Posts Tagged ‘guus kuijer’

Learn more about the works of the laureates

August 22, 2014
The Arrival (2006) by Shaun Tan.

The Arrival (2006) by Shaun Tan.

The Book of Everything (2006) by Guus Kuijer.

The Book of Everything (2006) by Guus Kuijer.

Summer is almost over and a new term has started for most students. Now is perfect timing to read a new book, so why not let our reading guides inspire you? The guides contain an introduction of the author or illustrator, description of the contents, a suggested interpretation and topics for discussions. They are meant to be used in book circles, in schools or just as inspiration for further reading. Twelve books by ten laureates are available and easy to download for free, from Kitty Crowther’s Alors? for younger children, to Sonya Hartnett’s psychological novels for young adults and Shaun Tan’s completely wordless work The Arrival.

Petit, the Monster by Isol

It´s Useful to Have a Duck and Nocturne – Dream Recipes by Isol

The Book of Everything by Guus Kuijer

The Arrival by Shaun Tan

Alors? by Kitty Crowther

Lénfant Racine by Kitty Crowther

The Devil Latch by Sonya Hartnett

The Ghost’s Child by Sonya Hartnett

The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson

Basu ni Notte by Ryôji Arai

Northen Lights by Philip Pullman

My Friend the Painter by Lygia Bojunga

Fly Away Home by Christine Nöstlinger

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Alors? (2006) by Kitty Crowther.

Alors? (2006) by Kitty Crowther.

For more tutorials, have a look at Sonya Hartnett’s web, link here. A tutorial for Shaun Tan’s latest book Rules of Summer can be found here.

Children’s books exhibited at Airport Library

January 10, 2014
Photo: Stefan Tell

Photo: Stefan Tell

…and among these books by 2012 ALMA laureate Guus Kuijer.



Reading guides for inspiration

March 15, 2013
Illustration: Lennart Eng

Illustration: Lennart Eng

Isn´t it beautiful, the cover of the new ALMA publication containing reading guides of books by our previous recipients. The illustration is made by Lennart Eng, illustrator, graphic designer, tutor and member of the ALMA jury.

The reading guides are written by members of the jury, with extensive knowledge about children’s and young adult literature. They are a good way of learning more about the recipient’s works, containing questions worth considering after the reading:

There are different kinds for friendship – one is the kind between and adult/old person and a child/young person. How does such a friendship differ from one between people of the same age? (My Friend the Painter by Lygia Bojunga)

Before Leslie leaves the house, she hangs up her gun above the fireplace, what could that mean? (Lénfant racine by Kitty Crowther)

Is The Devil Latch (Sonya Hartnett) a Gothic novel? Why/why not?

What role does The Book of Everything (Guus Kuijer) play? Why does the author have Thomas write in it at various times?

The guides will be distributed at the Children’s Book Fair in Bologna (March 25-28), so why not visit our stand C5 in Hall 30 to get a copy!

Recipients emphasize children’s right to culture

February 26, 2013


Photo: Stefan Tell

Photo: Stefan Tell

“The right to culture is the right to liberation from the restrictions imposed by education,” according to the Dutch author Guus Kuijer, last year’s recipient of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. His words are especially relevant in the context of the world’s largest book fair for children’s and young adult literature, which takes place in Bologna, Italy, from 25 to 28 March.

Children’s right to culture is the overall theme of Sweden’s presence as the first Nordic guest of honour at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. Children’s right to culture is all about the right of children to participate in society and have access to art, culture and information. It is also about giving children a voice in the form of good-quality children’s and young adult literature.

A genuine children’s perspective is something that is shared by all the authors, illustrators and reading advocates who have received the annual Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. Shaun Tan, illustrator and author, was the 2011 recipient:

“Imagination is arguably the key to all success, and also freedom from a certain tyranny of mediocre thought, low expectation and closed mindedness. Imagination is also a fragile thing; although it seems to be a natural talent every child is born with, it can be easily blunted or malnourished unless it remains exposure to a broad range of creative thinking. Books in particular remind us that the world is constructed through imagination as much as real-life experience, and so leave us empowered to think about new possibilities. “

Photo: Stefan Tell

Photo: Stefan Tell

Illustrator and author Kitty Crowther, who received the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Prize in 2010, has a broader view of Children’s right to culture:

“It’s not just children. This is the right of everybody. That is why the little local libraries are of huge importance; with non-sedentary activities where the generations are mingled.”

Photo: Stefan Tell

Photo: Stefan Tell

The uncompromising child’s eye view is a constant presence in Guus Kuijer’s work, and the platform for an insightful portrayal of the adult world through his main protagonists. He will be appearing at the Salaborsa library in Bologna on 27 March at 2 pm. The recipient of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award 2013 will be announced the day before.

Save the date for March 26th

January 30, 2013

Now it´s time to note the date for this year’s announcement: March 26 at 1:00 pm! Then one (or several) of the 207 nominated candidates will be revealed as the 2013 recipient. The announcement will be broadcast live on our web and streamed to the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, which is the world’s most important international event dedicated to children’s literature.

The announcement will take place in Vimmerby, a small town on the countryside in the southern parts of Sweden. Announcing the recipient at Näs is symbolic, of course. Astrid Lindgren was born here more than 100 years ago. Her childhood at Näs has been described as very happy, she often played games with her three siblings in the playground on the Näs property. The cultural centre Astrid Lindgren’s Näs is situated next to Astrid’s childhood home, and here the chairman of the jury, Larry Lempert, will reveal the recipient or recipients name after the final jury meeting in the morning of the 26th.

At the same time, a press conference takes place at the Illlustrator’s café at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, where the announcement from Vimmerby is broadcast on a screen. The audience consist of international trade representatives, literature experts, reading promoters, authors, illustrators, journalists etc etc. The tension is usually excruciating minutes before the announcement. Could it be that the recipient or a publisher is actually sitting in the audience?

Astrid Lindgren at the stairs of her childhood home at Näs.

Astrid Lindgren at the stairs of her childhood home at Näs.

Kitty Crowther (2010 recipient) at the same stairs, during the 2010 award week. Photo: Stefan Tell.

Kitty Crowther (2010 recipient) at Näs, during the 2010 award week. Photo: Stefan Tell.

Same stairs again, this time with Guus Kuijer (2012 recipient), Maria Tunek (left), librarian at Näs,  and Corrie Kuijer. Visiting Näs was part of the 2012 award week programme. Photo: Stefan Tell.

Näs again, this time with Guus Kuijer (2012 recipient), Maria Tunek (left), librarian at Näs, and Corrie Kuijer. Visiting Näs was part of the 2012 award week programme. Photo: Stefan Tell.

Larry Lempert at the announcement at Näs 2011. Photo: Emma Jansson

Larry Lempert at the announcement at Näs 2011. Photo: Emma Jansson

The announcement at Illustrator’s café 2012. Photo: Stefan Tell

The announcement at Illustrator’s café 2012. Photo: Stefan Tell

Guus Kuijer’s publisher Bärbel Dorweiler was sitting in the audience! She is congratulated by ALMA director Helen Sigeland. Photo: Stefan Tell.

Guus Kuijer’s publisher Bärbel Dorweiler was sitting in the audience! She was congratulated by ALMA director Helen Sigeland. Photo: Stefan Tell.

Why not read a really good book?

December 21, 2012

We suspect that many of you blog readers might have some lazy vacation days in front of you now. Why not read a really good book? Here are some suggestions from the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.

Mats Berggren. Photo: Stefan Tell.

Mats Berggren

Mats Berggren, member of the jury:

I´ll put your letters under the mattress – A correspondence 1971 – 2002 (our transl.) by Astrid Lindgren and Sara Schwardt (Salikon 2012). The best book I´ve read this fall. I was expecting some Astrid Lindgren curiosities, but this is something much more. Sara’s drama, which emerges through the letters, is captivating, I read the entire book at one sitting to find out how it went. She writes well, she is after all only 12 years old when the book begins. There is a directness in the teenage heart that makes me think of Barbro Lindgren’s books. Astrid is very skilled at being personal enough to get Sara to open herself. A the same time you get clues about Astrid herself – she complains about how hard it is to write, it took an entire spring to finish the last two chapters of the Brothers Lionheart.

Elina Druker. Photo: Stefan Tell.

Elina Druker


Elina Druker, member of the jury:

I´d like to recommend Kitty Crowther’s Le Petit Homme et Dieu (Pastel 2010,The Little Man and God , our transl., not yet published in English), a picture book about a little man who meets a strange creature in the forest, a creature that turns out to be God. The book, which is skillfully translated by Lennart Hellsing, is a fun but also staggering story that raises news thoughts and questions, and is perfect for both younger and older readers.

Helen Sigeland.

Helen Sigeland

Helen Sigeland, Director:

The Children of the King by Sonya Hartnett (Penguin Australia 2012) is set in World War II England. Two children, Cecily and Jeremy, are sent to live in the country to escape the bombing in London. The two siblings and ten-year-old May soon find mysterious ruins and learn about a terrible legend involving two missing children relating to Richard III. This is a wonderful thrilling novel about power and effect of war for (young) adults. Read it!

Annika Edlund.

Annika Edlund

Annika Edlund, member of the jury:

I can recommend the book Florian Knol by Guus Kuijer (Querido 2006). Florian is an ordinary boy with an unusually large and red hair. A small sparrow sits on his head and Florian names the sparrow Nico. Katya from his school, who is a grade above him, explains that she is in love with him, and that makes Florian’s tummy tickle. At the same time he’s thinking about whether he´s really ready for love, or if he is mature enough to take care of an old person…
… because in the neighboring house old Mrs Raaphorst lives, and she has forgot her key. That´s in itself not that serious, but Florian is perplexed as she talks about a fork when she apparently means a key. There is something very confusing about this. Together with Katya, he decides to help the old lady, whom they call granny.

The book of Florian Knol is a wonderful story about understanding, forgetfulness and love, written by this year’s award recipient, Guus Kuijer. The book was published in 2006 in Dutch, and this year in Swedish. I was delighted and had such a good feeling in my whole body while reading this book. It´s a philosophical and loving book for everyone.

(All images above are taken by photographer Stefan Tell.)

Guus Kuijer at the International Youth Library in Munich

November 12, 2012
Photo: IJB

On 6th November 2012, the International Youth Library in Munich had the honour and pleasure of hosting an evening with the ALMA winner 2012, the Dutch author Guus Kuijer. It was the fourth time that Dr. Christiane Raabe, the library’s director, and her team welcomed the current ALMA winner to their book castle and invited a mixed audience of publishers, critics, librarians, teachers, parents, and children’s book enthusiasts to learn more about the award recipient.

Dr. Dominik von König, the chairman of the IYL foundation, opened the evening by drawing a comparison between the IYL, one of the most renowned centres for international children’s literature and Guus Kuijer, one of the most renowned children’s book authors.

As the next speaker, Rob Zaagman, the consul general of the Netherlands in Munich, mentioned, how difficult it is, to talk about a person who is present, especially since Guus Kuijer once said that too much attention for the author might somehow harm the books and their characters. Zaagman praised the ALMA winner’s exceptional skills as a writer for readers of all ages and implored the audience to seize the opportunity to read Kuijer’s texts themselves.

Guus Kuijer’s moving speech, a version of his ALMA acceptance speech, adapted and translated into German, included some amusing anecdotes about his life. He read three short stories from the book “De tranen knallen uit mijn kop” (1980) about Jonathan, a little boy, who has fallen in love with his teacher and tries everything to be noticed by her. Kuijer skilfully used these short episodes to underline the important role that art and literature played in his personal life and development, and to underline the fact that children’s literature is not inferior but on a par with literature for adults.

The official part of the evening was concluded by Ralph Wagner, a professional speaker for radio and television, who rendered a captivating reading of two chapters from Kuijer’s book “Het boek van alle dingen” (2004, The Book of Everything).

Afterwards, the audience was invited to a reception with Guus Kuijer, where they had the opportunity to talk to him in person. And who knows, how many other lovely stories may have been told during the course of this evening …

Sabrina Gold / Claudia Söffner (International Youth Library, Munich)

Link to IJB here.

Photo: IJB

Preparing for Gothenburg

September 24, 2012

Heads up for Göteborg Book Fair! Starting on Thursday with heaps of so many interesting topics on children’s and young adult literature.  Why not visit us in Swedish Arts Council’s stand nr C03:02?

On Thursday September 27 at 2:00 pm, paediatrician and former member of the ALMA jury Lars H Gustafsson discusses children’s rights and Astrid Lindgren’s speech Never Violence! with Kjell Åke Hansson, Managing Director of cultural centre Astrid Lindgren’s Näs.

On Friday September 28 at 11:30 am, journalist Gunilla Kindstrand discusses Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award during 10 years with jury chairman Larry Lempert. This seminar is a retrospect of the award and the previous award recipients. At 5:30 pm Larry Lempert and Helen Sigeland, director of award office, give a presentation the 2012 recipient Guus Kuijer.

Looking forward to meet you!

A chat with Luciënne van der Leije at Querido

September 4, 2012

Luciënne van der Leije

We were curious about what´s been going on at Guus Kuijer’s publishing house Querido since spring/summer, so, we contacted foreign rights manager Luciënne van der Leije to find out more…

Hi Luciënne, could you tell us what the reactions were after the announcement of Guus Kuijer as the 2012 ALMA recipient?
We received congretulations from our foreign friends and also met new people who contacted us about Guus Kuijers books.

What’s been going on since then? Can you describe the international interest in Guus Kuijer’s works?
I have received e-mails and other interest from all over the world. So far Hungarian, Polish and Russian rights have been sold of several titles. The Swedish publisher of Guus Kuijer decided also to publish Florian Knol. The Italian publisher of the first Polly-book also bought the rights of the other four Polly-titles. Guus Kuijers French and Danish publishers will re-pubish the Polly-series. There is a lot of interest from more countries, among them China, Brasil, Greece and Spain.

Can you see any other effects besides a strictly commercial point of view?
Receiving so many warm reactions gave me a real buzz. I have always thought that especially The Book of Everything should be read by everybody around the world, and now many more people will read it. Wonderful!

What are your expectations for the book market for this fall? Can you see any trends?
There is more and more attention for apps, and I am very curious to see where this is going.

This fall will be an exciting book season

August 15, 2012

Photo: Opal

In September, Guus Kuijer´s Florian Knol will be published in Swedish by book agency Opal (“Florian Knol – ett alldeles vanligt kaos”). The protagonist is Florian, a philosophical young man of about 10 who discovers that what is normal for one person may seem strange to another. A sparrow takes up residence one day in Florian’s red hair, but it soon turns out that the sparrow actually lives in the hair of an old lady, also a redhead. The old lady has dementia, as Florian and his classmate Katja soon realize. But how can they help her? And is it really any stranger to refer to keys as forks than to drink beer for breakfast like Katja’s father? Florian realizes that there are some problems that adults have to fix for themselves, but that friendship across the generational divide is both possible and rewarding. The book was first published (in Dutch) in 2006.

And shortly, Swedish readers can enjoy 2011 ALMA recipient Shaun Tan´s Tales from Outer Suburbia (“Berättelser från yttre förorten”), published by Kabusa. This anthology contains 15 stories from his upbringing in the suburbs; “Yet I think it is also a fine substitute for the medieval forests of fairytale lore, a place of subconscious imaginings. I’ve always found the idea of suburban fantasy very appealing”, Shaun Tan says.

In October, Rabén&Sjögren will publish something quite unique, the story Tomten är vaken (Santa Claus is awake, our transl.), written by Astrid Lindgren herself, with illustrations by 2010 ALMA recipient Kitty Crowther. The manuscript was written around 1960, and has never been published in Sweden before.