World Literature Today about ALMA, the award ceremony and Sweden´s commitment to children’s literature

At the prize ceremony, Kuijer ended his acceptance speech with a reminder of the power of reading: “Once a boy told me that to him reading was like bungee jumping inside his head. I therefore wish you all a great bungee jumping season.” Kuijer’s full speech is available at the official ALMA blog. In addition to acknowledging his audience and thanking the people who make this award possible, Kuijer extended a big thank-you to the host country, Sweden, remarking, “Dear Sweden, you are the only state in the world which proves to understand the importance of good books for children to read.”

WLT’s managing editor, Michelle Johnson, attended the award ceremony in Stockholm and saw Sweden’s commitment to children’s literature while meeting with Swedish writers, prize administrators, teachers, and librarians. For example, Stockholm has the world’s first library for children ten to thirteen years old and a children’s literary museum. At this museum, Junibacken, children can play in reproductions of the scenes of their favorite books and ride a train through sets of their favorite stories. At the Swedish Institute for Children’s Books, a staff collects children’s literature and makes it available for research. Further, Sweden now has an Ambassador for Reading Promotion, Johan Unenge, who is also a successful children’s book author and illustrator. And for one month in Sweden, anyone who purchases a Happy Meal receives a children’s book instead of a plastic toy, emphasizing literacy (full story in this Telegraph article).

Read the entire article here.

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