Archive for July, 2010

Spirit of innovation!

July 29, 2010

Better City, Better Life is the theme of the World Expo 2010, currently on show in Shanghai. With over 225 countries participating and 70 million visitors expected, it has already been dubbed the largest world exposition ever.

The theme for Sweden’s participation in Expo 2010 is “Spirit of Innovation”. And who can be more representative of the Swedish innovation spirit than Pippi Longstocking?

Since 1945, Swedish author Astrid Lindgren’s character Pippi Longstocking has inspired children all over the world, and encouraged them to be strong, have fun and to believe in themselves. In China, the world’s strongest girl is not yet a national celebrity, but over 50 000 Pippi Longstocking books have been sold and the Swedish director Staffan Götestam has staged a Pippi play on various theatres in Shanghai and Beijing, acclaimed by the critics.

On the 4th of August, Children’s Literature will be will be even more present  in the Swedish Pavilion, as the seminar In the footsteps of Astrid Lindgren: Contemporary Children’s Literature in China and Sweden will take place.

The speakers are, among others, the ALMA-nominated candidates QIN Wenjun from China and Ulf Stark from Sweden.  Professor BU Wei will speak about how Pippi Longstocking subverts tradition and senior lecturer Janina Orlov will talk about current trends in Swedish Children’s Literature. The aim of the program is to exchange experiences and learn from each other’s traditions of children’s literature.

The program is organised by the Swedish Expo Committee, The Swedish Arts Council, The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, China Children Publishing group and the Chinese section of IBBY.

The award office promises to report from the event in Shanghai!

Food for thought

July 27, 2010

The Village Voice has listed their 10 best food-themed children’s books. In company with The very hungry caterpillar and The little house on the Prairie, you’ll find Maurice Sendak’s surreal and controversial book In the night kitchen.

The link between children’s literature and food is undeniable – just think of Pippi Longstocking flipping pancakes and baking ginger cookies (prepared very conviniently directly on the floor), the picinic extravaganzas of the Famous Five (a cold tongue sandwiche suddenly seemed apealing!). Or the The Hatter’s mad Tea-party for that matter.

You can read the full Village Voice list here. Do you miss any books that should have made the list?

Dreadful Things Happen

July 26, 2010

This fall the Rosenbach Library and Museum in Philadelphia shows Maurice Sendak’s gruesome illustrations of the classic folktales by brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. Maurice Sendak has been admirer of those stories all his life because of their mix of funny, cruel and strange. “That’s why the children loved them,” said Sendak, “Because they were real life. Dreadful things happen. What more could you want?”

The exhibition is on display until November 7th.

Recommended reading

July 22, 2010

To learn more about what inspires this year’s award winner Kitty Crowther, the Award Office recommends this interview! It was made by Richochet-Jeunes before the announcement in March this year. In the interview Kitty Crowther mentions the work of Tove Jansson, Beatrix Potter and Astrid Lindgren as sources of inspiration.