Dear IBBY Europe colleagues,

We are living in unusual times to say the least. Some of us are under strict lockdown, others are just starting to have more freedom of movement, and some have never been confined at home… But we are all still facing the threat of COVID-19, and an uncertain future. In these stressful circumstances, books are needed more than ever to explain the world to children, nourish their imagination, nurture their dreams and help them deal with the current situation. IBBY’s work is crucial in these days.

In this issue of our newsletter you will find the latest news from the world of children's books and reading in Armenia, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden, as well as a call for contributions to Bookbird and a presentation of recent publications.

Let’s not forget our website, an online resource for books in 31 languages and information on what to do with them, and our Facebook page, full of interesting information about books and reading in Europe and worldwide!

A special thank you to our faithful supporters: David Pintor, who designed a new header for this issue of our newsletter, and who presents an illustration per day during this lockdown period on his Facebook page, and Liz Page, the executive director of IBBY, proofreader of our newsletter.

Best wishes to you all, and keep safe!

Hasmig Chahinian


Echoes from the European sections

From Sweden

Two national awards that IBBY Sweden is involved with each year are the Gulliver Prize and the Peter Pan Award

Linda Holmer © Ina Marie Winther Åshaug

The Gulliver prize, established in 1969 by BUR, the Children and Youth Book Council (now IBBY Sweden) is awarded each year to someone who, through activities of a critical, theoretical or practical nature, has significantly contributed to increasing the understanding of children's books. The award winner is selected by the Gulliver Committee, which consists of representatives from the Swedish Children's Book Institute, the Publishers' Association, the Bookstore Association, the Association of Swedish Illustrators and Graphic Designers, the Writers' Association, Swedish Radio/Television/Educational Radio and IBBY Sweden. The prize consists of a diploma and a sum of money.

The 2020 Gulliver Prize is awarded to Linda Holmer, teacher in charge of "freestanding" courses in image and storytelling at HDK-VALAND - The School of Art and Design. In addition to teaching, Linda Holmer is also a graphic designer and picture book creator.

By rewarding Linda Holmer the committee said that it wanted to highlight the work that goes into creating picture books for children, an area that has not previously been rewarded. Linda has opened up collaborations with a great emphasis on the picture-text relationship, the writing process and issues specific to the picture book's form. In this way, the picture book courses at HDK have had a great impact when it comes to publishing picture books in Sweden.

The 2020 Peter Pan Award - the only Swedish children's book prize that goes to a translated book - was awarded to Bené – snabbare än den snabbaste hönan by Eymard Toledo, in translation from German by Björn Eklund, published by Karneval Publishing House. Eymard Toledo is originally from Brazil. The story of Bené is her first book published in Sweden.

The story of Bené, a boy in a small village in Brazil who loves to play football, is conveyed with expressive illustrations and humor and warmth in both text and image. In a simple and fun way, Bené's everyday life is depicted including his work and play, family and friends.
The Peter Pan Award is presented to a translated children's or adolescent book that has specific literary qualities and meets one or more of the following criteria:

              1. It shows an authorship, which is new or not well known in Sweden.
              2. It comes from a country, language or culture that is less common in Swedish publishing.
              3. It has content that focuses on children or adolescents in other countries or cultures.

The prize consists of a diploma created by the South African children's book author and illustrator Piet Grobler, as well as an invitation to the Book Fair in Gothenburg where a seminar is organized to present the prize-winner and the winning book. We are very happy that Eymard Toledo has agreed to come to Gothenburg for the book fair and to do workshops!

In addition to the Peter Pan Award, Silver Stars were awarded to two books according to the same criteria. This year's Silver Stars go to När månen glömde by Jimmy Liao, translated from Chinese by Anna Gustafsson Chen, published by Mirando's Book and Ett hastigt rent rop by Siobhan Dowd, translated from English by Helena Ridelberg, published by Atrium Publishers.

The Peter Pan Award was established in 2000 by IBBY Sweden together with the Book Fair in Gothenburg. The jury consists of the board of IBBY Sweden.

From Germany

2020 German Children’s Literature Award (Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis)

Illustration by German artist Iris Anemone Paul (2019 prize winner)

The 2020 shortlist for the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis (German Children’s Literature Award) was presented online on 12 March 2020 because of the cancellation of the Leipzig Book Fair due to the coronavirus. The presentation is still available at YouTube-channel of IBBY Germany.

Since 1956 the German Children’s Literature Award has been given annually to outstanding works of children’s and young adult literature. Since it was established, the award has been international: books that have been translated from other languages equally eligible as German books.

Each year a jury of critics awards prizes in the categories of Picture Book, Children’s Book, Young Adult Book, and Non-Fiction. Furthermore, an independent young adult jury awards its own prize. In each category, the juries nominate six titles, which have been published the previous year. From these lists they choose the winning titles. The awards carry a value of 10,000 Euro and can be split up between authors, illustrators and translators.

In 2020 publishers submitted 647 titles, including 358 German originals and 289 translations. The 30 nominations made by the jury of critics and the young adult jury, include 9 books translated from English, 2 from Polish, 1 from French, 1 from Dutch, 1 from Norwegian, 1 from Portuguese, 1 from Russian and 1 from Czech.

Nominated for this year’s Special Award for New Talents are three German authors. The winner is chosen by the special award jury, who is also responsible for awarding the Special Award for Lifetime Achievement of a German author. The Special Award for New Talents is 10,000 Euro; the Special Award For Lifetime Achievement carries a value of 12,000 Euro. Both Special Awards are given alternately to German authors, translators and illustrators.

The German Children’s Literature Award is organized by the Arbeitskreis für Jugendliteratur, the German IBBY Section.

This year’s winners will be announced on 16 October 2020, at a ceremony during the Frankfurt Book Fair.

The list of nominations for the 2020 German Children’s Literature Awards is published at www.jugendliteratur.org/nominierungen

2020 Kranichstein Grants for Young Adult Literature
(Kranichsteiner Jugendliteratur-Stipendien)

Dita Zipfel (left) and Kristin Höller received the 2020 Kranichstein Grants © Dawn Stoloff (l.), Heike Steinweg (r.)

Since 2010, the Arbeitskreis für Jugendliteratur/IBBY Germany and the Deutscher Literaturfonds (German Literature Fund) annually offer grants to two new authors of young adult fiction in German.

The 2020 Kranichstein Grants for Young Adult Literature went to Kristin Höller for her debut novel Schöner als überall (Fairer than anywhere; published by Suhrkamp) and to Dita Zipfel for Wie der Wahnsinn mir die Welt erklärte (How madness explained the world to me; published by Hanser). Each author receives a grant of 12,000 Euro.

To mark the 10th anniversary of the Kranichstein Grants for Young Adult Literature, Kristin Höller and Dita Zipfel will be touring Germany from June to December 2020, holding readings in schools, bookstores and libraries.

For more information see www.jugendliteratur.org.

From Lithuania

Stronger Together: IBBY Lithuanian national section became EURead member

At the end of 2019, the Lithuanian branch of IBBY was the first IBBY national section to become a member of EURead.

Founded in 2000, EURead is a consortium of European reading promotion organizations that believe that reading is a prerequisite for full participation in today’s media-led and culturally diverse society.

The aim of this unique European task force is to exchange knowledge, experiences and concepts, and to jointly develop new strategies for the promotion of reading. EURead meets regularly and organizes systematic lobbying of politicians, industry and commerce. This work raises awareness that a strong structural framework for reading promotion on a national and European level is absolutely vital. Currently, its members comprise 28 institutions from 21 countries in Europe, and also includes Turkey.

IBBY and EURead are united in their efforts to bring together professional experts, reading enthusiasts, representatives of non-governmental organizations, and all the others, who are relentlessly working in their fields to promote highest levels of reading among the wider population in general, and among the children in particular. They are both committed to the advancement of literacy throughout the nation by facilitating access to reading and learning. Such collaboration is mutually beneficial.

The Lithuanian branch of IBBY had a great opportunity to celebrate some benefits of this partnership during Vilnius Book Fair of 2020 with the participation of the representative of EURead and Stichting Lezen (Netherlands) Daan Beeke in the discussion forum of “How to make Europe read again?” Among other topics of the debate was the importance of EURead and other European NGOs in advocating their visions of the significance of reading at the political and the institutional levels of the European Union.

Daan Beeke at the IBBY Lithuania stand - Vilnius Book Fair. © IBBY Lithuania “How to make Europe read again?”. © IBBY Lithuania

From Austria

The "KiJuLit Centre for Research and Didactics of Children’s Literature", an institutional member of IBBY Austria, published the first issue of the new open access publication “didacticum” from the University College of Teacher Education Styria in Graz, Austria. This issue deals with the texts of Renate Welsh as literature in schools. Each article in German starts with an English abstract.

Access the publication at: https://didacticum.phst.at/


From Belgium
French Branch

Libbylit Awards given by IBBY Belgium French Branch

Since 2005, the French Branch of IBBY Belgium annually presents the Libbylit Awards to authors and illustrators who published excellent books the year before.

Libbylit is the magazine published by our section. It is a quarterly publication in which we present activities around youth literature that mainly take place in Wallonia (the French speaking part of Belgium) or France. The second part of the magazine consists in a presentation of books and albums we receive from almost 100 publishers in French.

The best of these books and albums are chosen to be part of the selection for the Libbylit Awards. We have two categories: Picture Book and Novel. Two juries of professionals (librarians, publishers,…) choose the laureates.

The laureates of the Libbylit Awards 2019 are as follows:

  • Belgian Picture Book 
    Popeup / Benoît Jacques – Benoît Jacques Editions
    An animated book, where the reader can play with a little « paper man » who asks the reader to help him to get out of the book.

  • Early childhood Picture Book
    Kiki en promenade (Kiki on a walk) / Marine Mirgaine - Editions les Fourmis Rouges
    Kiki is taken on his daily walk by his master, but during this walk, strange things happen on the end of the leash, without the master noticing anything.

  • Album
    Marions-les ! (Let’s get them married) / Eric Sanvoisin ; Delphine Jacquot – Editions L’étagère du bas
    A rabbit has fallen in love with a carrot, but the carrot is very much afraid of the rabbit’s big teeth. But what would we not do for love?
  • Belgian Novel
    Les couleurs du ghetto (The war within those walls. Original title: De kleuren van het getto) / Aline Sax ; ill. Caryl Strzelecki ; translated from Dutch by Maurice Lomré – Editions La joie de lire
    A very dramatic story of this nightmarish chapter of the history of humanity (the Warsaw ghetto), but also about the life of a young man resisting the Nazis and his desperate desire to act and to survive.

  • Junior Novel (ex-aequo)
    La cavale (The run) / Ulf Stark ; ill. Kitty Crowther – Editions Pastel – L’école des loisirs
    An old man feels that his last days has come, but his wants to make a last trip with his grandson. They leave the care home, where the old man is living, to go a last time back to his home, where he lived many years with his wife.

    Les loups du clair de lune : histoires naturelles (Wolves in the moonlight : natural stories) / Xavier-Laurent Petit ; ill. Amandine Delaunay – Editions L’école des loisirs
    A little girl is going to visit her Grandma who lives in a remote place in Tasmania. Grandma has some health problem, which worries her grandchild, but her goal is to rediscover the famous Tasmanian Wolf.

  • Novel 
    Si l’on me tend l’oreille (Give me your ear) / Hélène Vignal – Editions Le Rouergue
    In the kingdom of the Three Provinces there are the residents and the itinerants who, according to the seasons, bring to the first goods, tales, dreams and the smell of the paths. However, this peaceful balance is disturbed when the King enacted a law that prevented the itinerants from going wherever they wanted. But how could Grouzna the storyteller, Julio the musician, Alfred and his wooden animals give up what makes them who they are?

The Award, a chocolate statuette of the Manneken Piss, the famous urinating boy from Brussels, was presented to the laureates at the Brussels Book Fair on 7 March 2020 by Luc Battieuw, president of the Picture Book Jury and Robert Schmidt, president of the Novel Jury and current president of the French Branch of IBBY Belgium.

From France

Marie-Aude Murail, finalist of the Hans Christian Andersen Award 2020

Marie-Aude Murail, a renowned and much loved author of children's and young adult literature, was a finalist of the Hans Christian Andersen Award 2020 in the writing category. On this occasion, IBBY France created, at the request of the IBBY Secretariat, a video about Marie-Aude Murail's work, to be used for the HCAA finalists' promotional video. The full 8 minutes of this interview in French, subtitled in English, can be viewed here.

The ICBD message in French

IBBY France responded to IBBY Slovenia's call and prepared a video in French for The International Children's Book Day 2020. Juliette Livartowski, creator of podcasts and a member of IBBY France, recorded the ICBD 2020 message in French. It can be viewed here.

From Slovakia

International Conference 2019 on "Rooms of Reading"

In November 2019, the Centre for Children’s Literature, Reading and SK IBBY organized an international conference on the "Room of Reading" – WELCOME TO A BOOK LAB! The aim was to evaluate the existing experiences with the Rooms of Reading organized at BIBIANA, the International House of Art for Children. The participants included authors and experts in the field of literature and dramatic and fine arts from Slovakia and abroad. At the same time we sought to use examples and available parts of installations to present the Room of Reading as a unique artistic format that aims to introduce children to the possibility of moving "inside a book," experiencing new situations and emotions, solving tasks, and sensitively perceiving and reflecting on the story a book presents. The Room of Reading project succeeds in motivating children to pursue these objectives.

The conference presenters included Mária Bačová who had prepared the book Dierožrút (The hole eater) as a scenic laboratory. Creatively adapting this rather challenging book that deals with existential questions, such as the meaning of life, the sense of void, she succeeded in mediating the story for primary school-age children through a suitably approached graphic concept. Through physical encounter, the children were encouraged to search for holes with the "hole eaters" (objects), reflecting on what it is like to live in holes, while also getting to know the symbolic meaning of other objects in the story and the pathways of the hole eaters.

Mária Bačová speaking about the Room of Reading - Dierožrút (the Hole Eater) as a scenic laboratory

In another Room of Reading, entitled The Secret of the Castle Treasure, the scenographer Juliána Dubovská created the scene using a passage from the book by Ján Milčák, Starec, ktorý lietal (The Old Man Who Flew) and a fragment from the legend of the Červený Kameň Castle. Both texts were interlinked by the motif of a treasure and hidden mysteries, such as: an exhausted old man suddenly finds himself at an abundantly set table just to hear a warning inner voice not to eat of it despite his immense hunger. In this Room of Reading, the scenographer produced a tempting table that included cryptic messages warning about an impeding danger. These simultaneous messages served as an attractive riddle for the visitors. The facilitator Timotea Vráblová used a small fraction of the story to work with the children. She began with the moment when the old man enters the room with the feast awaiting him there. This scene gave the children a plenty to think about, for instance, they had never experienced hunger before, thus were not able to evoke the sense thereof. Posing the questions, such as, can we eat from the table? Who had enjoyed this table before? Vráblová explored symbolic language, the children’s observation (they did not notice many things, such as the shadows of the hands on the table cloth, the candleholder with a face), the interconnection of stories, and the processing of impulses.

Yet another Room of Reading, called Attention! Excavation of the Stories, graphically designed by the psychotherapist Zoltán Mátyus, was exceptional: there were only objects - no story.

Based on getting to know and selecting the objects at the 'excavation site', children were asked to search for a story: Who did the object belong to? What kind of persons they were? Where did they live? What did they do? The process of selection and searching for the objects was mind-stimulating. The children were led to browse and make decisions, whether they would hold on to the object they found, or whether they would put it back, considering whether and why the object fits into the story, etc. In this process, the children learned to assertively bring themselves into the shared space, arguing why they want to have a certain object in the story and taking responsibility for themselves and their decisions.

Finally, the children created one common story to which all the selected objects were included.

Save a strange creature

Between January and June 2020, BIBIANA offered a Room of Reading entitled Save a Strange Creature. This Room of Reading enables children to enter space of the story about Beauty and the Beast, thus leading them close to both known as well as unknown mysterious characters. Journeying through the story the children are helped by symbolic references, scenographic and costume objects, emotions, intuition, and imagination. The Save a Strange Creature Room of Reading is a result of a joint research project under the study program of Alternative and Puppet Theatre and its Theory at the Academy of Performing Arts (DAMU) in Prague. In this Room of Reading, the author of the story, Zuzana Vojtíšková, and the author of the graphic design, Jitka Pospíšilová, created a home space that evokes the sense of security and comfort (fire place, arm-chair, gifts, family photographs). Playing with "semi-masks" of the characters in the story, the children revealed the relationships between the characters (father, sisters, Belle) and tried to feel what if was like to be them, such as: What kind of characters they are? How are we going to understand them? How are we going to feel around them? Does their appearance help us find an answer to these questions? The children explored under what conditions they would be able to leave their safe zone to enter a strange environment, not knowing what to expect there, and to what extent they would be able to intentionally sacrifice themselves for a fellow human being.

In a separate room the children had an opportunity to think about the Beast, e.g., what images it evokes, what it may look like, whether it takes on a human or animal countenance. Thanks to props the children themselves created the Beast using a magnetic board. They gave the Beast hair, eyes, a body, arms and legs. They could choose whether to use human or animal body parts. The Save a Strange Creature Room of Reading motivates children to thinking about characters, their personalities, appearances and behaviors, and seeks to employ sensitivity and empathy to create space for mutual respect and friendship among children.

Award presentation ceremony

In January 2020, the Centre for Children’s Literature, Reading, and the Slovak Section of IBBY at BIBIANA, organized a national award presentation ceremony for the 2019 Ľudovít Fulla Award and the 2019 Triple Rose Award (Trojruža). The ceremony took place in chamber studio of the Radio and Television Slovakia (RTVS). The ceremonial evening with award presentations also featured the Pressburger Klezmer Band.

2019 L'udovít Fulla Award

The ĽUDOVÍT FULLA AWARD is a prize for an excellent work of art or the previous artistic production that has made a significant contribution to developing Slovak children’s and juvenile illustration art. The Fine Arts Foundation (FVU), SK IBBY, and BIBIANA - International House of Art for Children, presented the 2019 ĽUDOVÍT FULLA AWARD to the illustrator Daniela Krajčová for her original style of graphic expression through which she fosters the imagination of the child reader.

2019 Triple Rose Award

The TRIPLE ROSE AWARD is a prize for a significant literary work or a work in literary studies or the previous artistic production that has made a significant contribution to developing Slovak children’s and juvenile literature. The Literary Foundation, SK IBBY, and BIBIANA - International House of Art for Children, presented the 2019 TRIPLE ROSE AWARD to Erik Jakub Groch for the way he expresses profound human values in new contexts to make them intelligible to the child readers.

Language as a space of home

In February 2020, BIBIANA, the Centre for Children’s Literature, Reading, and SK IBBY organized a conference entitled LANGUAGE AS A SPACE OF HOME that marked the 2020 International Mother-Language Day under the auspices of the Minister of Culture of the Slovak Republic and the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic. The mother language is more than merely an ability to express oneself in a certain language. It is the language of the heart through which one experiences and expresses one’s emotions, thoughts, and feelings.

The creative conference explored the theme of the mother language from the perspective of its influence on the formation of the child’s inner security. It emphasized the role the mother language plays in cultivating human personality and discussed the mother language as a constructive element in the psychosocial development of children.

In conversation with Timotea Vráblová, the musician and a founding member of Mucha Quartet shared his experiences with music that is a "mother language" of his predecessors and also becomes the language of his children, thus broadening the context in which one thinks about the mother language.

The struggle for the mother language was a theme discussed by Gabriela Dittelová, a writer and author of books for children. The task of a parent in the development of the communication skills of children was explored in a workshop prepared by Timotea Vráblová for the participants. The author, poet, creative thinker, and innovator Daniel Hevier spoke about the mother language as roots for the future. The concluding part of the conference belonged to Timotea Vráblová and the theme of The Mother Language – A Journey to the Inner Image of the Self and the World.

From Spain
Galician Branch

Pontevedra international children's and young adult book fair becomes virtual

The 21st Pontevedra International Children's and Young Adult Book Fair, which was canceled due to the Covid-19 emergency, became virtual. All the activities, related to children's literature, are available on the following link: https://www.salondolibro.gal/salon-virtual/

#stayathome with lots of Galician literature

GÁLIX has created a wall in the forum Padlet with many resources related to Galician books for children and young adults in order to keep Galician children entertained during the coronavirus lockdown and bring them the opportunity to stay in touch with literature. You can find it here:  https://padlet.com/galixblog/vy936q0zcf68

Poetry reading contest

In order to celebrate the International Children's Book Day 2020, GÁLIX has launched the poetry reading contest in Galician «Un poema na túa voz» (a poem in your voice). Any child from 6 to 13 years old can participate by sending an audio file with the lecture of her or his favorite poems originally written in Galician. Contest rules are available at http://www.galix.org/2020/03/por-mor-das-circunstancias-excepcionais.html.

Catalan Branch

April 2020 IBBY Regional Newsletter- Catalonia

Prizes & Awards: Jordi Sierra i Fabra (author) and Elena Odriozola (illustrator) were the 2020 Spanish nominations for the Hans Christian Andersen Award. The picture book Plous o fas sol, the trilogy La llum d’Artús, and the non-fiction picturebook Jo i el món have won the Premi Crítica Serra d’Or, the oldest and most prestigious Catalan literary Award. Congratulations to Anna Font and Mireia Vidal, Raimon Portell and Mireia Trius and Joana Casals. More than 8000 children and youngsters are currently reading, selecting and voting for the Atrapallibres and Protagonista Jove Awards. These two local awards are voted for solely by children. 

Freddy Gonçalves, Pep Molist, Tàssies and Piu Martínez were the keynote speakers at the annual conference of the Catalan IBBY section held in December 2019 in Barcelona.

We want to congratulate the publishers Libros del Zorro Rojo and Thule Ediciones, as well as the independent bookshop Casa Anita on their 15th anniversaries. Moreover, the number of publishing houses in Catalonia is still growing and we would like to welcome two new publishers this term: Bindi Books and Tigre de paper.

In November 2019 the association Album organized its yearly event Semana del álbum in Barcelona with a lot of conferences, workshops and trainings. Ina Hristova, Issa Watanabe, Miguel Pang, Eva Muggenthaler, Atak and Jochen Weber were some of the keynote speakers.

During the lockdown period due to the Covid -19 many stakeholders' initiatives are taking place: publishers are offering free access to some children books and daily storytelling is available through Instagram Stories and YouTube channels. Please check our website to have the full list.

We would like to express our sincere condolences on the death of the Catalan writer, critic and pedagogue Josep Maria Aloy.


From Armenia

Yerevan Children’s 16th Book Fair

On February 19-21, the 2020 Yerevan Children’s 16th Book Fair took place. It was organized by the National Children’s Library of Armenia in cooperation with IBBY Armenia and with the support of the Ministry of Knowledge, Science, Culture and Sport of Armenia. During the Book Fair the Armenian publishing houses presented their best books for children and young adults.

Various events and activities were implemented within those three days, such as: book presentations, storytelling hours, theatrical and puppet performances, exhibitions, film and cartoon watching, listening to music and etc..
Within the framework of the Fair there were also meetings with the winners of writing and illustration contests in 2019, who read their works and discuss them with the attendees.

The other exciting part of the fair was the Gift to a Soldier book donation campaign, during which the people visiting the fair donated books for the soldiers in the border zone.

“Fairy Tale Ambassadors” storytelling event….

One of the major activities of the Yerevan 16th Children's Book Fair included the "Fairy Tale Ambassadors" (storytelling by ambassadors accredited to RA).

On the opening ceremony of the Fair the Minster of Knowledge, Science, Culture and Sport of Armenia Mr. Arayik Harutyunyan read a fairy tale for the children visiting the Fair.

During the 3-day event Mr. Alex Bortola - the advisor for culture and cooperation affairs of the French Embassy in Armenia, and the advisor for culture affairs of the Italian Embassy in Armenia Mrs. Anna Maria Seca read national fairy tales in their mother tongue to the children visiting the fair and interacted with them.
From Slovenia

Celebrating the International Children's Book Day 2020

This year's ICBD was special in many ways. Since the classic celebrations in libraries, schools, kindergartens, etc. were impossible in most countries around the world because of the current pandemic, the Slovenian Section of IBBY, sponsor of the 2020 ICBD, encouraged a cyber-celebration.

We invited all National sections of IBBY to translate this year's message, written by Peter Svetina, and send us a video of the message being read in their national languages. Furthermore, we invited readers of all ages, teachers, reading mentors and children's literature authors to record themselves as they read their beloved book written or illustrated by the authors of this year's ICBD message and poster - Peter Svetina and Damijan Stepančič - or any other children's poem/story/book they really like. They were also encouraged to send us a photo of their own artworks inspired by this year's ICBD message and poster.

We have received many wonderful videos, photos, translations and words of encouragement; and would really like to thank all that helped us to celebrate in this unique way. You can find a collage of Hunger for Words videos in different languages on our webpage. There you can also find interviews with Peter Svetina and Damijan Stepančič, and some additional material on their works, which we prepared for this occasion. Further videos in Slovenian language, send to us by young readers, teachers and storytellers, can be also found on our webpage and on our facebook page that has never been so lively as after the publication of all the material we have received.

We believe that this material can be used by reading mentors in the future and will inspire unique ways of bringing children and books together.

It was lovely to connect in this way, in these times when hunger for words is particularly pertinent!

From Greece
The cover page of The Family Reading Project leaflet

The Family Reading Project

IBBY Greece is happy to present The Family Reading Project – a reading promotion campaign designed by the Greek Section of IBBY. More specifically, it is a campaign based on creating a leaflet of very simple and hands-on pieces of advice on the value of reading within the family environment. A corresponding illustration accompanies each piece of advice so as the development of joint reading and literacy activities for parents and children can be depicted the best possible way. The aim of the campaign is to promote book reading from the early age with the contribution of their family. The texts were written by Maria Papayanni (2020 HCAA Nominee and 2020 Children's Book Ambassador) and illustrated by Iris Samartzi (2020 HCAA Nominee and 2020 Children's Book Ambassador). The introduction was written by Vagelis Iliopoulos (2018 Children's Book Ambassador) and translated by Kiki Hatzopoulou. The material is distributed free of charge to schools, libraries and cultural centers. The Family Reading Project was implemented with the support and under the auspices of the Hellenic Republic - Ministry of Culture and Sports.

Hunger for Words campaign – illustration

Hunger for Words – A reading promotion campaign inspired by the 2020 ICBD message

Inspired by the 2020 ICBD message Hunger for Words, the Greek Section of IBBY invited its author members to read and record short parts of their books and create videos for a reading promotion campaign called Hunger for Words. The campaign aims to keep company and promote reading to children and young adults who need to stay at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The videos are posted daily on https://www.facebook.com/ibbygreece and can be freely shared.

Book covers from the short-listed books of the 2020 IBBY Greece Annual Award contest

2nd April – International Children's Book Day 2020

On the occasion of the 2020 ICBD celebration, the Greek Section of IBBY announced its annual awards to creators of children and young people's literature for their distinctive writing, illustration and translation regarding book production during the year 2019. It should be noted that the 2020 ICBD events and celebration is under the auspices of the Hellenic Republic - Ministry of Culture and Sports.  The 2020 ICBD poster was translated into Greek by the IBBY Honorary Member and IBBY Greece Honorary President, Mrs. Loty Petrovits-Andrutsopulou. The poster was sponsored by Patakis Publications and was distributed to schools all around Greece and Cyprus.

The book covers and the creators nominated for the 2020 IBBY Honour List

IBBY Greece nominees for the 2020 IBBY Honour List

IBBY Greece nominated the following books for the 2020 IBBY Honour List:

  • Nominated for Writing: Thomas Q.Bit - Traveller through the mirror of time by Vagelis Iliopoulos, Patakis Publishers
  • Nominated for Illustration: A Yellow Leaf illustrated by Philippos Photiadis, Ikaros Publishing Company
  • Nominated for Translation: The Bone Sparrow translated by Anastasia Deligianni, Psichogios Publications

Multimodal text and composing are not new concepts as humans have been communicating in many modes since ancient times. In more contemporary eras, forms such as visual arts, music, dance, and other sign systems have been providing affordances for individuals to express their thoughts and emotions. Over the past two decades in literacy, multimodality has become a frequently found word in the professional arena as educational forums call for more options for students to express themselves and understand concepts. This professional interest has a research and theoretical basis in the work of Kress & van Leeuwen (2006), de Saussure (1966) and Peirce (1987) among others. Those of us who advocate for the power of literature in the lives of young readers, realize it is the combination of both words and images that create experiences that can be life and mind changing as well as pure enjoyment. Add to this the potential of other sign systems that are often shared within texts, as well as how books are used that focus on music, dance, enactment, interpretation, and literature comes to the forefront as a significant resource for enhancing and inviting multimodality in how readers perceive the world around them. For this themed issue, Bookbird invites articles that highlight this significance as well as ways that literature can involve readers in their own multimodal response and creativity. (Of course, technology is also noted as key in considering multimodality, but technology as a topic is shared for a later focus.) The following question are potential ways to enhance and encourage your thinking around this topic.  

  • How has literature whose characters are engaged in art, music, dance, and other sign systems been used to involve readers in these stories as well as their own use of multimodal forms?
  • What experiences for children does literature about the lives of musicians, artists, dancers or other artistic individuals provide?
  • How does literature inform about culture and history through the arts as included in both picture books and novels?  
  • How does a focus on multimodality within story acknowledge the significance of the various forms of communication in our personal and public lives?
  • What can readers learn about visual arts through literature – painting, drawing, sculpture?
  • What can be learned about music as a communicative form that aligns in ways with language?
  • What can readers learn about the role of dance as a communicative art both historically and in contemporary contexts?
  • How does multimodal response to text afford greater engagement for readers?
  • In what ways does multimodal response to text afford opportunities for children of varying physical and mental abilities?
  • How can multimodal response to text create more equitable learning environments for second language learners?
  • How does the use of multimodal texts and strategies create opportunities for extended learning through transmediation? 
  • How can literature focused on multimodal experiences provide a cultural and community bridge between home and school?

Full papers should be submitted to the editors, Janelle Mathis (janelle.mathis@unt.edu) and Petros Panaou (ppanaou@uga.edu) by July 1, 2020. Postcard manuscripts should be submitted to the Postcards editor, Barbara Lehman (lehman.1@osuedu).

For further information, please visit the Bookbird Submission Guidelines.

 Recent publications

Special Issue of Libbylit decidated to Thomas Lavachery

For the 4th time, the IBBY Belgium French Branch published a special edition of the magazine Libbylit. This time, the issue is dedicated to Thomas Lavachery.

Thomas Lavachery is well-known in France and Wallonia, for having published the saga of Bjorn the Morphir, published at L’école des loisirs. This saga tells the story of a young boy in some Nordic county. This young boy is at the beginning a very normal one, but during a terrible snow storm, he transforms himself into a Morphir, a man with some extraordinary powers. His further adventures will bring him to visit the Hell, to bring back the son of the King and also to travel through many foreign countries as he is banished from his country and he will try to re-conquer his land stolen by a vicious King. This saga was written in 8 volumes from 2004 to 2017.

But Thomas Lavachery has also another string to his bow: he is an illustrator. He made some comic books in his youth and is now illustrating picture books for children. As this activity is not so well known as his novels, we decided that this special issue will concentrate on his drawing rather than on his writing.

With the collaboration of Thomas Lavachery, we were able to show some previously unpublished material. The articles are written by specialists in children’s literature.

If you are interested, you can order this special issue by sending an email to the following address : ibbybelgiumfr@gmail.com

The price is 5 EUR + shipping fees. (Unfortunately, this special issue exists only in French.)

The previous special issues were dedicated to Anne Brouillard (sold out), Mario Ramos, Carl Norac.

Bookbird Issue 58.1, 2020
School in Children’s Literature and Children’s Literature in School

Even though large numbers of young people are still denied access to education, schooling is a relatively common experience for children and adolescents across the world. As such, it is often depicted, visually and verbally, in children’s and young adult fiction and nonfiction. At the same time, children’s and young adult literature has, or ought to have, an important place in classrooms and school or class libraries. The texts published in this special “School in Children’s Literature and Children’s Literature in School” issue explore widely varied subthemes, from teachers exploring sadness and grief with their students through picturebooks, to the textual and visual depiction of immigrant children in school settings, to how parents respond to lesbian and/or gay (LG) picturebooks and their potential use in elementary classrooms, to dual-language picturebooks intended to enhance the visibility and learning of indigenous languages.

If you are not already a subscriber, details are on IBBY's website.

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Nara Adjemyan (IBBY Armenia)
Kristina Bernd (IBBY Germany)
Tina Bilban (IBBY Slovenia)
Ana Cendán Doce (IBBY Spain)
Cristina Correro Iglesias (IBBY Spain)
Charlotte Goobar (IBBY Sweden)
Evangelia Kaliskami (IBBY Greece)
Roma Kišūnaitė (IBBY Lithuania)
Gabriela Mikulcikova (IBBY Slovakia)
Liz Page (IBBY)
Petros Panaou (Bookbird)
David Pintor (Spain)
Robert Schmidt (IBBY Belgium)

 How to subscribe

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