Archive for May, 2017

Treated like a real literary superstar at Hjulsta Elementary School

May 24, 2017

On Tuesday morning it was time for Wolf Erlbruch to visit Hjulsta Elementary School and meet all the enthusiastic and curious students and teachers there. We had a great time!

First he met a group of seventh graders who had read his “Duck, Death and the Tulip” and made their own interpretations of the book in drawing lessons. The had also prepared questions.

– Why did you want to write a book about death? one of the students asked.

– I wanted to show death as something kind, not just a scary murderer which is the way we often think of it. This particular death that you meet in the book is nice to talk to and answers questions as well, Wolf Erlbruch said.

– But really, why do you think so much about death? Because I don’t! a thirteen-year-old girl said.

Wolf just smiled and said:
– At my age, you tend to do so. And I don’t really think it is such a bad thing to think about death every now and then, to get used to the idea. Small children think about it very often and have many questions.

Time to move on; some 150 primary school children where waiting in the the school gymnasium and we were invited to watch some wonderful ALMA inspired entertainment. They cheered and applauded as Wolf Erlbruch entered! A group of third graders performed their own, fantastic dance piece to the song “Du käre lille snickerbo” from Astrid Lindgren’s famous “Emil of Lönneberga”.

Wolf Erlbruch also shared his thoughts with the children and among other things, he told them that he finds the father character very interesting. Take a closer look at the pictures, are you able to find the father of Emil?

– What do you think about Astrid Lindgren? wondered one of the children.
– I just love her! Wolf quickly replied.

To get a feeling of what it was like to be in Hjulsta, have a look at the beautiful pictures taken by photographer Stefan Tell.

 

 

 

Wolf Erlbruch is in Sweden!

May 23, 2017

Wolf Erlbruch is in Sweden! Yesterday he met Swedish journalists and gave interviews all day long. He is overwhelmed with all the attention that comes with receiving one of the worlds largest literature awards, and who would’nt be?

Tonight at 6-7 pm he will be at Kulturhuset Stadsteatern to show the audience some of his unique Pictures which are so far unpublished, among others his first drawings as a 2 year old boy. The event takes place in “Hörsalen” and is open to the public and free of charge. Warmly welcome!

Earlier this morning he went to visit students at Hjulsta Elementary school where he was honoured and treated as a superstar. You will be able to hear more about the visit in the next post.
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Pictures taken at Skeppsholmen in Stockholm by photographer Stefan Tell.

 

The librarian: Why we love working with books by ALMA laureates

May 22, 2017

For the fourth year running, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award is our school-wide spring theme here at Hjulsta Elementary. Teachers, staff and students ages 6–16 have been reading, discussing and getting inspired by the ALMA laureates and Astrid Lindgren herself. Not for the last time, I’m sure!

As part of our ALMA theme, we always spend a lot of time on Astrid Lindgren. Many of our students are new immigrants to Sweden, and nearly all of them have parents born in another country. For anyone attending school in Sweden, we think Astrid Lindgren is required reading. Astrid’s characters, her language, Swedish life in the olden days – all these are things that every Swede has a relationship to. Reading Astrid’s books, and watching the first-rate films that have been based on them, unlocks an important piece of our shared cultural heritage for our students.

Reading books by the ALMA laureates also helps us see what life can be like under very different circumstances. The ALMA books introduce us to people from all over the world and from throughout history. For example, when PRAESA was recognized a few years ago, we had the chance to learn a great deal about life in South Africa.

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PRAESA visiting Hjulsta Elementary i 2015. Photo: Stefan Tell

Often we grown-ups are surprised by how powerfully our students respond to the ALMA books. The Swedish government instituted the award to recognize authors and illustrators whose work is “of the highest artistic quality and conveys the deeply humanist spirit associated with Astrid Lindgren.” Obviously, “highest artistic quality” will always be somewhat subjective, but we can tell there is something special about these books. We fall in love with them; they challenge us; above all, they get us talking. And when we think and talk about different interpretations, we grow in wisdom together. This is a joyful process – it is exhilarating to realize the importance of our thoughts, and how smart we really are when we try. And I think our ALMA theme has made us grown-ups a little braver. We have learned that books we thought might be too difficult or too “out there” can lead to very exciting discussions.

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From Duck, Death and the Tulip, Kunstman Verlag

This spring, many of our groups were deeply affected by reading Wolf Erlbruch’s Duck, Death and the Tulip. The book led us to talk about death and how sad it is to lose the people we love, but also about how a person reaching the end of their life can be a perfectly natural thing. We also read Leonard: we laughed at the pictures, congratulated ourselves on discovering clues to the plot, and some of our students wrote their own stories and drew pictures of the things they are most afraid of.

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From Leonard, Peter Hammer Verlag

Many of the ALMA laureates take up difficult subjects in their books. Depression – death – loneliness – sad things that are not easy to talk about. We read about them and process them together, through conversation and our own creative activities. Sometimes the authors joke about the very hardest questions. But it is always done in the spirit of Astrid Lindgren, with respect for people who facing different life challenges and with optimism that difficulties can be overcome.

Many of the books by the ALMA laureates are fairly quick reads and invite a real range of interpretations. The numerous picture books work well for readers of all ages. Some of our teachers and staff like to return to the same books over and over with different student groups. We never get bored, and we learn more each time from our students’ reflections. But with such a wealth of literature, if we want to try something new there is always another book to explore.

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Interpretation of Scritch, scratch, dip, clapote by Kitty Crowther

We hope and believe that our ALMA theme has helped other schools throughout Sweden learn more about the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and its laureates. In the hopes of inspiring others, we have been documenting our work on our website: www.världensalma.se.

The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award opens the door to a literary treasure chamber. We hope that many other schools around the world will seek out the treasure and have reading experiences as fantastic as ours!

/Cilla Dalén, librarian at Hjulsta Elementary School in Stockholm

H.R.H. Crown Princess of Sweden to Present German Illustrator Wolf Erlbruch with the 2017 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award

May 22, 2017

H.R.H. Crown Princess of Sweden to Present German Illustrator Wolf Erlbruch with the 2017 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award

Welcome to cover the award ceremony of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award 2017, to be presented the German Illustrator Wolf Erlbruch.

Time: Monday May 29, 6:00 – app. 7:10 pm
Venue: Stockholm Concert Hall

The award is presented by H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria at a ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall on Monday 29 May 2017 attended by Alice Bah Kuhnke, Swedish Minister for Culture and Democracy who is giving a speech in honor of Wolf Erlbruch.

The compere for the evening is the journalist and literary critic Mrs. Yukiko Duke. There will be artist performances and presentations of Wolf Erlbruch’s work. The prize diploma is designed by Swedish illustrator Marcus Gunnar Pettersson.

Wolf Erlbruch, born in 1948, has written some ten books of his own and illustrated nearly fifty titles by other authors. He is best known for his illustrations of The Story of the Little Mole Who Knew It Was None of His Business (1994) and Duck, Death and the Tulip (2008), which both became a great success around the world.

For accreditations and interviews
Mariella Kucer, mariella.kucer@alma.se +46 (0)76-5401017.

Images and videos
Press images and video content in broadcast quality with highlights and soundbites from the award ceremony will be available at the ALMA newsroom during the evening.

The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) is the world’s largest award for children’s and young adult literature. The award, which amounts to SEK 5 million, is given annually to a single laureate or to several. Authors, illustrators, oral storytellers and reading promoters are eligible. The award is designed to promote interest in children’s and young adult literature. The UN convention of rights of the child is the foundation of our work. An expert jury selects the laureate(s) from candidates nominated by institutions and organisations all over the world. The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award was founded by the Swedish government in 2002 and is administrated by the Swedish Arts Council.

Wolf Erlbruch to Sweden

May 4, 2017

Wolf Erlbruch to Sweden

The German illustrator and picturebook author Wolf Erlbruch is coming to Sweden to receive the 2017 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) and to give a public lecture. The award is presented by H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria at a ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall on 29 May 2017 attended by Alice Bah Kuhnke, Swedish Minister for Culture and Democracy who is giving a speech in honor of Erlbruch.

The compare is the journalist and literary critic Yukiko Duke:

– Wolf Erlbruch approaches the big life issues with warmth and humour and makes them easy to understand for the youngest readers. He is truly a worthy laureate of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, the world’s largest literary children’s literature prize. It is a great honor and joy for me to lead the celebration of this wonderful author and illustrator.

On May 23 at 6 pm, Wolf Erlbruch meets the readers in a lecture at Kulturhuset Stadsteatern in Stockholm. The event is open to the public and free of charge. The program for the visit in Sweden also includes meetings with children and young adults at Hjulsta grundskola and the German school in Stockholm as well as a visit to Astrid Lindgren’s childhood home Näs in Vimmerby.

“Oh dear, oh dear” was Erlbruchs’s reaction when Jury Chairman Boel Westin on April 4 informed the German illustrator that he is the laureate of the world’s largest award for children’s and young adult literature. The choice of Wolf Erlbruch has been honored around the world and has had a great deal of media impact in Sweden and abroad.

Wolf Erlbruch, born in 1948, has written some ten books of his own and illustrated nearly fifty titles by other authors. He is best known for his illustrations of The Story of the Little Mole Who Knew It Was None of His Business (1994), which became a great success around the world.

More information on Wolf Erlbruch at www.alma.se/en
 
For interview requests and information, please contact
Mariella Kucer, Communications officer
Tel: +46 (0)76 540 10 17
E-post: mariella.kucer@alma.se

The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) is the world’s largest award for children’s and young adult literature. The award, which amounts to SEK 5 million, is given annually to a single laureate or to several. Authors, illustrators, oral storytellers and reading promoters are eligible. The award is designed to promote interest in children’s and young adult literature. The UN convention of rights of the child is the foundation of our work. An expert jury selects the laureate(s) from candidates nominated by institutions and organisations all over the world. The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award was founded by the Swedish government in 2002 and is administrated by the Swedish Arts Council.