Presentation of the IBBY-iRead Outstanding Reading Promoter Award 2020

Sunday 12 September 2021, Russian Chidlren State Library, Moscow, Russia

Laudatio given by Redza Khairuddin, President of the Jury
Speech by Li Wen, Director of the Shenzhen iRead Foundation
Acceptance speech by Marit Törnqvist
Acceptance speech by Zhu Yongxin

Watch the full ceremony here

IBBY-iRead Outstanding Reading Promoter Award 2020 - Winners

The winners of the 2020 IBBY-iRead Outstanding Reading Promoter Award are Marit Törnqvist from the Netherlands and Zhu Yongxin from China. Marit Törnqvist is a writer and illustrator who has developed reading programmes for children that focus not only the story, but also on the experience of reading and on encouraging children to narrate and illustrate their own stories. Zhu Yongxin is a well-known scholar who has devoted his life to continuous research and activities related to reading promotion, including training and programmes for children in rural areas and children with special needs. 

Films from the virtual IBBY Press Conference can be found here. The full media release can be downloaded here.

Marit Törnqvist

"I think first of all I am fighting against inequality in the world. A lot of children are victims of this inequality. I want to fight for the rights of these children. And I think that books can help them to find out who they are and what kind of world they live in. Books can also make children stronger and give them dreams and hope." 
Read Marit Törnqvist's full interview here.

Marit Törnqvist is a writer as well as an illustrator. She has developed reading programmes for children that focus not only the story, but also on the experience of reading itself. Her reading aloud activities strive to create a warm and joyful atmosphere that make children want to come back for more and inspire them to pick up a book and read. She encourages children to identify with the stories that they read, leading them to narrate their own stories and holds reading and illustrating activities with groups of children from different countries, resulting in a closer understanding of each other’s life and culture. She also conducts bibliotherapy programmes for children living in difficult circumstances, often helping them to face the grim realities of life by encouraging them to express their own stories. She started a programme that provides books for refugee children in their own language so that they can read their own stories as a first step towards accepting the culture of their new home. In Iran, she has contributed, both professionally and personally, to giving support to street children, children from disadvantaged neighbourhoods, refugees and victims of natural disasters. Törnqvist’s work reaches children as well as families, caregivers and people working with children at home and around the world.

Zhu Yongxin

"I believe reading is the foundation and cornerstone of education."
Read Zhu Yongxin's full interview here.

Zhu Yongxin is an established and well-known scholar with many publications relating to reading promotion for children. He has devoted his life to continuous research and activities related to reading promotion. As an educator, he is regarded by many as the inspiration and role model in the field of reading promotion. He and his team have trained many teachers throughout China to be reading promoters so that they can then take on the role and responsibility to train others. His programmes help schools in carrying out comprehensive reading courses for parents, children and teachers with a strong focus on rural areas. He also focuses on children with special needs, the vulnerable and those living in remote areas. His efforts have led to the development and production of the first set of audio books meant for visually impaired children in China. Zhu’s knowledge and experience have brought him recognition from his country’s Government and he has been able to influence and propose a number of new initiatives relating to the country’s reading policies, including the promotion of children’s reading. He donates much of his professional fees and royalties to reading promotion activities, where he is also a frequent volunteer. He continues to be the driving force for reading promotion for children in China and is recognized internationally as an expert in the field of reading promotion.

IBBY-iRead Outstanding Reading Promoter Award 2020 - Nominations

1. Julinda Abu Nasr, Beirut, Lebanon, nominated by IBBY Lebanon

2. Jorge Argueta, San Salvador, El Salvador, nominated by IBBY El Salvador

3. Kirsten Boie, Barsbüttel, Germany, nominated by IBBY Germany

4. Murti Bunanta, Jakarta, Indonesia, nominated by IBBY Indonesia

5. Hugo Waldemar Cubilla, Buenos Aires, Argentina, nominated by IBBY Argentina

6. Zahira Dadashova, Baku, Azerbaijan, nominated by IBBY Azerbaijan

7. Zohreh Ghaeni, Tehran, Iran, nominated by IBBY Canada

8. Ma. Regina González Díaz, Talca, Chile, nominated by IBBY Cuba

9. David Harrison, Somerset West, South Africa, nominated by IBBY South Africa

10. M. G. Neil P. Karunarathne, Matale, Sri Lanka, nominated by IBBY Sri Lanka

11. Kathleen Moran, Kilmoganny, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland, nominated by IBBY Ireland

12. Sathyanarayan Mundayoor, Lohit, Arunachal Pradesh, India, nominated by IBBY India

13. Anne Pellowski, Winona, MN, USA, nominated by IBBY USA

14. Irina Rocheva, Tula, Russia, nominated by IBBY Russia

15. Ali Asghar Seidabadi, Tehran, Iran, nominated by IBBY Iran

16. Marit Törnqvist, Amsterdam, Netherlands, nominated by the Flanders Branch of IBBY Belgium

17 Marit Törnqvist, Amsterdam, Netherlands, nominated by IBBY Netherlands

18. Wang Zhigeng, Beijing, China, nominated by IBBY China

19. Zhu Yongxin, Beijing, China, nominated by IBBY China

> The list of the projects nominated for the 2020 IBBY-iRead Outstanding Reading Promotor Award can be downloaded here.