Dear IBBY Europe colleagues,

There is a new national section in our region: IBBY Albania! To celebrate this, we asked Viktor Canosinaj to be the guest of our "3 questions to" column. Welcome to IBBY Europe, Albanian friends!

In this issue of our newsletter you will find the latest news from the world of children's books and reading in Armenia, Austria, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Slovenia, Spain (Basque and Galician branches), Sweden...

"East Meets West around Children's Books and Fairy Tales", the 36th IBBY International Congress organised by IBBY Greece, took place in Athens from August 30 to September 1 2018. If you missed it, or would like to remember its highlights, read the column 36th IBBY International Congress in Athens: a crossroads of ideas and cultures! And if you didn't attend the IBBY Forum, please read a summary of the discussions in the European national sections' meeting in Athens.

Do you plan to attend the Bologna Children's Book Fair in 2019? Please make sure to be there on Thursday, 4 April, for the 2nd IBBY European Regional Conference. Thanks to the support of the Bologna Children's Book Fair and IBBY Italy, we will be able to hold our regional Conference at the fair. The theme is Languages in Europe, based on the idea that every child has a right to have access to books in his/her own language. The organising committee will present the final title soon. Our keynote speakers will present a theoretical overview of language acquisition and multilingualism, but rooted in the contemporary European experience. There will also be a focus on various initiatives that have taken place or that continue to develop in Europe and the world. Finally, we will have some group work to exchange and think of practical things that can be done in our national sections. Don't hesitate to send suggestions for speakers or topics to be covered during our Conference, or any idea you would like to share. Send all suggestions to the following address: ibby.europe.conference2019@gmail.com The members of the organising committee are: Doris Breitmoser, Hasmig Chahinian, Eva Devos, Pam Dix, Sabine Fuchs, Deborah Soria, David Tolin.

And as always, our Facebook page and our website are full of interesting discoveries to be made!

David Pintor designed a new header for this issue of our newsletter, as he always does; Thank you David! And Liz Page, the executive director of IBBY, for proofreading our newsletter; Thanks, Liz!

Best wishes to you all!

Hasmig Chahinian


The European national sections' meeting in Athens

The European national sections' meeting.
©Wally De Doncker

The IBBY Europe meeting during the Open Forum at the Congress in Athens was well attended with representatives from a number of our national sections. We were delighted to welcome our new section, Albania, and hope we will meet representatives at our next gathering. We heard about developments with the website and Facebook page and were urged to contribute; the European Newsletter also came up. All of these are resources that cross our national boundaries and are there to be used.

However, the main topic was the One Day Conference we are planning to hold on the last day of the Bologna Children's Book Fair – Thursday, 4 April 2019. The proposed theme is Languages in Europe – the right of a child to have access to books in his/her home language and to have support for their needs as multilingual learners. This is a theme that resonates across Europe and will attract both discussion and practical examples of practice. Following the pattern of our previous conference, the day will include both theoretical questions as well as examples of experience and projects from national sections.

The Conference will be free for all participants, although you need to have an entry pass to the Book Fair. If you're only coming to the book fair to attend the Conference, a free one-day entry pass will be provided to you. Participants will need to register on the Eventbrite site, once the event is created on it. A call for papers has been sent to all national sections in Europe. Please do think whether you have any projects or experience that could be shared – and any recommendations of speakers who might be great to hear, or even a potential sponsor. As with the previous Conference we are immensely grateful for the support of the Bologna Children's Book Fair.

Ferelith Hordon


3 questions to... Viktor Canosinaj


IBBY Europe is happy to welcome a new member, IBBY Albania!

The Albanian section of IBBY re-joined IBBY in June 2018.

On this occasion, we invited Viktor Canosinaj, President of the section, to be the guest of our
"3 questions to..." column.


1. IBBY Albania has joined the IBBY family a few months ago. Can you present your section to our readers?

Our section is organized on a voluntarily basis. We are a group of writers, illustrators and a literary critic. Our aim in re-creating the IBBY section was to make children's literature in Albania survive in the harsh conditions we are going through. Our projects are foremost for the promotion of children's literature through meetings with readers in schools and libraries. Meanwhile, we are open for collaboration with other IBBY sections.

2. What are the main challenges facing the children's book market in Albania today?

The main challenge of children's literature in Albania is that it is completely abandoned by the state and the Ministry of Culture. The number of publications is low, around 75 children's books are written each year by Albanian authors. This figure does not include the books published in Kosovo and Macedonia. Gradually we are going towards a united book market with Albanians living in Kosovo, Macedonia and Montenegro. Books published in Albania can now freely enter Kosovo. There are annual book fairs in Kosovo and Tirana where the books for children have a considerable place. But until now we don't have any specialized publishing house for children's books.

There is a fierce competition for books translated from foreign languages into Albanian. Sadly, up to now there is not a single children's book that has been translated from Albanian to another language.

The book market in Albania is a narrow one. There is a tendency in the last years for a decrease in reading, because of poor libraries and the widespread use of electronic games.


3. What is your favourite spot in Tirana?

The main place where people can find books for children I consider is the Albania bookshop (Librari Albania) in the centre of the capital.

Echoes from the European sections

From Russia

Over the past few years it has become a good tradition for the Russian State Children’s Library (RSCL) to invite foreign colleagues to the Annual All-Russia Conference of Directors of the Libraries Serving Children. In prior years this major event was attended by IBBY persons and outstanding specialists such as Junko Yokota and William Teale, Azucena Galindo Ortega, Wally De Doncker and Liz Page. This year we invited the IBBY President Mingzhou Zhang to be the Guest of Honour at our Conference, which was held on the 18-20 September. For Mingzhou this was the first official foreign visit after his election as IBBY President.

During an open interview the Director of the Russian State Children’s Library, Maria Vedenyapina asked Mingzhou Zhang several questions. After that he gave a lecture on Chinese children’s literature market, special aspects of children’s reading in China and about IBBY’s work and agenda.

"IBBY plays a very important role in my life. Most of my time and energy have been spent on works related to IBBY, and I enjoy everything I do for IBBY very much… IBBY is an international network, our strength and opportunity lies in our solidarity. United, we rise, I will try my very best to promote more exchanges and collaborations between and among national sections.
I also realize that to expand its internal and external connections further and to enhance influences, IBBY needs more funding to support various projects and more funding for its national sections, many of which definitely need help from IBBY International. In a word, my priority is to promote IBBY’s international profile and image and raise more funds for IBBY together with our IBBY EC, and the IBBY Foundation."

During the interview, the key issues of preparation for the 37th IBBY International Congress in 2020 were raised, which is going to take place in Russia in 2020.

"The most difficult challenge is fundraising. An important focus is the programme planning and themes and topics around which the IBBY World Congress is mostly about.

With sufficient funds, we could not only make the two ends meet, but also could provide more simultaneous translation opportunities for people whose English level of understanding is not so high. I have participated in the last nine IBBY Congresses and enjoyed and learned so much from various professional speakers. Unfortunately however, I also often feel sorry for those participants who could hardly understand what the speakers are saying due to lack of simultaneous translation.

Preparing and organizing an IBBY world congress is never an easy task. But I am happy to have seen that the Russian team is displaying their solidarity, passion and professionalism internationally. IBBY people from around the world are very interested in coming to the Moscow Congress in two year’s time."

On September 19, a special event Children’s Book and Illustration was held as part of the Conference. The Lewis Carroll quote 'And what is the use of a book without pictures?' served as an epigraph for the event.

The programme included a celebration in honour of Russian and Soviet laureates of the Biennial of Illustrations Bratislava (BIB) 1967-2017, a presentation of travelling exhibitions of the RSCL, and a meeting and open interview with Igor Oleynikov – the 2018 HCAA Winner for Illustration. The evening event was opened by the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Slovak Republic to the Russian Federation Mr. Peter Priputen.

Students of the Studio School Affiliated with Igor Moiseev State Academic Folk Dance Ensemble greeted the guests with Russian dances. People's Artist of Russia, the head and the artistic director of one of the best dance troupes in the country, Gyuzel Apanaeva has agreed to prepare a performance by her studio for participants of the IBBY Congress 2020 in Moscow.

IBBY President Mingzhou Zhang and the Director of the Slovak Institute in Moscow Jan Shmigula also attended the evening as honourable guests.

An exhibition was curated specifically for this event. It included books illustrated by Russian and Soviet laureates of the Biennial of Illustrations Bratislava in the half-century history of its existence, and the awards themselves - Grand Prix, BIB Golden Apple and BIB Plaque, as well as Anastasia Arkhipova’s Special Golden Apple, which she received on the 50th anniversary of the Biennial for her great contribution to BIB.

A special brochure "BIB: Russian and Soviet laureates (1967-2017)" was published for this event.

From Sweden

One of IBBY Sweden's major tasks of the year is the Peter Pan-Prize. IBBY Sweden awards this prize with support from the Gothenburg Book Fair, for a book translated into Swedish from a language and/ or culture that is relatively unknown in our country. To choose the winning book is certainly time-consuming, but is always interesting and fun.

This year the prize was awarded to the author Marguerite Abouet from the Côte d'Ivoire and French illustrator Mathieu Sapin for their book Akissi – det flygande fåret (Akissi – the flying sheep). Both of them were invited to the Book Fair in Gothenburg at the end of September. They participated in several conversations at the fair together with two members of the Swedish IBBY Board: author Mats Wänblad and illustrator Helena Bergendahl. The French Institute in Sweden also supported their visit.

The Book Fair was also visited by Brazilian illustrator Graça Lima, who illustrated the book Nattens mun (The mouth of the night), which had won one of the Peter Pan Silverstars, as one of the two runner-ups. Helena Vermcrantz, an IBBY member, interviewed her on one of the stages at the Fair. The other Silverstar was awarded to Serge Bloch for the book Den stora berättelsen om en liten linje (The big tale about a small line).

Our new president Margaretha Ullström introduced the award-winning books and their authors, illustrators and publishers on stage, and presented their diplomas. She also gave a presentation of IBBY's mission and accomplishments in Sweden and abroad. Cay Corneliuson was invited speak on one of the many stages at the Fair to and spoke on the topic Silent books makes people talk. Our project on Silent Books still incites interest, and Cay has recently interviewed teachers who have successfully used Silent Books in many settings.

IBBY Sweden had its own stand at the Fair where we provided information to visitors, both through conversations and printed materials. The Peter Pan prize-winning book of the year is given to all members. This year's book, about Akissi, created great interest and was instrumental in recruiting 15 new members.

Two of our Board members, Margaretha Ullström and Helena Bergendahl, attended the IBBY congress in Athens. They returned with encouraging and inspiring stories and ideas. For instance, the participants from the Nordic countries decided to arrange a meeting in Copenhagen in January 2019 to restart the Nordic cooperation within IBBY.

Ulf Stark, the Swedish author who passed away too early, not yet 75 years old, was on the short list for this year's HC Andersen Award. This made us proud in a heavyhearted way. We are now very pleased that Ulla Rhedin, a Swedish academic in the field of children’s literature, predominantly picture books, now has been elected a juror for the 2020 HC Andersen Awards.

We are now starting our work to choose the next Peter Pan-prize winning book, to nominate for the HC Andersen Award and other awards, as well as selecting the books to be included in the next edition of the IBBY Honour List. For the task of choosing books for the IBBY Honour List, we have appointed experienced members from outside the Board. They will meet in person on several occasions, but will also keep in frequent contact through digital channels.

In the time to come, we intend to improve our efforts to emphasize the importance of IBBY's work through Children in Crisis, e.g. by writing an article for the periodical Opsis barnkultur (Opsis - Culture for children). This periodical publishes four issues per year, featuring articles in a non-academic yet serious style. It reaches libraries, and persons interested in children’s books and children’s culture. Each issue includes a section where IBBY Sweden writes about issues important to our organization. These articles also introduce our prize-winning authors, or inform on interesting meetings with international authors. IBBY highly appreciates this opportunity to publish in Opsis on a regular basis.

From Lithuania

Literary trips of IBBY Lithuania

IBBY trips might easily rank among some of the most memorable adventures one may experience in a lifetime. At least that’s what members of IBBY Lithuania say after their summer trips. Since 2008 when the IBBY trips started, we have travelled to 10 countries, which include Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Latvia, Estonia, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, England and Wales; visited more than 60 cities and towns as well as hundreds of places of interest, literary organisations, libraries, museums, significant cultural and natural monuments. During the trip last year our bus stopped in the cosy street of Nonnenweg in Basel, where a small crowd of Lithuanians paid the IBBY Secretariat a friendly visit.

The sixth thematic trip this year took place from June 28 to July 8 and took us to England and Wales. 46 travellers set off to this route: Vilnius – Bruges – Calais – Dover – Rolvenden – Canterbury – Rochester – Windsor – Oxford – Stratford-upon-Avon – Bourton-on-the-Water – Bibury – Bath – Cardiff – Hereford – Hay on Wye – Aberystwyth – Conwy – Holywell– Chester – Daresbury – the Lake District – Newcastle upon Tyne – Amsterdam – Vilnius.

Our visit to England started on the narrow roads of Kent and took us to the Great Maytham Hall, once inhabited by the famous Frances Hodgson Burnett. The gardener of the English garden was excited about the enthusiasm of our group and opened the doors to the secret garden, which once had inspired the author to pen her eponymous book. Rochester and Stratford-upon-Avon seemed to be full of the spirit of Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare. There definitely is no shortage of places of interest related to their life and work.

We were mesmerized by the architecture of Oxford University, whereas the time spent in the The Eagle and Child pub took us back to the days when the place was frequented by J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. We were pleasantly surprised in Daresbury, the home of Lewis Carroll. The Lewis Carroll Centre, a part of the All Saints Church, was welcoming despite our late visit.

A day in the Lake District was dedicated to the creator of picturebooks Beatrix Potter, who spent her last thirty years farming there. Our bus was zigzagging the towns and settlements around Lake Windermere and took us to Hill Top – the home museum with a garden in the Near Sawrey village, the Beatrix Potter Gallery in Hawkshead, The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction in Bowness-on-Windermere. We also stopped in Newcastle upon Tyne where we met our colleagues from the National Centre for Children’s Books Seven Stories.

In eleven days we travelled 5,000 kilometres by bus, took ferryboats across the Straits of Dover and the North Sea. We were delighted to take these original literary routes, relate to the English literature and take a look at the centuries of the British way of life. We are convinced that not only IBBY trips expand our horizons, but they also wake our souls, strengthen the sense of camaraderie and inspire for new creative endeavours.

From Slovenia

Tales of Age

In 2018 the Slovenian section of IBBY co-organised the project Tales of Age. We aimed to address different generations with the message that ageing matters to us all. As ageing and death are still considered taboo topics in many environments, we have opened a dialogue on ageing with the help of quality books that depict ageing, age, aged people or age-related diseases.

Tales of Age is based on past projects, all supported by the Slovenian national committee for UNESCO, within which we organised literary workshops that encouraged intergenerational readings of quality literature and discussions on ageing. Collaborating with different primary schools, high schools and faculties, we focused on the young and their perception of ageing. Literature in many, sometimes subtle, ways, mirrors our everyday, including the many faces of ageing, and even co-defines our perception of everyday phenomena. The selected works, such as as Marjolijn Hof's De regels van Drie (Pravila treh, trans. Katjuša Ručigaj, Miš, 2015), Ivona Březinová' s Lentilka pro dědu Edu (Bombonček za dedija Edija, trans. D. Pungeršič, Miš, 2015) or Reeve Lindbergh's My Little Grandmother Often Forgets (Babica moja pogosto pozabi, trans. T. Bilban, Miš, 2015) opened a debate on scientific as well as philosophical aspects of ageing, encouraged children to share their own experiences and reinforced them with the knowledge they need to cope with situations they face in real life.

The excellent reception of the workshops has encouraged us to organise an interdisciplinary international conference that has presented the core of this year's project Tales of Age. We are very pleased that we were able to gather some of the leading experts from the fields of science, philosophy, arts and education, who presented different faces of ageing, including the international guests, Prof. Tom Kirkwood, one of the leading international researchers in the biology of ageing, and Prof. Ingrid Tomkowiak, a leading Swiss scholar for children's and youth media. Furthermore, we presented examples of good practices for encouraging intergenerational dialogue and active ageing. Again, literature proved to be the best companion in building a dialogue between generations and/or projecting active age. As emphasized by Prof. Kirkwood: the young of today will be the old of tomorrow. We have to change the mind-set and include the elderly in the projection of our common future. With their knowledge and experiences, they can contribute to changes that will lead our world to the elderly-friendly future.


Round table with Ida Mlakar, Masa Ogrizek and Antje Damm (lead by Tina Bilban, translation Alexandra Zaleznik). © IBBY Slovenia

The conference was supplemented by satellite events throughout September. At workshops and round tables, we have opened a dialogue about ageing with books aimed at different target publics. In collaboration with Zala publishing house, we invited a distinguished German author Antje Damm, best known in Slovenia by her picture book der Besuch (Obisk, transl. T. Mahkota, Zala 2015). Around this remarkable picture book and Antje Damm’s specific illustrating style, we organised two workshops and story-telling events for children as well as a round-table about ageing and age in children’s literature. At the round-table, Antje Damm was joined by Ida Mlakar and Maša Ogrizek, two of the most acclaimed Slovenian authors of children’s literature who have recently written children’s books that open topics of ageing and old age: Mlakar's O kravi, ki je lajala v luno (The Cow that Barked at the Moon, Miš, 2015), Gospa s klobukom (The Lady with the Hat, Mladinska knjiga, 2017) and Koko Dajsa v mestu (Cluckrissa in Cackleville, Miš, 2018). As has been emphasized by Antje Damm at the round table: sometimes it is a misfortune that you have to persuade so many adults before you can offer your book to children. It is adults that have prejudice about presenting old people in children’s literature, while children take elderly characters for their own.

Ageing is an important part of our reality: we age, our loved ones age, our society ages. As clearly presented by different experts included in the project Tales of Age: literature can help as open a dialogue on ageing. A dialogue we all should be having if we aim to create a future society worthy our children and their potential.

Three outstanding picture-books by Huiqin Wang in which "West meets East"
(following the theme of the 36th IBBY Congress in Athens)

Huiqin Wang, the Chinese-Slovene illustrator who has lived in Slovenia for 35 years is one of the cultural ambassadors between both countries. She has illustrated several books and created three picturebooks that are the result of her research about three important European men who lived and worked for a greater part of their lives in China. One of these men – Hallerstein – was a Slovenian! The three picturebooks – bilingual (Slovene and Chinese) and illustrated in Chinese and Western styles – are an important contribution to the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018. Furthermore, in the modern global world of migrations they encourage us to think deeply about intercultural understanding.

Huiqin Wang: Ferdinand Avguštin Hallerstein: Slovenec v Prepovedanem mestu. (Ferdinand Augustin Hallerstein: Slovenian in the Forbidden City; Ljubljana: Mladinska knjiga, 2014, 31pp), received the Kristina Brenk Award for the best original Slovene picture book in 2015 and the Golden Pear Award for the best children non-fiction book in 2015.

Ferdinand Augustin Hallerstein (1703, Ljubljana, Slovenia –1774, Beijing, China) was a Jesuit missionary and spent 35 years (1739–1774) at the imperial court in Beijing as an astronomer, mathematician, "cultural ambassador" and mandarin. He created an armillary sphere with rotating rings at the Beijing Observatory. The asteroid 15071 Hallerstein was named after him.

Huiqin Wang: Giuseppe Castiglione: slikar v Prepovedanem mestu. (Giuseppe Castiglione: painter in the Forbidden City; Jezero: Morfemplus, 2015, 31pp).

Giuseppe Castiglione (1688, Milan, Italy –1766, Beijing, China) was a Jesuit missionary in China, where he served as an artist at the imperial court of three emperors. He painted in a style that was a fusion of European and Chinese traditions. Due to Castiglione's work, the Qing court paintings began to show a clear Western influence. Hallerstein and Castiglione knew each other as they had met several times at the court.

Huiqin Wang: Jaz, Marco Polo. (Me Marco Polo; Ljubljana: Mladinska knjiga, 2018, 31pp)

Marco Polo (1254, Republic of Venice – 1324, Republic of Venice) was a merchant, explorer and writer. His travels are recorded in the Book of the Marvels of the World (also known as The Travels of Marco Polo, c. 1300) that described the wealth and greatness of China, its capital Beijing, and other Asian cities and countries to the Europeans. Though he was not the first European to reach China, Marco Polo was the first to leave a detailed chronicle of his experience.

From Germany

2018 German Children’s Literature Award

1,600 spectators followed the announcement of this year’s German Children’s Literature Award winners by Dr. Franziska Giffey, German Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. The ceremony took place on 12 October 2018 at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

The winners chosen by the jury of critics were:

  • In the category Picture Book: Der siebente Bruder oder Das Herz im Marmeladenglas (Gerstenberg) by Øyvind Torseter, translated from Norwegian by Maike Dörries, (original: Mulegutten, Cappelen Damm; title in English: Mule boy)
  • In the category Children’s Book: Viele Grüße, Deine Giraffe (Moritz) by Megumi Iwasa, illustrated by Jörg Mühle, translated from Japanese by Ursula Gräfe. (original: Boku wa Africa ni Sumu Kirin to Iimasu, Kaisei-Sha Publishing Co; English edition: Yours sincerely, Giraffe, Gecko Press)
  • In the category Young Adult Book: Als ich mit Hitler Schnapskirschen aß (Verbrecher Verlag) by Manja Präkels (title in English: When I ate drunken cherries with Hitler)
  • In the category Non-Fiction: Der Dominoeffekt oder Die unsichtbaren Fäden der Natur (Sauerländer) by Gianumberto Accinelli, illustrated by Serena Viola, translated from Italian by Ulrike Schimming. (original: I Fili Invisibili della Natura, Lapis Edizioni; title in English: The invisible threads of nature)
    The young adult jury, which consists of six reading clubs from all over Germany, honoured The Hate U Give (cbj) by Angie Thomas, translated from English by Henriette Zeltner (original edition: The Hate U Give, Balzer & Bray).

All five categories carry a value of 10,000 Euro and can be split up between authors, illustrators and translators. Furthermore, all laureates receive a bronze statuette depicting the character "Momo" from Michael Ende’s children’s classic.

This year’s Special Awards were given to two translators:

  • The Special Award for Lifetime Achievement went to Uwe-Michael Gutzschhahn for his broad and varied oeuvre. His outstanding translations from English range from picture books, children’s and young adult fiction to poetry and non-fiction, and include for example books by Kevin Brooks and Robert Paul Weston.
  • Gesa Kunter was awarded the Special Award for New Talents for her creative translation from Swedish of "Schreib! Schreib! Schreib! Die kreative Textwerkstatt" (Beltz & Gelberg)by Ylva Karlsson and Katarina Kuick, illustrated by Sara Lundberg (original: Skriv om och om igen, X Publishing; title in English: Write, rewrite and rewrite again).

The Special Award for New Talents is set at 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, illustrators and translators. The winners are chosen by the special award jury.

For more information go to http://www.djlp.jugendliteratur.org/

2018 award winners and jury members © Sebastian Kissel/AKJ

From Latvia

The White Wolf Books 2018

On 24th July 2018, the authors of books for children and young adults were awarded the 14th annual Jānis Baltvilks prize for the best books published in the Latvian language in the period from 31 May 2017 to 31 May 2018.

The surname of the outstanding Latvian writer Baltvilks – "the White Wolf" – has become a sort of totem in Latvian children’s literature. To preserve the outstanding poet’s memory and to promote children’s literature the International Baltic Sea Region Jānis Baltvilks Prize in Children’s Literature and Book Art was established. It is the highest appreciation in children and young adults’ literature and book art in Latvia. Since 2005 it has been awarded by IBBY Latvia.

Wally De Doncker and Silvija Tretjakova on stage
© Kristians Luhaers

24th July, the birthday of the writer, is a celebration day of Latvian children’s literature when winners are announced and the prize is awarded to a writer, illustrator,  a foreign writer from the Baltic Sea countries and the translator of his or her book into Latvian, also a young author or illustrator to mark his or her successful debut. The winners receive a symbolic prize designed by the ceramist Inese Brants – the White Wolf who is reading a book while sailing in a small boat with a strawberry serving as a flag, the money prize and a possibility to live and work for a month in Ventspils House of writers and translators.

This year the IBBY president Wally De Doncker paid tribute in person to the literary soiree of Baltvilks prize. In a very sincere speech he emphasized that children’s books are the best ambassadors of a country and culture and those who help children to evolve into readers are building a brighter future.

The audience greeted with applause his conviction that we must present a front against the increasing commercialization of children’s and youth literature. We must refuse to consider young readers as commercial products. We want to cherish them by giving them quality literature and illustrations. The organizers of Janis Baltvilks Award and IBBY take children seriously, because only the best is good enough for children.

This year the real yield of books – 58 books – was evaluated by a jury as always consisting of six experts – two experts on literature, two experts on art and two public representatives: the head of the jury Ilze Stikāne, IBBY Latvia president, professor at the University of Latvia, Aiga Grēniņa, media experts representing the Children’s Literature Centre of the Latvian National Library, Austra Avotiņa, art expert, associated professor of the University of Latvia, Ilze Kupča, expert on visual art education representing Latvian National Culture Centre, Jānis Holšteins-Upmanis, a musician, and Mārtiņš Eihe, an actor and producer.

The prestigious 2018 award was presented to the writer Lauris Gundars for his story Sveiks, Vali! (Hello, Whale! 2017), in which by depicting the everyday life of a granddaughter and grandfather, the two closest people, the author has managed to describe a rather typical issue with a humorous intonation and in a witty way – how to overcome seclusion, reticence, aloofness or shyness and to communicate more freely with people.  It is noteworthy that it is the granddaughter Spindzele [Buzzfly] who in her childish directness and genuineness encourages and urges her grandfather Valis [Whale] and serves as his trainer for how to greet and start conversations. The dynamic story is rooted in precise and apt dialogues as well as logical solutions that vividly prove the idea that greeting and talking makes the world more beautiful and people happier.

The prize in the book art category was awarded to Gita Treice for her illustrations to Brūveri brūvē (The Brewers brew, 2018), a poetry book by Pēters Brūveris, Indra Brūvere and Zane Brūvere and for Latviešu brīnumu pasakas (Latvian fairy tales, 2017). Gita Treice has made illustrations in which the content of poems acquires the consummation of convincing reality. Everything in the philosophically imaginative plots is real and yet unusual at the same time, exactly as it is in the poems - the elephant, goat, hare, lions, whale, dust and everything else. Only the cactus is different; it seems to be naïve and rejoices in things it actually does not know why. Gita Treice has successfully and convincingly applied her original technique – light watercolour painting, explicit linear focuses and generalized roominess. The illustrations specifically emphasize physical substance (materiality) and excite the tactile and visual receptors – everything is moving, wavy and dynamic; each image has its own texture and finish.

The 2018 Jānis Baltvilks International Prize was awarded to the writer from Estonia Tiia Selli for her story Mia ir priecīga (2017, Mia is happy, orig. Estonian Rōōmus Miia), in which depicting the everyday chores of the energetic and lively girl Mia together with her mother in a simple and true way, the author stresses the importance of joy, activity, smartness, love and beauty - the features that describe an ethical person. The thought that the order of all things, learning and performing different works, "driving away" all whims and rogueries is the true source of joy and happiness has been skilfully included. The author’s simple language that she uses to describe the calm flow of everyday life with workdays, getting ready for holidays and celebrating different festivals allows perceiving exact ordinary and common details, feelings, mood and emotions is easy to
understand for a young child. All this is wonderfully supplemented by the illustrations of
Katrin Erlich with several interactive details that can be folded, opened, pulled out and can
incite the reader’s participation and the discoverer’s joy.

Maima Grīnberga, the translator, received the prize for the highly professional translation of the story by Tiia Selli Mia is happy, the long story by Andrus Kivirähk Oskars un lietas (2017, Oskar and the things, orig. Estonian Oskar ja asjad) and the fairy tale by Hilli Rand Sniegbaltais un ogļmelnais (2018, Snowwhite and pitchblack, orig. Estonian Lumivalge ja süsimust) from the Estonian language.

Since 2015 IBBY Latvia has been supported by the joint-stock company "Latvijas Valsts meži" and has for the fourth time awarded the prize "Young Growth" for a debut book in children’s literature and book art. This year the award was given to the 17-year-old Emīls Mozga for his illustrations to Aivars Kļavis historical novel Melnais akmens (The black stone, 2018). The young artist’s work surprises with the ingenuousness and ease that the little pictures, which remind the reader of cave art, echo the dynamic description of the events.

From France

A presentation of international books at the French national library

On 29 May 2018, a special presentation of international children's and young adults books was made at the French national library (Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF). This annual rendez-vous, "L'Avant-Revue international", is organised by the National centre for children's literature, a service of the French national library - IBBY France. During this presentation, the public can see books that have received international prizes as well as the best books published in Africa, the Arab World, the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean. This year, a special focus was made on children's and young adult books from Iran. Videos were shown, featuring books read aloud in Arabic and Farsi, so that the attendees could have an idea of what each language sounded like.

The presentation also included some key resources where one could find information on good books for children and young adults in various languages, such as the IBBY Honour lists, the IBBY Europe website, the White Ravens selection, the online journal Takam Tikou, etc.

The list of books and resources can be downloaded here. The videos and a detailed article (in French) on this presentation can be found here.

The International Youth Library's project regarding children's books in Arabic

From left to right: Walid Taher and Nabiha Mheidly. © IYL

The BnF/IBBY France participated in a project led by the International Youth Library about books in Arabic. These books have not yet played a significant role in Germany so far. They are barely noticed and rarely translated into German. In view of the political situation in many parts of the Arab-speaking world and the associated social and cultural implications, interest in information and exchange is growing. In collaboration with publishers in Arabic-speaking countries and with the support of the BnF/IBBY France, the International Youth Library made a selection of books and published a printed recommendation list that can be ordered on the IYL’s website.

The IYL organised a series of events to promote this selection of books and children's and young adult's literature from the Arab World. On April 11, 2018, a one-day seminar was organised at the Munich City Library. Christiane Raabe, Director of the IYL, and Astrid Lipelt-Kalus, deputy director of the Munich City Library, gave opening speeches. Azad Hamoto, orientalist and cultural historian, and Jochen Weber, Head of the Language Sections of the IYL, presented the current trends of the Arab Book market for children and young adults. They also presented the books in Arabic selected by the IYL. The library has enriched its collections in Arabic with more than 130 books ; all are accessible to the readers.

A panel discussion on "Themes, traditions, challenges and limits of Arabic-speaking children's and young adults' literature" took place. Nabiha Mheidly, Head of the Dar al-Hadaek publishing house (Lebanon), Walid Taher, Egyptian illustrator and author, and Hasmig Chahinian, Expert in Arabic Children's literature (French National Library/ IBBY France) participated in it. The panel was moderated by Azad Hamoto and was held in Arabic with simultaneous translation into German.

On April 12, Nabiha Mheidly and Walid Taher met with with students in schools and held workshops with them.

Languages in children's and young adults' libraries

Currently in France, one in five children grows up with a language different from French. What place should be given to these "foreign" languages in public libraries, how should one deal with this intercultural challenge? The French national library / IBBY France dedicated a 3-day training session (18 to 20 June 2018) to this topic, titled "Languages in children's and young adult's libraries", organised by Hasmig Chahinian. The number of people wanting to participate largely exceeded the available places, with illustrates the interest librarians have for this issue.

Trainees, guests and librarians at the Robert-Desnos library in Montreuil.
© Hasmig Chahinian

Christine Hélot (University of Strasbourg, ESPE Alsace, France) addressed the reality and the challenges of multilingualism in the 21st century. Antonella Saracino, from La Sala Borsa library (Bologna, Italy) presented the collections in different languages in public libraries as well as ideas to on how to use these collections with children based on the library's experience in this field. Hasmig Chahinian (BnF/ IBBY France) presented various tools that could help librarians select books in languages they do not speak. She also talked about IBBY, IBBY Europe and IBBY France. Ramona Bădescu, author and translator, shared her experience as a child arriving in France from Romania without knowing a single word of French and her journey to becoming an author and a translator with a special relationship to languages. Travelling from one language to another through activities in public libraries was the theme of Nathalie Mansuy-Todeschini's talk (Médiathèque départementale de Seine et Marne), with practical activities held with the trainees. Viviana Quiñones (BnF/CNLJ) talked about getting involved in international projects.

Visits to the Institute of the Arab World in Paris and to the Robert-Desnos library in Montreuil gave an opportunity to see the challenges met by people dealing with these questions on a daily basis, be it in a public or a specialized library, or in a bookshop providing books in Arabic.

The success of this training session was so great that the need to organise another session became evident. The next session will be held from 13 to 15 May 2019, at the French national library.

The programme (in French) of the training session can be found here.


From Austria

Reading in the Park

© Joanna Pianka

This project is conducted each year during the summer months next to large Viennese playgrounds. The aim is to win new sectors of readers by making available a large and interesting selection of books and by presenting a series of book related activities. "Reading in the Park" is organized with the support of a Vienna municipal department. This project took place from July 2nd until August 31st 2018. More information here.

“Research breakfast” of The Austrian Association for the Study of Children’s and Young Adult Literature (ÖG-KJLF) on 3 October 2018, at the Department of English and American Studies: A Review

The Austrian Association for the Study of Children’s and Young Adult Literature (ÖG-KJLF) has introduced a new format for the discussion of current projects and research results from various lines of inquiry. A delicious breakfast buffet was the backdrop for participants to listen to presentations and engage in discussions.

Susanne Blumesberger introduced the various activities of the association and the newly designed homepage (under construction). Stefan Krammer (Department of German Studies, University of Vienna) presented recent developments in the institutions of German-language education (ÖFDD, SDD). Susanne Reichl (Department of English and American Studies, University of Vienna) introduced the recently formed interdisciplinary research platform #YouthMediaLife (full title: Mediatised Lifeworlds: Young People’s Narrative Constructions, Connections and Appropriations), which is made up of a number of projects from various disciplines and also supports young researchers in the crucial stage of proposal development. Sonja Schreiner’s (Department of Classical Philology, Medieval and Neo-Latin Studies, University of Vienna) contribution on “The Past for the Present” provided insights into an international cooperation of academics engaging with historical children’s and young adult literature.

Peter Rinnerthaler (STUBE: Research and Information Centre for Children’s and Young Adult Literature, Vienna) reported on his PhD project “The culture of Wimmeling: Cultural theory and aesthetics of Wimmelbooks (after 2000)” – an exciting and hitherto largely neglected topic.

Ernst Seibert (Department of German Studies, University of Vienna) gave a brief historical overview of the journal “libri liberorum”, discussed its thematic focus, such as literary history, poetics and reception theory and introduced a counter position to the so-called “MINT”- subjects by placing children’s and young adult literature research within the context of a number of umbrella disciplines such as biography research, religion and iconography. He introduced issue #50 of “libri liberorum”, due to appear shortly, with the topic of children’s literature in Vienna around 1800.

At the end of our research breakfast, two students presented their final papers. Matija Tunjic spoke about "Teaching the Yugoslav Wars with Young Adult Novels", his recent diploma thesis for the subject English and History (teaching degree), and Claudia Sackl presented first results from her master thesis in progress with the title “Postcolonial Eco-critical Imaginings in Dystopian Picturebooks”.

Picture Book Kindergarten

© Klaus Nowak

Its aim is to give children an early positive approach to books and to make reading promotion visible in a public space. After the presentation of different picturebooks the children develop their own creative output. The results are shown at public places or institutions (e.g. libraries, local shops, supermarkets or book stores). "Picture Book Kindergarten" is organized with the support of the municipal department in Linz and the 8th edition began in September 2018.
More information here.

Home in Children's and Young Adult Literature
From the Alpl to the WWW

KiJuLit-Centre for Research and Teaching of Children's and Young Adult Literature at the University College of Teacher Education in Graz, and the Austrian Association for Research into Children's and Young Adult Literature, Vienna, organised a Conference at the University College of Teacher Education Styria in Graz: "Home in Children's and Young Adult Literature, From the Alpl to the WWW". The event took place on Friday, 23 November and Saturday, 24 November 2018.

Organisers: German Academy of Literature for Children and Young Readers (Volkach, Germany), Department for Children’s and Young Adult Literature Research at the Goethe-University (Frankfurt/Main, Germany), KiJuLit-Centre for Research and Teaching of Children's and Young Adult Literature at the PH Steiermark (University College of Teacher Education in Graz), and the Austrian Association for Research into Children's and Young Adult Literature (Vienna).
Partners: Austrian Forum for Teaching Literature (Vienna).

Home has always played an ambivalent role in children's and young adult literature: it can be a point of departure and arrival in adventures that help characters develop and become independent, or it can be a place that young protagonists escape from in order to build their new home elsewhere. In English, the term "home" is ideologically fairly unproblematic, whereas the German equivalent "Heimat" has been loaded with racist and nationalist discourses, despite attempts at reconceptualization.

These and other issues of “home” in children's and young adult literature and multimedia platforms will be at the heart of this conference: from Peter Rosegger's oeuvre and reception (also in education) to the analysis of more recent examples of international literature for young readers, experts from the areas of literature and cultural studies, history and literature education will engage in the manifold discourses surrounding "home."

Conference languages will be German and English. More information here.

From Spain
Galician Branch

Galician Books for Children and Young Adults 2018

The 2018 catalogue of Galician Books for Children and Young Adults is now available. Check all the information, covers and details of the Galician literary works by downloading the new catalogue. You can find out more information about Galician literature in this file.

2nd International Illustration Prize

The 2nd International Illustration Prize is organized by the City Council of Pontevedra in collaboration with GÁLIX - Galician Branch of Spanish IBBY. The purpose of this prize is to choose an illustration for the poster of the 20th Pontevedra International Children's and Young Adult Book Fair.

The selected illustration represents the main theme for the 20th edition of the Fair: The Revolution. The winning illustration will be awarded € 3,000.

The winning illustration, together with the finalists, will be shown at the Pontevedra International Children’s and Young Adult Book Fair held in the city's Pazo da Cultura, from March 22nd to April 12th 2019. The illustrations will be included in a printed catalogue in the form of a calendar.

The 2018 winner is Tiiu Kitsik.

Photograph of Antonio García Teijeiro
with the prize-winning book.

Antonio García Teijeiro, Spanish National Prize for Children's
and Young Adult Literature 2017

This € 20,000 award was given by the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports to Antonio García Teijeiro as the 2017 Spanish National Prize for Children's and Young Adult Literature for Poemar o mar – a book of poems written in Galician. The prize is conferred in order to honour a book written by a Spanish author in any of the official languages in Spain and published in Spain during 2016.

The Jury decided to award Poemar o mar because it is "a book full of emotion, with a brilliant vocabulary. The sea is the main character and, at the same time, the place where creatures can travel through original and suggestive poetic compositions".

From Spain
Basque Branch

Transmedia reading clubs in Basque

The Orona Foundation, together with the Basque children's and youth literature association Galtzagorri elkartea (The Basque Branch of Spanish IBBY), has organized the second edition of the "KlisKlasik" project: an innovative reading club using multiple platforms. The book, the voice and the illustration on the one hand and the tablets, computers and mobile phones on the other, will be the ingredients of this second edition (the first one took place in July) of the transmedia reading club,which will be focussed on Basque children's and youth literature. The club is aimed at children between 8 and 12 years old and take place in December 2018.

This transmedia reading club is based on the last of the multiplatform applications that Galtzagorri elkartea created in June 2018 within the "Klis- klasikoak App" app-s collection. The
last of the three app-s that form this collection is entitled "Amattoren Uzta App". At present, Galtzagorri elkartea is updating and enriching this app with new navigable stories. The contents of the transmedia reading club will be based on this app as well as the book Amattoren Uzta, from which the App arose. Amattoren Uzta (Alberdania, Erein, Igela, 2012), written by Mayi Ariztia, updated and revised by Patxi Zubizarreta and illustrated by Maite Gurrutxaga, collects the stories of several narrators from the French Basque Country. These stories, witnesses without equal to the folklore of the North Basque Country, were traditionally told besides the hearth so that children and adults listened to them.
Mayi Ariztia compiled these traditional oral stories in 1934 and, later, in 2012, Patxi Zubizarreta reviewed and updated them and Maite Gurrutxaga illustrated them using watercolours.

Some of the 15 stories in this book are being translated into navigable stories for "Amattoren Uzta App" by Galtzagorri elkartea in collaboration with Patxi Zubizarreta,Maite Gurrutxaga, Joserra Senperena, Amaia Hennebutte and Oreka Interactive S.L. Thus, the new app allows you to jump from the paper to the transmedia universe: graphic adventures, virtual reality, 360º experiences, animated illustrations, interactivity, devices to listen to stories, music ...

The aim of the second transmedia reading club in Basque, which will take place from 26 December to 28 December at the Orona Fundazioa building, is to encourage young people between 8-12 years to read and have fun with literature. For this purpose, the contents of the club will include illustration, reading, orality, app-s and also computer programming. The creators of "Amattoren Uzta app" will guide the participants of the sessions: the writer Patxi Zubizarreta, the illustrator Maite Gurrutxaga and the professionals of the company Oreka Interactive SL.


From Armenia

Workshop for the Armenian publishers with Florian Andrews

Between 1-3 May 2018 a 3-day workshop for the Armenian publishers was implemented by IBBY Armenia and with the support of the IBBY-Yamada Fund. German expert Florian Andrews ran the workshop.
The theoretical and practical meeting took place with the participation of members of Armenian publishing houses, was launched by IBBY Armenia’s co-president Ruzan Tonoyan with an opening speech. She presented the history and mission of the IBBY-Yamada programme, “The child’s right to become a reader” and mentioned that the current workshop was the 5th that has been implemented by IBBY Armenia with the support of the IBBY-Yamada Fund. The aim of IBBY Armenia is to develop the Armenian book marketing and reading among children and young adults. During the workshop Florian Andrews presented publishing conditions in Germany through slideshows, the publishing statistics of Germany and Switzerland, and the preference of German readers by the age and sex. The aim of workshop was to share the success of modern German children’s publishing houses with the Armenian publishers to promote successful publishing in Armenia.

Summer school for children

This summer IBBY Armenia in cooperation with National Children’s Library after Khnko Aper organized a “Summer school” for children between the ages of 6 and 13. The aim of the summer school was to make the holidays more interesting for children.
The interactive, interesting and entertaining courses included in the programme helped the children gain new knowledge and skills, as well as make new friends.
The main subjects of the course were morning exercises outside the library building, art, me and the environment, theatre, reading aloud hours, book discussions, organizing and developing games, watching/discussing films and cartoons. Visits and excursions to various cultural centres of Yerevan also took place during the summer school.

This year more than 40 children, including children who were spending their summer holidays in Armenia, attended the summer school.

Scientific-practical conference
Theme: Organization and promotion of reading among children and young adults

On October 17 within the framework of the 85th anniversary of foundation of National Children's Library of Armenia, the Armenian National section of IBBY initiated and implemented a scientific-practical conference with the theme “Organization and promotion of reading among children and young adults” with the participation of foreign guests.
The first speech was delivered by Massimo Gentili Tedeschi – Head of Milan’s Braidense National Library, the Ufficio Ricerca Music Foundation, who presented the reader-librarian connection: presenting the skills that are necessary for a modern librarian.
IBBY Executive Director Liz Page presented a slideshow of the done work by IBBY National Sections towards the promotion and organization of children's reading.
Iranian children and young adults’ writer Farhad Hassanzadeh, an HCA 2018 finalist, presented Iranian experiences that promote reading among children and young adults.

The final speech of the conference was by a member of the National Children’s Library of Armenia Gayane Karapetyan, who spoke about organizing the children and young adults’ reading in the Armenian libraries.
Round-table meetings and discussions: "Cooperation prospects: IBBY, IFLA, IAML"

On October 18 a round table-discussion was held at the Literary club of the National Children’s Library of Armenia with the heading "Cooperation prospects: IBBY, IFLA, IAML".
The foreign guests - Liz Page and Massimo Gentili Tedeschi attended and joined the discussion. Among attendees were library directors, children and young adults’ writers and publishers.

“Contemporary children and young adults’ writing in Armenia”

On October 19 at the Writers' Union of Armenia, IBBY Armenia organized and implemented a roundtable meeting. Armenian writers, foreign guests were present at the discussion and presented their organizations. During the meeting the participants touched upon some of the problems of Armenian and international children's writing.

Meeting-workshop with German children's writer Manfred Theisen

On October 19 IBBY Armenia organized and implemented a meeting/workshop with German children's writer Manfred Theisen in the hall of the National Children's Library of Armenia. During the meeting he talked about the German children's literature with the attendees. Armenian children's writers were present at the meeting.

Arabic literature corner at the National children’s Library of Armenia

With the initiative of IBBY Armenia and with the kind support of the president of IBBY UAE Marwa Al Aqroubi, an Arabian children and young adults’ literature corner was established at the National Children’s Library of Armenia. IBBY UAE donated 1,500 children’s books in Arabic to the library, which allowed the soft opening of "Arabic Corner" on 19 October.
Wife of RA president, children's writer Nouneh Sarkissian, the Ambassador of UAE Dr. Jassim Mohamed Al Qasemi, deputy Minister of Culture Nazeni Gharibyan, public initiative coordinator of IBBY UAE Ali Al Shemmari, as well as representatives of the Kalimat Foundation were present. The representatives of the Kalimat Foundation donated 100 books of Arabic literature to the newly created corner in a portable bookshelf.

The Kalimat Foundation, through its cooperation with IBBY Armenia, donated one portable bookshelf with 100 children and young adults’ books to each of 10 libraries in Armenia.

Fairy tale Ambassadors

Storyteller –Liz Page

On October 19 within the project “Fairy tale Ambassadors" IBBY Armenia initiated and organized a storytelling hour with the Executive director of IBBY Liz Page. She read The moon in Swampland by M.P. Robertson, from the anthology "A River of Stories"(Commonwealth Education Trust, 2011) to the children attending the event. After the storytelling, Liz Page gifted the book to the library

Storyteller – Farhad Hassanzadeh

A second storytelling hour was organized with the Iranian children's writer and HCAA 2018 finalist Farhad Hassanzadeh who read from his own books Myriapoda and his Matchmaking fairy tales. The event began with the sounds of a reed pipe and flute played by one of the students and Hassenzadeh played the harmonica during his storytelling.

Storyteller – Manfred Theisen

On 20 October a storytelling hour with German children and young adults' writer Manfred Theisen was organized. He read from his own story Glass Aram, which he had gifted to IBBY Armenia during a previous visit during which he ran a 3-day workshop for young authors as part of the IBBY-Yamada programme. After storytelling the children asked questions and they expressed a desire to read other works by the author in Armenian.

36th IBBY International Congress in Athens: a crossroads of ideas and cultures!

The opening ceremony of the 36th IBBY International Congress
at Megaron International Athens Conference Centre

The 36th IBBY International Congress took place in Athens from 30th August to 1st September 2018. 500 delegates from all over the world travelled to Greece to contribute to the international dialogue on children and young people’s literature and share their thoughts and ideas on the Congress theme titled “East meets West around children’s books and fairy tales”.

The Congress took place under the auspices of His Excellency the President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopios Pavlopoulos and was part of the events organised for the “Athens 2018 – World Book Capital”.

Vagelis Iliopoulos delivering his speech during the opening ceremony

The Congress opening ceremony took place at the Megaron International Athens Conference Centre [MAICC] in an atmosphere of tremendous enthusiasm. The President of the Greek Section of IBBY, Vassiliki Nika, delivered her opening speech extending a warm welcome to delegates, speakers, authors, illustrators, publishers and researchers from 65 countries. Vagelis Iliopoulos, the Greek author nominee for the 2018 HCAA and 2018 Ambassador of Greek Children's Books, delivered his speech titled “Oceans of Books Flowing among us”.

A number of scientific discussions, exhibitions, forums, award ceremonies, social and cultural events took place during the three-day IBBY International Congress in Athens. 
The six keynote speakers who were invited to contribute to the scientific programme of the Congress were:

  • Dr. Perry Nodelman – Professor Emeritus of English, University of Winnipeg – who delivered his speech titled "Fish is People: What Posthumanism Can Teach Us about Children’s Picture Books, and What Children’s Picture Books Can Teach Us about Posthumanism",
  • Dr. Kathy G. Short – Professor, LRC/Teaching, Learning and Sociocultural Studies & Director, Worlds of Words Center of the University of Arizona – who delivered her speech titled “The Dangers and Possibilities of Reading Globally”,
  • Dr. Leila (Roya) Maktabi Fard Persian Language Specialist, International Youth Library and CBCI's Member (Children's Books Council of Iran) – who delivered her speech titled "Two Women, Two Continents, One Aspiration”, 
  • Ms. Deborah Ellis – Canadian Author – who delivered her speech titled “Before They Give The Order”,
  • Dr. Gregory Maguire – Independent US author & Honorary Chair, The Examined Life: Greek Studies in the Schools – who delivered his speech titled "The Light within the Story: Fairy Tales in a Dark Time",
  • Mr. Michael Neugebauer – Publisher of Minedition.com – who delivered his speech titled "Creating awareness of IBBY and its mission through the Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration exhibitions".

A number of significant award ceremonies took place during the Congress:

  • The American author Katherine Paterson was awarded the Jella Lepman Medal for her lasting contribution to children and young people’s literature, while Maria Jesus Gil was bestowed with IBBY Honorary Membership.
  • The IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award 2018 was awarded to the French Les Doigts Qui Rêvent (Reading fingers) programme whose outstanding activities were judged to be making a lasting contribution to the promotion of reading children and young people’s literature. The Asahi Shimbun representative, the Rome Bureau Chief Shin-ichi Kawarada, greeted the participants, and together with the Jury President Sunjidmaa Jamba presented the diploma to Philippe Claudet who delivered the acceptance speech on behalf of the winning programme.
  • Diplomas were awarded to authors, illustrators, translators and publishers whose books were included in the IBBY Honour List 2018. The Greek books proposed by the Greek Section of IBBY were Mehri To Apiro Ki Akoma Parapera by Anna Kondoleon for writing (Patakis Publishers), E Aplisti Chelona by Kelly Matathia Covo for illustration (Kalendis Publishing) and To Iperoho Taxidi tis Nilou by Dimitra Dotsi for translation (Kalendis Publishing).
Diplomas awarded to authors, illustrators, translators and publishers whose books were included in
the IBBY Honour List 2018

The author HCAA 2018 winner, Eiko Kadono (Japan), delivering her speech.
The illustrator HCAA 2018 winner, Igor Oleynikov (Russia) delivering his speech.
The peak of the Congress was the Hans Christian Andersen Award ceremony, which took place at Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center on Friday, 31st August 2018. The author HCAA 2018 winner, Eiko Kadono (Japan), and the illustrator HCAA 2018 winner, Igor Oleynikov (Russia), received the highest international recognition given to an author and an illustrator of children’s books and were recognized for their lifelong achievement having made an important and lasting contribution to children’s literature. The President of HCAA 2018 jury, Patricia Aldana, and the IBBY President, Wally De Doncker, awarded the diplomas to both winners, while Lee Kye Young, Vice Chairperson of Nami Island, greeted the winners and the audience on behalf of the HCAA sponsor, Nami Island Inc.  

The 36th IBBY International Congress hosted significant book exhibitions from all over the world: the 2018 IBBY Honour List Book Exhibition, the 2018 HCAA winners, finalists and nominees’ books, the IBBY Collection of Books for Young People with Disabilities, the Silent Books - Final Destination Lampedusa book exhibition as well as part of the Biennial of Illustrations Bratislava book exhibition.   

A highlight of the 36th IBBY International Congress was the Round Table with Greek and International Authors titled “The Crisis of Culture or the Culture of Crisis - The case of children and young people's literature”. The participants were: Vagelis Iliopoulos, author - 2018 HCA Award Author Nominee (Greece), Eiko Kadono, author - winner of the 2018 HCA Author Award (Japan), Igor Oleynikov, illustrator - winner of the 2018 HCA Illustrator Award (Russia), Katherine Paterson, author - winner of the 1998 HCA Author Award (U.S.A.) and Loty Petrovits-Andrutsopulou, author - 1994 & 2010 HCA Award Author Nominee, IBBY Honorary Member (Greece).

During the closing ceremony, the newly elected president of IBBY International, Mingzhou Zhang, presented the 2018-2020 IBBY Executive Committee. The new IBBY-iRead Outstanding Reading Promoter Award was also announced including the official signing of the agreement.

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Greek Section of IBBY-Circle of Greek Children’s Books during the closing ceremony.

A celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Greek Section of IBBY-Circle of Greek Children’s Books also took place and members of IBBY Greece were awarded diplomas for their long-lasting contribution to IBBY Greece as well as children and young people’s literature.

Finally, IBBY Russia – organizer of the next IBBY International Congress – presented the audience with a preview of the 37th IBBY International Congress in Moscow in 2020 and invited the delegates to participate in it.

The closing ceremony culminated with the cultural event “East meets West through music and dance” during which Greek traditional dances were presented with the participation of the Congress delegates.

The outgoing President of IBBY International Wally De Doncker, the new President Mingzhou Zhang, the Executive Director Liz Page and the members of the IBBY Executive Committee expressed their satisfaction with the Congress proceedings and thanked the Greek Section of IBBY for undertaking such a difficult project and successfully completing it in such a short period of time since its assignment.

The Greek Section of IBBY would like to express its gratitude to the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) for its trust in organizing the IBBY International Congress in Athens, as well as for the support it offered during its particularly difficult but fascinating preparation. As members of the Greek Section of IBBY – Circle of Greek Children’s Books, we feel proud of belonging and actively participating in this international network of volunteers whose aim is to bring children and young people closer to books of high quality in every corner of the world.

The Administrative Board would like to thank His Excellency the President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopios Pavlopoulos under whose auspices the Congress took place.

The Administrative Board would also like to thank:

Finally, the Administrative Board would like to thank the volunteers for their help, positive attitude and enthusiasm.

See you again in the 37th IBBY International Congress in Moscow!

From the Administrative Board
of the Greek Section of IBBY – Circle of Greek Children’s Books 

Athens, 3rd September 2018

 Recent publications

Secrets d'illustrateurs [Illustrators' secrets]

Their images have been seen in wonderful books they illustrated and sometimes wrote. Some of them have been in this field for decades, and their story is intimately linked with that of the illustration business. Others are newcomers, and they tell the story of their debuts. All have had people inspiring them or watching over them, who helped them make the most of their talent in a craft where there is loneliness (while creating), collaboration (with the publisher), the readers and the author. All of them help define the panorama of a wonderful and hard craft, essential to children's literature. Through interviews discover the work of 18 major illustrators who have put their creative and powerful mark on French children's literature. An illustrated practical notebook is also proposed for all those who are passionate about this craft.

Flip through the first pages of the publication. More information here.

Secrets d’illustrateurs [Illustrators' secrets] – "La Revue des livres pour enfants", hors-série n°4, October 2018, BnF/IBBY France. In French. 15 €.

Bookbird. Issue 56.2, 2018

Turkey, Greece, and Cyprus, the countries highlighted in this congress issue, are countries that have been struggling for many years with large numbers of refugees. These are also countries with a long, complex, and intertwined history of their own. How can one live peacefully side by side? How can children's literature be part of such a process? These are questions prompted by the historical experience of the people living in this part of the world. Accordingly, several articles presented in the congress issue are concerned with these questions. Angela Yannicopoulou and Ilgım Veryeri Alaca write about "The Representation of the Other in Illustrated Texts for Children: Turks in Greek Books and Greeks in Turkish Books." Kostas Magos talks about how to develop intercultural competence through "the neighbor's folktales." And the term "enclavement," which has long been used to refer to the experience of the few Greek-Cypriots who chose to stay in their homes/villages in the north after the forced division of the island, is picked up by Maria Chatzianastasi in her article about trauma and cultural identity. There is a great deal more in this rich congress issue, including an introduction to Greek and Greek-Cypriot children’s literature by Petros Panaou (who co-edited this issue with Björn Sundmark) as well as an introduction to Turkish children's literature by Gülçin Alpöge. The rest of the sections are also focused on Greek, Turkish, and Cypriot children’s books, authors and illustrators, and reading promotion initiatives.

Bookbird. Issue 56.3, 2018

Bookbird invites critics and other children's' book professionals to share their insights about children's books from all parts of the world, from all languages and traditions. Never is this mission more apparent than when it comes to the two HCA Awards' issues: the Nominees' issue, with its 60+ short presentations, and the Winners' issue, where the winners and shortlisted authors and illustrators are presented with in-depth articles by experts from their own countries. This is a flagship feature of Bookbird. Other academic journals present critical articles on different children's literature topics; we do too, in three out of four annual publications. But only Bookbird makes room once a year for presentations in which experts from all around the world explain what is remarkable and important about their chosen children's writer or illustrator. To read these presentations is a learning experience. Even if we consider ourselves experts on children's literature, what we know best (if we are honest) is usually limited to our own national literature (which can be large in itself, of course), and maybe a handful of international classics. Other than that, most of us may know a bit about the main contemporary (English) children's bestsellers, and spinoffs of the culture industry (Disney, Pixar, Studio Ghibli, etc.). When we read the presentations in this issue, however, we will make new acquaintances. Eleven outstanding authors and illustrators are presented in this issue, including the 2018 HCA winners Igor Oleynikov (illustrator) and Eiko Kadono (author). If you want to get to know these champions of children's literature better, the presentations here are ideal. They are also a resource to return to over and over again—maybe one of the few available in English.

Bookbird. Issue 56.4, 2018

The final Bookbird issue of 2018 contains a wealth of articles from all over the world, and it features very diverse approaches to children’s literature. Dipavali Debroy writes about “The Changing Treatment of Disability in Children’s Literature in India,” while Maryam Izadi analyses “The Portrayal of Animals in Two Iranian Picturebooks.” Further, we find articles on difficult topics, such as war, migration, displacement and home in, for instance, Åsa Warnqvist’s “Depictions of Flight From War in Contemporary Children’s and YA Books Published in Sweden,” and Geneviève Brisson’s and Theresa Rogers’s “Dis/ placed in Canada: A Québécois Graphic Novel in Translation.” Culture and language is also at the forefront in Marija Todorova’s picture book reading, “Into the Dark Woods: A Cross-Cultural Re-Imagi­nation of Home,” and in Beatrice Moja’s “Sociolinguistic Reflections on Dickens’ A Holiday Romance (1868),” as well as in Emily Petermann’s analysis of cautionary nonsense verse, “The Child’s Death as Punishment or Nonsense?” Finally, Luz Santa Maria offers up “Clashes of Modernity in Chilean Contemporary Young Adult Novels.” Besides the feature articles, we find texts on the Irish author PJ Lynch, a teaching unit on Michael Rosen’s Sad Book, and a longer text on “Creating Nations from Silent Books.” Then there are postcards, of course, and Focus IBBY, with news from the wide world of IBBY. The beautiful cover is from the Yi-Ching Su’s Letter “A Symphony of Poems and Pictures: Hwa-Jen Ho’s Nonfiction Picturebooks about Wild Birds in Taiwan.” Those words deserve to be repeated, I believe, and applied to this Bookbird, for it is a veritable Symphony of words and pictures! Enjoy!

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Nara Adjemyan (IBBY Armenia)
Tina Bilban (IBBY Slovenia)
Ana Cendán Doce (IBBY Spain)
Viktor Canosinaj (IBBY Albania)
Carolin Farbmacher (IBBY Germany)
Sabine Fuchs (IBBY Austria)
Ulla Hjorton (IBBY Sweden)
Ferelith Hordon (IBBY UK)
Tilka Jamnik (IBBY Slovenia)
Evangelia Kaliskami (IBBY Greece)
Roma Kišūnaitė (IBBY Lithuania)
Angela Lebedeva (IBBY Russia)
Liz Page (IBBY)
Petros Panaou (Bookbird)
Ilze Stikāne (IBBY Latvia)
Björn Sundmark (Bookbird)
Jochen Weber (International Youth Library)

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