Archive for December, 2010

Step into the book!

December 18, 2010

Tove Jansson’s timeless classic picture book The Book about Moomin, Mymble and little My was first published in 1952. In it, the reader is asked what happened next? and is invited to follow the Mymble and little My through the holes in the pages.

Now, fans of the book can literally climb though the holes of the book – in the exhibition at Kulturhuset in Stockholm (open until 29th of May). The exhibition coincides with the celebration of Moomin 65th birthday, which makes Moomin the same age as another Nordic children’s book superstar Pippi Longstocking.

Here are some pictures taken at the opening yesterday:

CJ Picture Book Awards – Kitty Crowther wins New Publication category

December 16, 2010

“Picture books, in the present era, enjoy a status as a cultural form to be enjoyed by people of all ages. It is a precious and versatile art that has already left the confines of paper behind, shattering the boundaries of its own genre and fusing with various other forms of art and imagery. The creation of this new aesthetic has earned a place for picture books as one of the most prominent cultural icons of the 21st century.”

These are the words of the CJ Culture Foundation in Korea, which annually awards illustration and picture books in two categories: New Publications and Illustration. This year (the 3rd year of the Award) 447 entries from 29 countries were submitted to the New Publications category and 1110 entries from 37 countries in the Illustration category.

Among the five winners in the New Publications category we find Le Petit Homme et Dieu, the new book by this year’s Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award recipient: Kitty Crowther. Congratulations Kitty!

In the Illustration category, Gabriel Pacheco (Mexico), nominated to the 2011 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, is one of the winners. See all winners here!

Also, if you are planning to spend Christmas in Korea, all finalists (100 picture books in the New Publications category and 50 illustrations) are exhibited at the Korea Foundation Cultural Center until 28th of December.

Pullman reads Chekhov

December 13, 2010

The Guardian presents a new podcast series appropriately called Twelve Tales for Christmas. Each day, until Christmas, a writer reads and discusses his/her favorite short story. Featured writers include Julian Barnes (reads Hemingway), Helen Dunmore (reads O’Connor) and Jeanette Winterson (reads Calvino). Opening the series is the 2005 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award winner Philip Pullman, who reads Anton Chekhov’s story The Beauties.

About the story, Philip Pullman says: Chekhov’s genius lies in the way he manages to convey with such apparent effortlessness a profound sense of the mystery of beauty, and of the sadness of those who observe and think. The narrator of this apparently inconsequential tale fixes on exactly the right details, from a myriad of possible ones, to strike at the heart. It’s a masterpiece of minimalism.

Find the podcast series here and enjoy a new story every day until christmas!

President Obama lets the wild rumpus start!

December 12, 2010
At an easter function by the White House, President Obama read Where the wild things are by Maurice Sendak aloud to children gathered.
Reading picture books aloud to a group of children is not so easily done. They are best shared sitting next to each other, so both the child and the reader can simultaneously enjoy the text and illustration. That said, President Obama gets an A for effort as he – with much amusement – reads the story. Just watch as he “stares without even blinking once”!
In this next video, President Obama says reading books given to him by his mother laid the foundation for his future success. And when asked which was his favorite book as a child, he answers: “My favorite book, which continues to be one of my favorite books:  Where the wild things are. I love that book, and my wife still thinks I’m Max.”
Maurice Sendak was the first winner of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2003 (together with Christine Nöstlinger). His instant classic Where the wild things are changed the picture book forever.
As the jury’s citation read:
Maurice Sendak is the modern picture-book’s portal figure. He is unparalleled in developing the picture-book’s unique possibilities of narrating – to the joy of constant new picture-book illustrators. Furthermore, he is one of the most courageous researchers of the most secret recesses of childhood – to the delight of constant new readers.

New Exhibition: Papiria!

December 12, 2010

Papiria is the new exhibition at Kinderboekenmuseum in den Haag.

Here children can meet their favorite writers, illustrators and book characters such as Dolfje Weerwolfje, Minoes and – of course – Pippi Longstocking. Children also have the opportunity to create stories, rap lyrics or cartoons etc of their own.

Laterna Magica

December 12, 2010

For the seventh time, Fotokino, arranges Laterna Magica: a myriad of expositions of film, illustration, graphic design and art in Marseille, Aix-en-Provence and Toulon.

Guest of honor is Benoit Jacques. His work ranging from illustration, sculpture, film and embroidery is shown in the  special exposition Errances, égarements et tergiversations.

The film Le Banc, by Kitty Crowther and Bruno Salamone, is part of the Mobilis in mobile-exposition. The film was shown at this year’s Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award ceremony in June – and can be seen below!

Laterna Magica is on until Christmas Eve!

La littérature jeunesse avec Kitty Crowther

December 9, 2010

Now it’s time to brush up your French and listen to this very interesting interview with Kitty Crowther from Radio Télévision Belge Francophone

New titles in Serbian

December 7, 2010

We always like to report new translations of Astrid Lindgren’s books! Today we received two new books from Serbian publisher Kreativni Centar: Lillebror och Karlsson på taket and Emil i Lönneberga.

The Emil book uses the original Björn Berg illustrations, as found in the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award logo, whereas the Karlsson book is illustrated anew by Маја Веселиновић.

The Jacqueline Wilson Award in Children’s Literature Research

December 5, 2010

The first winner of the Jacqueline Wilson Award in Children’s Literature Research was recently announced at Homerton College, University of Cambridge. Professor Maria Nikolajeva, former member of The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award jury, presented the award to Clémentine Beauvais for her master thesis Training the philosopher-king: Platonic ideology in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.

The award has been made possible through a donation by one of Britain’s most loved children’s book authors, Jacqueline Wilson. It shall be given annually to the best masters thesis in children’s literature submitted at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, within each academic year.

Here’s an excerpt from Jacqueline Wilson’s speech, read at the ceremony:

It’s wonderful that studying Children’s Literature is now a perfectly viable and respectable academic option. All of us grey-haired surviving practitioners of Children’s Literature remember the strange attitudes of the past. Even though the 1960s are considered the Golden Age of Children’s Literature, somehow those brilliant writers were considered to be indulging in some decorous harmless hobby – like knitting woolly animals or constructing miniature buildings out of matchsticks.

I had my first children’s novel published in the early eighties. Let us say the reception was under-whelming. For many subsequent years I worked hard producing at least two children’s novels a year. I had good reviews but very modest sales. I lost count of the number of well-meaning friends who said in an encouraging manner, “Perhaps you’ll be able to get an adult novel published one day.”

It was my friend Philip Pullman who remarked that no-one ever tells a Paediatrician that they might be able to work with adults one day. But Philip, and Michael Morpurgo and Anne Fine and many others kept on writing specially for children – and at last we’re all recognised as participators in our chosen genre. The wondrous Harry Potter phenomenon has changed the way Children’s Literature is perceived. You can now become rich and famous if you are a children’s writer, so inevitably you are taken more seriously by the general public. And at last there are brilliant further degree courses in Children’s Literature where students can study the subject seriously.”

The full speech can be read here.

Skeletons Galore!

December 5, 2010

In Guadalajara, we temporarily left the book fair FIL and went to the office of newspaper Mural. In their photo studio 20 excited children ages 6-8 were waiting. First Kitty Crowther drew images from Scritch Scratch dip, clapote! (or Scric scrac bibib blub! as the Spanish edition is called, published by Corimbo), at the same time as the translator read the story aloud for the children.

In the book, the little frog is afraid of the dark and imagines a skeleton … After talking with the children about skeletons Kitty Crowther asked the children to draw  and decorate their own skeletons or skulls!