, but I understood the people were more concerned about the corpses that started to smell and to find some survivors.

We stay positive, but for most of us we will need strong will power.

 IBBY Haiti: Jocelyne Troulit, Port au Prince, Haiti, 16 January 2010

The employees of the Swedish Arts Council have started a collection for Children in Crisis, with employees giving the equivalent of one hours wages to the fund. Please join us in trying to send some small measure of help and relief to the children of Haiti.

The Nominations Process Begins Again

January 21, 2010

Deciding on a winner for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award is a long process, it takes the jury the better part of a year to consider the nominees and discuss back and forth. That is why, even though the 2010 award recipient hasn’t been announced yet, it is already time to start the process of nominating candidates for next year’s award!

This week the Award Office puts the invitations to nominate for the 2011 award in the mail. The jury has approved a list of more than 300 experts and organisations world wide who will now be able to make their recomendations for next year’s award.

Each nominating body is allowed to nominate four candidates, two from their own country, and two others. For the 2011 award, as always before: authors, illustrators, oral storytellers and promoters of reading are eligible. The award is given in recognition of an entire ouevre, and may not be given post-humously.

A complete list of nominating bodies is available at the award website.

Some important dates for nominating bodies:

February 1: The online nomination SHOULD be up and running, our technicians are working on it as we speak
March 24: The winner or winners of the 2010 award will be announced
May 15: nominations deadline

Waiting for the Wild Things

January 21, 2010

Everyone seems to be buzzing about the Spike Jones movie Where the Wild Things Are, based of course on the beloved picture book by Maurice Sendak. Sendak shared the first Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award with Austrian author Christine Nöstlinger  in 2003. 

In Sweden (where the Award Office and its employees live) the premiere has been delayed several times. But now finally, we are hoping to be able to go see it on January 29. Until then, we settle for re-reading the original, and stealing a peek at the trailer every now and then.

Over at our website, you can find lots of other tips on great books by Maurice Sendak. Also, you can find a reader’s guide to Where the Wild Things Are by Ulla Rhedin – professor of children’s literature and memeber of the award jury (unfortunately the reader’s guides are only available in Swedish – so far).

Have you seen the movie yet? What are your thoughts?

Rebel With a Cause

January 21, 2010

Astrid Lindgren might be most famous for having written the beloved stories of the very rebellious Pippi Longstocking. When the first Pippi book was published in Sweden it caused quite the uproar: all sorts of taboos were broken when Astrid Lindgren encouraged children to be wild and wilful… But Astrid Lindgren did not only write about rebels: she was one herself, in a way. Through her fiction, and using the position given to her as a revered author, she pushed the limits of children’s rights in Sweden.  

That is why the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award is always on the look-out for new, brave voices defending the rights of children. Take a look at the list of nominees for the 2010 award: it is full of authors, illustrators, oral storytellers and organisations who write, paint and work to give children better books and a better world. On March 24 the jury will decide which of these very worthy candidates will be this years winner! Keep a look-out here and on our website for the news…

Meanwhile: looking around the web, and while travelling, we are always finding great new pictures of Pippi Longstocking – it seems the young rebel lives forever. Enjoy!

Don’t Miss the Latest News

January 21, 2010

Do you want to stay up to date on the latest news from the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award? A handy hint is to add this blogg to your RSS-reader. Sounds difficult? Not at all: we will take you through the steps.

– An RSS-feed is like a subsciption. Instead of going out to buy the paper (visiting this blog to see if we have added new info) you get the paper delivered to your home (you get a notification on your computer when we have a new post).

– How to do it? Just choose your preference under “Subscribe” in the right-hand menue.

– If you get tired of us? Don’t worry: you can easily unsubscribe to our feed. Also: we promise not to blog too much, and only with very interesting information!