Archive for the ‘Online Children's and YA book resources’ Category

New reading guides

August 18, 2011

Today, three new reading guides (in Swedish) are launched on our website; 2010 award winner Kitty Crowther’s Är det dags? (Berghs, 2008, original title Alors?) and Rotbarnet (Berghs, 2011, original title L’enfant Racine), as well as Guldkompassen (Natur&Kultur, 2008, original title Northern Lights) by 2005 award winner Philip Pullman.

The reading guides are tutorials for anyone interested to learn more about the ALMA laureates and their works. They can be used in book clubs, by teachers for school work or simply as an inspiration for further reading. The reading guides are written to increase the knowledge of the award recipients among children, young people and promoters of reading but the aim is also to bring the literature to life.

The new reading guides are written by the literary educationalist, writer and former jury member Agneta Edwards:

– With the help of the reading guide, it’s possible to get beneath the surface of the story, and deepen your reading and interpretation of the book. My hope is that the reading guides will be used as tools for opening the reader’s eyes, thoughts and experiences to the book, particularly when teaching literature in schools, but also as an inspiration for any book reader.

Link to reading guides here.

We love illustrationMundo!

November 12, 2010

Browsing IllustrationMundo, founded by Nate Williams, is simply a great way to spend time. Thousands of artists from over 100 countries have added their work to this community of illustrators and browsing it is a bit like wondering through a huge gallery – some things you like, some things you don’t – and its the juxtaposition of it all that makes it exciting.

There are interviews, articles, polls and a forum as well as an effective search function where users can find specific illustrators by name, country, style or medium. Of course, this makes the site a virtual gold mine for publishers, advertising agencies etc looking for new talent.

Members can also comment on each-other’s work and most illustrators link to their own webpages for those who want to see more.

Picture books from Africa

September 26, 2010

Four prominent picture book artists from Africa met today in a seminar at the Gothenburg Book Fair. The seminar was moderated by jury member Lennart Eng, who gave the audience an introduction into the art of Piet Grobler, Véronique Tadjo, Christian Epanya and John Kilaka.

Piet Grobler grew up on a farm in South Africa, studied theology and worked as a priest until 1989 when he switched to journalism and graphic design. Since he began illustrating he has published several books, among them Today is my day, Colors! and Makwelane and the crocodile, with text by Maria Hendrichs. Makwelane was recently published in Swedish by Hjulet and Piet Grobler received the 2010 Peter Pan Award for this book by the Swedish section of IBBY.

Véronique Tadjo has been nominated to the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award many times. She comes from the Ivory Coast but lives and works in France. As Véronique had written her first picture book text, her intention was that her mother, an established artist, would illustrate it. But her mother never got around doing it. That’s how she began illustrating herself, something her fans are grateful for! Since then, many books, such as Mamy Wata and the monster, Grandma Nana, The lucky grain of corn and Talking Drums, have seen the light of day. In recent years Véronique Tadjo has mainly been painting, but during the seminar she revealed that she is currently looking for a way to get these paintings onto the page.

Christian Epanya from Cameroon lives and works in Lyon, France. He started by illustrating other author’s text, but in recent years he’s been focusing on making books on his own. His book Le Taxi-Brousse de Papa Diop, was published in Sweden by Trasten and became an immediate success. His other books include Le Petit photographe de Bamba and the recent Le voyage de L’Empereur Kankou Moussa. In Christian Epanya’s books, each image is a world in itself, in which the reader can navigate.

John Kilaka’s career as an illustrator started on the blackboard in school, where he would illustrate jokes for his classmates to enjoy. Much to the distraught of his teachers … His first book Fresh Fish came out in 2001 and became an international success. His passion for oral storytelling has led him to begin traveling Tanzania, collecting and illustrating traditional stories. He sees this as a way of saving this heritage for future generations. His latest book The Amazing Tree is representative of this project.

The seminar was organized by Afrika barn 2010, Svenska Tecknare and the network Den hemliga trädgården. Den hemliga trädgården (The secret garden) was founded in 2003 with the purpose to introduce children’s literature from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East to the Swedish audience. In time for the book fair, a highly recommendable introduction to African children’s literature written by Sven Hallonsten and Britt Isakson was published by the network. If you read Swedish and are even just remotely interested in literature from Africa, this is a must. It can be easily ordered by e-mailing

Are you a Bookbird?

August 25, 2010

If you’re not a Bookbird yet, we are sure you will be after spending some time browsing through years and years of Bookbird issues …

Bookbird is the journal of international children’s literature published by IBBY. And now all back issues from 1963 (!) to 2008 are available online. Yes, that’s right – 45 years of articles. Now that fall is approaching, it’s the perfect webpage for a rainy day.

Also, the brand new Bookbird special issue about Spanish children’s literature is available for free. Hower, as of now, only in Spanish …

Kitty Crowther Goes (almost) to Norway

June 4, 2010

Norweigan online resourse on children’s books Barnebokkritikk reviews Annie du Lac by Kitty Crowther, even though it hasn’t been translated to Norweigan. Yet. 

I think they find it good, or as they put it: “Voksent tema i bildebokformat. Verdig prisvinner i millionklassen.”

Which translates: “Mature theme in picture book format. Worhty winner of millions”.

Best Read Aloud Picture Books

April 20, 2010

Best Read Aloud Picture Books is a new online bibliography available from the Curriculum Materials Center at Livingston Lord Library, Minnesota State University Moorhead.  

The bibliography provides lists of picture books, published between 2004 and 2008, that are highly recommended for reading aloud to children. The bibliography is divided by age levels: toddlers-age 5; ages 6-8, and ages 9-12. Each of the books has been read aloud to numerous children to obtain feedback.  Each annotation includes a description of the book and details of how children and readers responded to the book. 

A great resource for all of those reading to children! Thanks to Carol H. Sibley for the tip.

Interesting Top 100 by School Library Journal

February 25, 2010

The School Library Journal is a useful online resource on children’s and young adult literature. A recent feature is their very ambitious list of their top 100 children’s and YA books. The list differs from many other “top” lists in that it gives quite exhaustive reviews of the featured titles, complete with collected covers, video footage et cetera.

At the moment of writing, the list has reached #41, with ALMA-recipient Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass clocking in at #45. Pippi Longstocking is on the list of course, along with Gilly Hopkins by ALMA-recipient Katherine Paterson, and we wait with baited breath to see what other titles will be featured in the future…