Posts Tagged ‘Kitty Crowther’

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

Photo:
© Nordiska Akvarellmuseet

Photo: Nordiska akvarellmuseet

Photo: Nordiska akvarellmuseet

 

Kitty Crowther writes for picturebookmakers blog

October 22, 2014

ALMA_2010-05-24_Junibacken_089

Today Kitty Crowhter writes for the picturebookmakers blog! Here, Kitty talks about the creation of her latest picturebook, ‘Mère Méduse’ (Mother Medusa), and she shares some enchanting sketches and illustrations. This striking picturebook about the maternal bond is published in French by Pastel—l’école des loisirs:

Kitty: It’s the fiftieth anniversary of l’école des loisirs in 2015. I used to read those books as a child and loved them over and over. I’ve now been working with Pastel—l’école des loisirs for twenty years. My latest book with them will be released in November 2014. It’s called ‘Mère Méduse’. To translate the title into English, I would say ‘Mother Medusa’ and not ‘Mother Jellyfish’. Even though medusa and jellyfish are connected.

Continue reading at Kitty’s blogpost here.
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The Visit from Little Death

October 17, 2014
Sissela Benn as the girl Elsewise in The Visit from Little Death. Photo: Johan Sjövall

Sissela Benn as the girl Elsewise in The Visit from Little Death. Photo: Johan Sjövall

 

Lars H Gustafsson

Lars H Gustafsson

Author, paediatrician and former member of the ALMA-jury Lars H. Gustafsson went to see Unga Teatern’s play The Visit from Little Death this week. We asked Lars if we could translate his blog post (published in Swedish here) for the ALMA blog, which he gladly approved of:

Today I’ve been to the theater. The renascent theatre Unga teatern in Malmö gives as its first production La Visite de la Petite Mort (approx. The visit from Little Death), based on Kitty Crowther’s picture book with the same title.

Kitty Crowther received the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2010, and La Visite de la Petite Mort is one of her finest books. Talking to children about death can be an experience, enriching for both the child and the adult. Kitty Crowther does it in a tender, playful and surprising way. She really takes children seriously, and I too, as an adult, get warm inside by this story. I have previously written about the book here on my blog, as well as in my book Leka för livet (approx. Playing for life).

The theatre’s version is close to the original but has at the same time, with simple means, been given a free theatrical form that rather enhance both the depth and the playfulness in the story. The three actresses Sissela Benn, Susanne Karlsson and Ellen Norlund portray the girl, the lady and the Little Death accurately and with feeling. I saw the play together with a group of six year olds from Rosengård, who clearly were engaged in what took place on stage. I also want to mention scenographer Erika Magnusson, who found a way to take advantage of the room in an unusually clever way. As well as the thrifty but effective music features autographed Stefan Johansson.

I almost wish that Kitty Crowther could see this show! I think she’d be happy. For director Ada Berger has really captured both the message and the atmosphere of the story. On October 20, at 7 pm, Ada Berger and I will talk about the play and the issues it raises (location: The Studio Hipp, more information here). How can adults help children to grasp ideas that are both staggeringly huge and quite menacing? How do we talk to children and to each other about all this and how can literature, art and theatre be a help on the way?

Cover of Lilla döden hälsar på. Berghs förlag.

Cover of Lilla döden hälsar på. Berghs förlag.

Kitty Crowther.

Kitty Crowther.

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.

Hello Kitty!

November 7, 2013
Kitty and Jonte Nynäs at the Nordic Watercolor Museum.

Kitty and Jonte Nynäs at the Nordic Watercolor Museum.

Yesterday Belgian illustrator and author Kitty Crowther visited the Nordic Watercolor Museum in Sweden to talk about her book Le petit homme et Dieu (approx. The Little Man and God, our transl.). Her visit was part of the museum’s work towards exploring the potential of pictorial storytelling. Le petit homme et Dieu is about the friendship between a boy and his little unusual friend – God. Does God exist? If she/he exist – who is she/he?

– There are so many ways to believe, Kitty told the audience. I believe in everything you can´t see.

She also talked about the fact the ending of her stories is not always certain when she starts writing them.

–I do have an idea, but I cannot formulate it until I´m actually there. And I don´t create stories, the stories choose me.

Kitty Crowther received the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2010.

The Swedish edition (Rabén&Sjögren) Den lille mannen och Gud.

The Swedish edition (Rabén&Sjögren) Den lille mannen och Gud.

Exhibition exploring pictorial storytelling

October 23, 2013
Annas himmel (2013) by Stian Hole, one of the illustrators in The picture book in new guises.

Annas himmel (2013) by Stian Hole, one of the illustrators in The picture book in new guises.

An interesting exhibition is going on at the Nordic Watercolour Museum in Skärhamn, Sweden. The picture book in new guises is the museum’s fourth exhibition under the theme of exploring the potential of pictorial storytelling. Original illustrations from books published in the past year by 12 young Nordic illustrators are exhibited.

The museum also presents the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.

The museum also presents the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.

As part of the pictorial storytelling theme, the museum has also chosen to present three ALMA laureates – Kitty Crowther, Shaun Tan and Isol. Among the exhibits are the original illustrations to Isol’s Tic Tac (text by Jorge Luján and illustrations by Isol).

The big draw. A large drawing party with a variety of open workshops led by artists, which will take place next week at the Nordic Watercolour Museum.

The big draw. A large drawing party with a variety of open workshops led by artists, which will take place next week at the Nordic Watercolour Museum.

The museum also presents an extensive program during the autumn. On Nov 8 there´s an open seminar and launch of the book A fanfare for the picture book (our transl. En fanfar för bilderboken), a tribute to the picture book as medium containing articles that examines and celebrates the picture book as a unique medium and an art form in itself. Among the speakers are researcher and ALMA jury member Ulla Rhedin and the 2010 ALMA laureate Kitty Crowther.

The exhibition is available until February 16, 2014.

 

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.)