Posts Tagged ‘Astrid Lindgren’

Crown Princess Victoria opened the Astrid Lindgren exhibition in Seoul today

March 25, 2015


Joohwi Kang at the Embassy of Sweden in Seoul about the exhibition that opened earlier today:

The Embassy of Sweden in Seoul holds the exhibition of <Astrid Lindgren and Pippi> at the National Library of Children and Young Adults on 26 Mar (Thu)- 31 May (Sun). Co-organized by the National Library of Children and Young Adults, the exhibition is to give insights about the Swedish children’s literature to the Korean children and young adults. The exhibition comprises introduction of the life of Astrid Lindgren, Lindgren’s famous stories, Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and previous laureates of Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, and Children’s corner to play and read.

Today, the Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel of Sweden paid a visit to the library to inaugurate the exhibition during her official visit to the Republic of Korea at the invitation by the Prime Minister Lee Wan-koo. Accompanying the Crown Princess Couple is the Swedish Minister for Social Security, Ms Annika Strandhäll and a small delegation of senior officials.

The opening ceremony took place with the existence of Mr PARK Min-kwon (Vice Minister for Culture, Sports and Tourism), Mr LIM Won-sun (Chief Executive of the National Library of Korea), Ms YEO Wee-sook (Director General of the National Library for Children and Young Adults), Ms KIM Su-jung, President of Korean Board on Books for Young People (KBBY), Ms BAEK Heena (Children’s book writer and ALMA nominee 2015) and many more VIP guests. The participating guests celebrate the opening and the 70th birthday of Pippi who is well known character among Koreans through TV series.





Wally De Doncker on how to battle illiteracy

March 6, 2015
Wally De Doncker. Photo: IBBY

Wally De Doncker. Photo: IBBY

Guest blogger this month is IBBY president Wally De Doncker:

I joined IBBY the moment I began my career as an author. IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) has taught me that the horizon lies beyond the borders of my own country. As the newly‐elected president of IBBY International, it is a privilege for me to work with people worldwide to realize the mission of IBBY.

This mission is to promote a reading culture and give every child the opportunity to become a life‐long reader and this is only possible if the child enjoys reading. One of our objectives is battling illiteracy. A recent UN‐report states that globally, there are still 781 million adults who lack basic literacy skills, and that 58 million children are out‐of-school at primary level and a staggering 63 million children do not attend at secondary level education. Furthermore, an estimated 250 million children of primary‐school age are reported to be failing to acquire basic literacy skills. Added to that, half a billion women today are still completely illiterate. These figures really are cause for concern. The closing of libraries in Europe, often because of financial cutbacks, is also a cause of deep worry.

Children have the right to be able to read and IBBY supports this basic right by initiating and backing many wonderful projects around the World:

In many parts of Bolivia, families have no books and there is no culture of reading. IBBY Bolivia, together with Taller De Experiencias Pedagogicas and the Thuruchapitas Library, began a project in the San Miguel neighbourhood of Cochabamba to encourage reading and storytelling within families.

IBBY Afghanistan set up a library project to give young children a chance to read and increase their interest in reading books. The project is currently running in different provinces of Afghanistan with the support of Aschiana. The children living in refugee camps, orphanages, juvenile rehabilitation centres and different disability centres will benefit from this far‐reaching Project.

In response to the waves of refugees from Africa and the Middle East arriving on the Italian island of Lampedusa, IBBY and IBBY Italy launched the project “Silent Books, from the world to Lampedusa and back”. The project involved creating the first library on Lampedusa to be used by local and immigrant children.

Belgium ‐ O MUNDO
The aim of this Flemish IBBY project is to select excellent books from all over the world that allows migrant children to share something about themselves, their culture and their background with their school colleagues. Thus opening the eyes of all the children in the school class to the value of a multicultural society.

As a world organization, we have to keep arguing that reading is a basic right for everyone. Recently, a librarian told me that we are creating a new elite, by which he meant that children who enjoy reading and devouring books could only do so because their parents have the means to buy books. IBBY must continue to advocate for all children to have access to great literature; this includes children from underprivileged families, immigrant children, refugees, children with disabilities and sick children. Those who cannot (or may not) read are excluded. This is something that IBBY cannot accept.

At the 2012 Membership Assembly, IBBY members approved of a formal commitment to the principles of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child as ratified by the United Nations in 1990, to be included in the current IBBY Statutes. Because of that action it is our responsibility uphold these rights. It is unacceptable that there are countries in this day and age where girls are banned from reading or even learning to read. It is also inacceptable that many children are unable to read at an adequate level after finishing primary school.

I would like to forge new ties with institutions and other international organizations such as the ALMA. After all, Astrid Lindgren was one of the founding members of IBBY and supported IBBY’s mission always. On a personal level, I learned to love Sweden and the Swedish language because of her books and the television series based on her stories.

ALMA and IBBY are fighting for the same values and we are exploring ways in which we can collaborate to bring children and books together.

Wally De Doncker, IBBY President

 More about Wally De Doncker’s vision on IBBY here


The world’s strongest girl celebrates her 70th birthday

February 20, 2015


We´re talking about Pippi Longstocking of course. The first book about the world’s strongest girl was published in November 1945, but as it was Astrid Lindgren’s daughter Karin who came up with the idea about Pippi, and received the Pippi manuscript on her birthday on May 21 from her mother, the Pippi celebrations will take place on that specific day.

– She is a 9-year-old child who is totally independent of all adults, because she is stronger than they, and do not need their money, says Karin Nyman in a press release from the Astrid Lindgren company Saltkråkan. It could have made her insufferably smug and contemptuous of others, but instead she became kind, generous and courageous.

Pippilotta Provisionia Gaberdina Dandeliona Ephraimsdaughter Longstocking can look back upon an eventful life. It´s actually a few things she hasn´t been through. She has made millions of children, and some adults, from all over the world laugh and maybe become a bit thrilled, while she has driven some pedagogues, debaters and professors crazy.

She has been transformed into eight feature films, two television series, two television films and at least 800 professional theatre productions. She has given rise to academic theses, has been appointed as the most important cultural case for the last 150 years, and gotten interpreted lengthwise and crosswise from every conceivable perspeictive. But, as Astrid Lindgren herself wrote in her memoirs, “As usual the children didn´t care about what the grownups said, they loved Pippi unreserved.”

The books about Pippi Longstocking have been translated into 70 languages and have sold approximately 60 million copies. Saltkråkan will celebrate the anniversary throughout the year with free materials to libraries, schools and daycare centers.

2011 ALMA Laureate Shaun Tan from Australia visited fairytale house Junibacken in Stockholm during the 2011 Award week. Photo: Stefan Tell

2011 ALMA Laureate Shaun Tan from Australia visited fairytale house Junibacken in Stockholm during the 2011 Award week. Photo: Stefan Tell

2010 ALMA Laureate Kitty Crowhter from Belgium. Photo: Stefan Tell

2010 ALMA Laureate Kitty Crowhter from Belgium. Photo: Stefan Tell

The original.

The original.

Picture book artists collaboration exhibited at the Nordic Watercolour Museum

February 10, 2015
Work in progress. Kitty Crowhter and Eva Lindström. Photo: Nordic Watercolour Museum.

Work in progress. Kitty Crowhter and Eva Lindström. Photo: Nordic Watercolour Museum.

Fourth upon a time… Harriët, Eva, Kitty, Nadja, is the title of the new exhibition at the Nordic Watercolour Museum. Four artists and picture book creators, Harriët Van Reek (The Netherlands), Eva Lindström (Sweden), Nadja (France) and 2010 ALMA Laureate Kitty Crowther (Belgium) have chosen to work together and let their different worlds collide and meet in new art, new pictures and new stories.

– The project started out when Kitty Crowther visited the museum a couple of years ago, she wanted to do a collaboration with other invited picture book artistes, says Sofia Olofsson at the Nordic Watercolour Museum.

In the exhibition, the artists will present their books, but also completely different sides of their work. The artists have been working together in a workshop in December and February.

– I´ve actually never done anything like this, Eva Lindström says in an interview with Swedish National Radio. It is a very tolerant atmosphere. What we talked about making the catalogue was that we not were supposed to be polite to each other, rather questioning each other’s pieces to see what that resulted in.

The artists have a deeply personal visual language and create narratives that challenge and cause one to marvel. Kitty Crowther want the audience to meet themselves in the exhibition:

– I love this awkwardness that´s not trying to please, saying “ah, be careful, you´re making books for children, it´s have to be pleasant”, children also have very strong feelings, and I get very annoyed when adults think “oh this is not for children”. Well, do you remember when you were a child? Yes? Well, then let´s talk about it. If you don´t? Well, just step back.

The exhibition is available until May 3rd.

Photo:  © Nordiska Akvarellmuseet

© Nordiska Akvarellmuseet

Photo: Nordiska akvarellmuseet

Photo: Nordiska akvarellmuseet


ALMA and Barbro Lindgren to Children’s Book Conference in Stavanger

January 23, 2015
Library Sölvberget in Stavanger, Norway. Photo: Anne Lise Norheim

Library Sölvberget in Stavanger, Norway. Photo: Anne Lise Norheim

The first few days in February nearly 300 writers, illustrators, librarians and publishers representatives will gather in Stavanger, Norway to participate in this year’s Nordic Children’s Book Conference.

ALMA participants are Director Helen Sigeland, 2014 Laureate Barbro Lindgren and jury members Mats Kempe and Anna Höglund. This year’s theme is “Downfall – or transition?” and should be seen as a comment on the seriousness that seems to be growing in literature for children and young people, and the many challenges the field of children’s literature faces in our digital age.

– The goal has been to create a common meeting place for Nordic children’s literature, and it´s incredibly fun that the interest is so huge, says Project manager Siri Odfjell Risdag. The conference will be opened by the Director of the Norwegian National Library, Aslak Sira Myrhe. Furthermore, the recipient of the Nordic Council’s Children and Young People’s Literature Prize2014, Øyvind Torseter and Barbro Lindgren, Laureate of the 2014 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, will participate in the program.

The Nordic Children’s Book Conference will proceed February 2-4.

Barbro Lindgren. Photo: Stefan Tell

Barbro Lindgren. Photo: Stefan Tell


Now it’s possible to nominate candidates for the 2016 award

January 20, 2015
Workhop at Kulturhuset with 2011 ALMA Laureate Shaun Tan during the Award week. Photo: Stefan Tell

Workhop at Kulturhuset with 2011 ALMA Laureate Shaun Tan during the Award week. Photo: Stefan Tell

Today the nominating process for the 2016 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award begins. Appointed nominating bodies from all over the world may propose authors/illustrators/storytellers whose work for children and young adult is of the highest artistic quality characterised by the human values that Astrid Lindgren treasured. They may also nominate persons, organisations, institutions working with reading promotion for children and young adult. The possibility to nominate candidates is open until May 15.

More information on the nominating process here

Comtemporary issues refleced in the upcoming Astrid Lindgren documentary

December 5, 2014

Bilder höstbroschyr 2014
The Mauritz auditorium at the Film House was well attended when Swedish television aired the upcoming documentary about Astrid Lindgren’s life in a press preview on Thursday afternoon. Three one-hour programs were shown in a row, and members of the Astrid Lindgren family were present to answer questions from the journalists. The documentary makes it clear that there are traces of Astrid’s private life and what was happening in the world during her lifetime, 1907-2002, in her stories.

Behind the documentary is director Kristina Lindström, who previously has made a documentary about the Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme.

– What surprised me the most is the fact that she constantly is so incredibly near the important issues of the time, much of it is eerily up to date today, and furthermore, how strong she was marked by what happened when she was 18 and became pregnant. And as she said: “I had not become a great writer unless this thing with Lasse had happened”, says Kristina Lindström in an interview with Isak Klasson from Swedish Television.

Astrid Lindgren grows up in a religious home in the countryside, becomes pregnant with the already married chief editor of the local newspaper where she works. A scandal. She gives birth to her son Lasse, who get to stay in foster care the first years.

– This is really a women’s history, says Kristina Lindström. In many ways she represents women’s history during a century in Sweden. She became a person that the Swedish people regarded as the image of a precept, showing people how things should be done: “This is to do good, this is to do right”, while she in her own life did things that were not right according to convention.

Kristina Lindström has made thorough research with the help of rich archive material, private photos, films, diaries and correspondence. The so-called war diaries dated back to the Second World War, written by Astrid as a young mother not yet being a world famous author, will be published by Salikon publishing house during 2015.

The documentary about Astrid Lindgren’s life will be screened by Swedish Television on SVT1 December 25, December 28 and January 1st.

Director Kristina Lindström.

Director Kristina Lindström.

Karin Nyman, Astrid Lindgren's daughter.

Karin Nyman, Astrid Lindgren’s daughter.

Johan Palmberg, great grandson of Astrid Lindgren and member of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award jury.

Johan Palmberg, great grandson of Astrid Lindgren and member of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award jury.

Marianne von Baumgarten and Annika Lindgren, granddaugther of Astrid Lindgren.

Marianne von Baumgarten and Annika Lindgren, granddaugther of Astrid Lindgren.

“Sometimes I can’t believe my own life.” Katherine Paterson about her memoirs

November 19, 2014

“I realized there were family stories that my children didn’t know and I should write them down,” Paterson said to Sally Pollak, Burlington Free Press, about her newly published memoirs “Stories of my Life”. “It would be a good thing for the kids and for the grandchildren.” In “Stories of my Life” (Dial Books, 2014) 2006 ALMA Laureate Katherine Paterson looks back on her life with warmth, self-effacing humor and extraordinary humility (Publishers Weekly). She grew up in China and trained as a missionary in Japan before beginning her writing career in America. Her work has included picture books and books for the very young, often based around fairytales and myths, yet it is as a writer of novels for young readers that she is best known. Often set in historical contexts in Japan, China or the US, yet frequently too against a contemporary American backdrop, these novels deal with important and sometimes difficult issues such as broken families and children at risk.

The main characters in her books are often vulnerable, slightly odd children, a projection of certain aspects of her own childhood. Her upbringing in China during the 1930s and her family’s move back to the US resulted in a feeling of rootlessness:

– When we were evacuated from China to the United States, I was an alien in the country my parents called home. We had very little money, and in the beginning my friends were the people I met in the books I read.

– I suppose I grew up with an understanding about what it means to be outside the mainstream of society. I used to feel sad for my nine year old self, but I finally realized that all during those difficult days of war and then alienation, I had two parents who loved me. A child with two loving parents is rich indeed. I’m afraid I haven’t given most of my characters this gift, but I hope I’ve provided them with the strength and help they need to endure, and, maybe even triumph over, adversity. (ALMA interview 2006.)

In 2006 she received the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for her lifetime achievement.

Katherine Paterson is a brilliant psychologist who gets right under the skin of the vulnerable young people she creates, whether in historical or exotic settings, or in the grim reality of the USA today. With a deft aesthetic touch she avoids simple solutions, building instead on the inner strength and courage of her main characters.
The citation of the jury

Katherine Paterson receives the 2006 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award from Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden.

Katherine Paterson receives the 2006 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award from Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden.


Katherine Paterson at the Astrid Lindgren sculpture during the 2006 Award week.

Katherine Paterson at the Astrid Lindgren sculpture during the 2006 Award week.

Astrid Lindgren was born 107 years ago today

November 14, 2014
Astrid together with her brother Gunnar in 1909. The Astrid Lindgren collections.

Astrid together with her brother Gunnar in 1909. The Astrid Lindgren Collections.

Astrid Lindgren was born on November 14, 1907 in the Näs homestead near Vimmerby, in the county of Småland. She grew up at Näs, and this is the place where her writing begun and that also inspired to both her stories and the characters in them.

60 years later, on her 60th birthday, publisher Rabén and Sjögren initiated the Astrid Lindgren prize in 1967. It is awarded every year for meritous authorship within the realm of Swedish literature for children and young adults, and will be announced this afternoon.

Ps. Her childhood home can still be visited by the public. Visitor’s centre Astrid Lindgren’s Näs also exhibit the story on Astrid Lindgren’s life along with an extensive public program.

Astrid Lindgrens on the stairs of her childhood home at Näs, Vimmerby.

Astrid Lindgrens on the stairs of her childhood home at Näs, Vimmerby.

Persistency and Courage – theme for reading promotion competition among the Stockholm schools

November 10, 2014
Distribution of prizes to the winning school classes at Skansen outdoor museum 2011. Photo: Stefan Tell

Distribution of prizes to the winning school classes at Skansen outdoor museum 2011. Photo: Stefan Tell

Now is the time for teachers in Stockholm’s schools to sign up for the competition En bok i världsklass (A world of books). The competition aims to promote reading by encouraging reading of books from different parts of the world.

The Stockholm schools have until March to read books from different parts of the world and then create entries to the competition. The entries will interpret the books read by the pupils in the light of this year’s theme, “Persistency and Courage”, and they need to consist of both drawings and a reflective text.

A representative from the award office is every year part of the jury that evaluates the entries, and it is always so amazing to see the effort, time and creativeness put into each contribution to the competition.

Below you can see one of the winning entries from the previous year, when the theme was “New worlds”.


The competition En bok i världsklass is part of the reading promotion activity Barn och böcker (Children and books), a co-operation between the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, Stockholm City Library, the Education Administration of Stockholm and Skansen open-air museum.

This is a video (in Swedish) from the Award ceremony 2011 which was performed during the ALMA Award week. The Australian illustrator Shaun Tan who was is Stockholm to be presented to the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award,  presented prizes to the winning school classes.

Photo: Stefan Tell

Photo: Stefan Tell