Posts Tagged ‘Mats Berggren’

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.)

Reading promotion in focus at the book fair in Guadalajara

November 30, 2012

Writer and jury member Mats Berggren on Wednesday gave a lecture on Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and reading promotion. He described his job as a jury member and the procedure on how to select a recipient. Many listeners wanted information on how to become a nominating body and many were of course hoping for a Mexican recipient in the future.  The sum of the award impressed, but as Mats rightly said, one Swedish crown from each citizen is well spent money!

Mats Berggren also told the audience how he as a writer promotes reading by visiting schools and libraries and what in his opinion is characteristic to Swedish children’s literature.  Quite a few books by Swedish writers can be found at the fair, most of them published by Spanish publishing houses. More Mexican titles in Swedish would of course be of interest to all of us but that is question for the publishers.


Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in Guadalajara

November 27, 2012

The largest book fair in Latin America opened on Sunday in Guadalajara for the 26th time. Writer and jury member Mats Berggren who visits the fair for the very first time  was immediately impressed by the size and quality of the exhibition. The seminar program is extensive and offers a lot of inspiration for a Spanish a speaking visitor like Mats. He will himself give a speech on Tuesday within the festival of European literature  on the subject Hope and on Wednesday he will give a talk on Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and reading promotion.

Mats Berggren with his guide and driver Guillermo Tovar Partida: Photo: Helen Sigeland.

A visit in the children’s section proves that there is no age limit for workshops for children. Older children  were among many other things offered a lesson in haiku writing. Last year 100 000 children visited the fair with their teachers and the organisers believe there will be even more young visitors this year.

Photo: Helen Sigeland
Photo: Helen Sigeland

Guadalajara International Book Fair coming up

October 29, 2012

Four weeks to go until the opening of the Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL) in Mexico on November 24. This is the most important publishing gathering in Ibero-America, and the second largest book fair in the world after the Frankfurt Book Fair. ALMA will participate as usual, and it is award Director Helen Sigeland’s first visit to Guadalajara:

–The Guadalajara International Book Fair is an important forum of us in our efforts to increase awareness of ALMA worldwide. We have very good experiences of our relationship with the book fair, and I am very much looking forward to making new contacts, sharing experiences and getting more knowledge on literature from this part of the world. And of course to experience the amazing book fair itself!

ALMA is also represented by Mats Berggren, author and member of the jury, who is invited to lecture on reading promotion and previous ALMA recipients.

The book fair is open between November 24 and December 2, and applies to both the general public and professionals. Last year, publishing houses from 43 countries exhibited at the fair and the number of visitors exceeded 659 000. More information here.

The FIL Press Conference announcing the 2012 program.Photo: Guadalajara Book Fair.

Crowded Book After-Work with Mats Berggren

October 10, 2012

Yesterday, Mats Berggren, author and member of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award jury, held an inspiring lecture arranged by reading promoting project ”Children and Books” in Stockholm.  In a very compelling and personal way Mats talked about his own writing experiences as well as giving an insight into the works of the ALMA recipients to the audience (pedagogues and teachers
from schools in Stockholm).

“Children and Books” is a project aiming to stimulate children’s love for reading and to improve their language development. The project is a collaboration between Stockholm City Library, Skansen, the Education Department at Stockholm City and the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.

Meeting Swedish colleagues

May 24, 2011

While in Stockholm to pick up the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, Shaun Tan took the opportunity to meet with fellow authors and illustrators working an living in Sweden. The meeting took place in a writer’s studio in a beautiful house from the 18th century. Many members of the Swedish Academy for Children’s Books were present. The Academy is dedicated to promoting good literature for children and young adults. The eighteen members also strive to influence politicians, institutions, and public opinion in the area of children’s literature.

Authors and illustrators such as Christina Björk, Sven Nordqvist, Beate Grimsrud, Anna Bengtsson and Jujja Wieslander, as well as jury members Stefan Casta and Mats Berggren greeted Shaun Tan with rich chocolate cakes and with english editions of their books.