Dear IBBY Europe colleagues,

In this issue of our newsletter you will find the latest news from the world of children's books and reading in Armenia, France, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain. Liz Page reports on IBBY's presence at the Frankfurt book fair.

Have you visited our website recently? New books in different languages have been added. Our website presents a selection of more than 350 books in 31 languages! Many thanks to IBBY's National sections in Europe who keep this website alive by adding new data on a regular basis. This website proves to be a very useful tool for selecting quality books in a variety of languages.

And as always, our Facebook page is full of interesting information about books and reading in Europe and worldwide!

Let's thank once again our faithful supporters: David Pintor, who designed a new header for this issue of our newsletter, and Liz Page, the executive director of IBBY, official proofreader of our newsletter. Sincere thanks to both of them!

Best wishes to you all!

Hasmig Chahinian

Job Opportunity: IBBY Secretariat, Basel

IBBY invites applications for the post of Administration and Communications Manager at its headquarters in Basel, Switzerland.

More information about the available position provided here, and under About IBBY > Organization.

IBBY in Frankfurt

IBBY at the 2019 Frankfurt Book Fair

The Frankfurt Book Fair is not the main book fair for children’s books, but it is one of the biggest international book fairs and a place where many IBBY members meet. The 2019 fair was no exception. IBBY has exhibited at the fair for many years. Earlier IBBY Germany graciously hosted IBBY at their stand, but for the last few years we have had our own stand courtesy of the fair management.

This way we are able to show many more of the international IBBY activities.  The 2019 display featured the 2019 IBBY Selection of Books for Young People with Disabilities and there was a lot of interest as visitor discovered the books.

The fair also supports IBBY by offering us a panel slot at the Kids Stage. This year Denis Beznosov from IBBY Russia introduced the 2020 IBBY Congress in Moscow, James Taylor from the International Publishers Association spoke about the UN Sustainable Development Goals Book Club (SDG Book Club) and Liz Page gave an overview of IBBY’s activities with a special highlight in the 2019 IBBY Outstanding Selection of Books for Young People with Disabilities. Liz also spoke at a separate event organized by the UN to talk about IBBY’s involvement with the SDG Book Club. Hugo Setzer, current president of the IPA, was also on the panel.

During the fair members of IBBY from around the world visited the stand: Hungary, Germany, Italy, Iran, Greece, and Ireland, amongst others. The fair is also a good opportunity to meet other organizations, such as the International Youth Library, ALMA, Nami Island Inc., as well as various publishers.

One of the highlights of the fair is the annual the award ceremony of the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis (see the report from IBBY Germany later in this newsletter). A full report of the 2019 winners can be found at https://www.jugendliteratur.org. The award has been give since 1956, making it one of the oldest awards for children’s literature in Europe.

Frankfurt in numbers: 7,450 exhibitors from 104 countries; 302,267 visitors – 47% of these were trade visitors. IBBY is part of this!


Echoes from the European sections

From Lithuania

An entire month for children’s literature

The international conference on “The Language of Images in Children’s Literature” was held in Vilnius, Lithuania on 9–10 October 2019, and is becoming one of the most important events of the year organized by the Lithuanian Section of IBBY.

The 21st century is often referred to as the visual age, thus this international conference was organised in order to discuss the growing focus on the role of imagery in children’s literature production and publishing. Illustrations and their presentation, book design and diverse graphic approaches by artists are now more relevant than ever and often have a significant impact on children’s reading habits. The organizers were delighted that the conference responded to today's global trends, including an increased focus on picture and silent books.

Attracting massive public attention with more than 250 registered participants, the conference took place in the Seimas (Parliament) of the Republic of Lithuania. The conference was honoured by guests from abroad: IBBY members from Latvia, Estonia and Sweden participated in the event.

The selected speakers from Lithuania Dr. Jolita Liškevičienė, psychologist Asta Blandė, and illustrator Aušra Kiudulaitė, as well as scholars Kai Mikkonen (Finland), Maria Lassen-Seger (Finland) and Anne Skaret (Norway), shared their insights. Another significant topic – visual literacy – was tackled by illustrator Stella East (Canada/Norway), Anne-Marie Körling (Sweden), former Swedish Ambassador for Reading, and Deborah Soria (Italy), a member of IBBY Italy, while the creators Miriam Moss (UK), Åsa Lind (Sweden), Anete Melece (Latvia) and Joanna Bartosik (Poland) discussed the creation process of picture books.

On the second day of the conference the IBBY’s international collaboration proved to be wonderfully fruitful when Deborah Soria gave a seminar on silent books to the Lithuanian professionals. Librarians and teachers could test their freshly acquired knowledge right on the spot at the international IBBY’s “Silent Books Exhibition”. Artists from Lithuania, Latvia, Poland and Norway gave four creative workshops, which were organized for children.

The Lithuanian Section of IBBY declared October as Children’s Literature Month, supporting another conference-related event that was held at the same time: a personal exhibition by Kęstutis Kasparavičius, the world renowned Lithuanian illustrator and writer, nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen and ALMA Awards, was opened to the public.

The speakers. © IBBY Lithuania Joanna Bartosik. © IBBY Lithuania

From Germany

2019 German Children’s Literature Award (Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis)

On 18 October 2019, Federal Minister Dr. Franziska Giffey awarded the winners of the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis (German Children’s Literature Award) at the Frankfurt Book Fair in front of an audience of 1,600 children’s book experts, both national and international.

The focus of this year's Special Award was the art of illustration.

The Special Award for the Complete Work was conferred on the 1939 Leipzig-born illustrator Volker Pfüller. "His well-crafted style and confident technique have left unmistakable traces in contemporary literary illustration", said the Special Award jury. "Whether linocut, pen and ink drawing, watercolor or colored offset lithography – Volker Pfüller's illustrations consistently come up with a clear, lively line, a sophisticated image structure and very distinctive drawing."

The Special Award for New Talents was conferred on Iris Anemone Paul for her picture book debut Polka für Igor (title in English: Polka for Igor; kunstanstifter).
Her storytelling in text and image convinced the Special Award jurors as well as the jury of critics. Polka für Igor also won the category Picture Book.

The other winners chosen by the jury of critics are:

  • In the category Children’s Book: Vier Wünsche ans Universum (dtv Reihe Hanser;  original edition: Hello, Universe, Greenwillow Books) by the American author Erin Entrada Kelly, translated by Birgitt Kollmann
  • In the category Young Adult Book: Ich weiß, heute Nacht werde ich träumen (Thienemann) by the Australian author Steven Herrick (original editon: By the River, Boyds Mills Press), translated by Uwe-Michael Gutzschhahn
  • In the category Non-Fiction: Extremismus (Carlsen) by the German author Anja Reumschüssel (title in English: Extremism).

The Young Adult jury, which comprises six reading clubs from all over Germany, honoured Kompass ohne Norden (Hanser) by Neal and Brendan Shusterman, translated by Ingo Herzke (original edition: Challenger Deep, HarperCollins).

All categories carry a value of 10,000 Euros, except the award for a complete work, which has a value of 12,000 Euros. The prize money can be split between authors, illustrators and translators. Furthermore, all laureates receive a bronze statuette depicting the character “Momo” from Michael Ende’s children’s classic.

The German Children’s Literature Award is endowed by the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth with a total of 72,000 Euros. The Association for Children's and Youth Literature (Arbeitskreis für Jugendliteratur), the German section of IBBY, is responsible for awarding the German Children's Literature Award.
More information: https://www.jugendliteratur.org/deutscher-jugendliteraturpreis/c-62

Kein Kinderspiel! / No Child’s Play!:
Workshop for translators of German children’s and young adult literature in August 2019

For the tenth time, 15 translators of children’s and young adult literature were invited to Hamburg for the workshop on the translation of German children’s and young adult literature entitled ‘Kein Kinderspiel!’/‘No child’s play!’. From 18 to 23 August 2019, 15 translators from 13 countries guided by Regina Pantos and Tobias Scheffel, shared their experiences. They worked on specific passages and got to know the German youth literature scene in more detail through encounters with authors, publishers, critics and readers. The format is sponsored by TOLEDO, a program of the Robert Bosch Stiftung and the Deutscher Übersetzerfonds. It is organized by Arbeitskreis für Jugendliteratur,  the German section of IBBY.

2019 workshop (© Martin Jäschke/AKJ)

From Latvia

The White Wolf books 2019

Jānis Baltvilks prize 2019 © Kristians Luhaers

On 24 July 2019, for the 15th year running, writers, illustrators and translators of books for

children and young adults were awarded the Jānis Baltvilks prize (baltvilks means white wolf) for the best books published in the Latvian language in the period from 31 May 2018 – 31 May 2019.

This year about 70 books were evaluated by a jury comprised 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 of the University of Latvia, Aiga Dzalbe, assistant professor of the Art Academy of Latvia, Liega Piešiņa, expert at the Literature and Music Museum, Agris Liepiņš, illustrator and writer, Dagnija Baltiņa, director of the National Library of Latvia Department of special collections and Toms Grēviņš, a radio DJ.

In 2019 the European writer and the translator of the winning book into Latvian who received Jānis Baltvilks Prize is the Italian author Angela Nanetti for Mans vectēvs bija ķiršu koks (Mio nonno era un ciliegio, My grandfather was a cherry-tree, Jāņa Rozes publishing house, 2018), and the translator Dace Meiere. The jury emphasized that it was a wonderfully written emotional story which along the existential issues of life and death truly and often comically presented a message about childhood and growing up. Unfortunately, the writer was unable to attend the award ceremony in person, but IBBY Italy delegated David Tolin to attend the ceremony on behalf of the writer. He thanked the jury and stressed the importance of speaking about death and other hard topics in the books for children and young adults. The head of the consular department of the Embassy of Italy in Latvia, Luigi Giovinazzi, joined the event.

David Tolin (IBBY Italy) and Dace Meiere.
© Timurs Subhankulovs, Latvijas Avīze

The Jānis Baltvilks’ prize for literature was awarded to Aivars Kļavis for the trilogy Ceļš uz nezināmo zemi (The road to the unknown land): Melnais akmens (The black stone), Bēgšana no čūsku valstības (Running away from the realm of snakes) and Asinis uz dzintara (Blood on the amber, Zvaigzne ABC, 2018), which depicts the possible historical events in the life of Latvian forefathers 4000-2000 years ago. The arduous and adventurous plot covers both the scenes from separate tribes and their leaders and heroes and emphasizes important ideas for today’s world family and tribe (today – nation) and their unremitting way forward, cravings for freedom on a metaphorical level, as well as every one's responsibility, not only for oneself but also those closeto us and in a broader sense – about one’s tribe (nation).

The 2019 Jānis Baltvilks’ prize for children and young adults’ book art was awarded to Anete Melece for the illustrations in her book Kiosks (The Kiosk, Liels un Mazs, 2019); her contribution to the visual image of Lauris Gundars’ book Vaļa balss (Whale’s vote, Liels un Mazs, 2019) was also acknowledged. Melece with the help of rippling many-coloured drawings in felt-tipped pens conjures up a whole world, a thrilling harmonious environment with easily recognizable details for everyone. Illustrations enrich the literary message allowing us to see the imagined situations from ever-new and unexpected aspects. The artist shares generously with her disarming sense of humour and benevolence in her books. The story is both funny and sad, it allows the reader to think about being stuck in their lives and being unable to fulfil their dreams. Olga is not just a hopeless sales person, who replaces reality with magazine picture, she is also the small centre of the neighbourhood and an important person for other people to talk to and confide in. Originally, Melece made a movie called “The Kiosk”, which is possible to watch on Vimeo.

The winner of the New Growth Prize established by the Joint Stock Company Latvijas Valsts meži (Latvian State Forests) for a first work in children’s literature is Sergejs Timofejevs for his book Pasaka par bruņinieku, kuram sāpēja zobi (A tale of the knight who had a toothache, Liels un Mazs, 2019). Thiswitty but sincere fairy-tale convinced the jury that the approach of Timofejevs is explicitly original; it delights with the independence of the thought, the ability to listen to others and the expressive language. Making his debut in children’s literature, Sergejs Timofejevs inconspicuously speaks to the young readers and their parents about a well-known problem, stimulating their imagination, setting off a burst of laughter and provoking compassion.

The White Wolf Forest day 2019

For the first time on 27 September 2019 IBBY Latvia in cooperation with one of the sponsors of Jānis Baltvilks’ prize the Joint Stock Company Latvijas Valsts meži, organized an educational and creative trip for writers and illustrators of children’s literature - “The White Wolf Forest Day”. The aim of this event is to popularize knowledge about the greatest natural wealth of Latvia – the forest, what it gives to the community and what the community can do for the forest. This idea emerged from a willingness to promote the continuation of Jānis Baltvilks’ creative traditions in children’s literature, namely, clever observation of nature, a brave play of language, an ethically sensitive world outlook, as well as giving the possibility for authors to meet, to discuss and learn themselves.

The participants walked in the forest, compared trees, some of which were between 90 and 180 years old, learned about topicalities in the forest management, the very special tree species, such as the unique mast pines which due to their very long and straight trunks have been used as masts on sailing ships since the 16th century. The participants enjoyed the clean air and could listen into the sounds of the forest. The next stop was Smārde primary school, which Jānis Baltvilks attended as a child, and at the end of the day the participants visited the home of Jānis Baltvilks’ family “Zīlītes” (Titmice) where Jānis Baltvilks had planted trees and gained inspiration for his works. Inese Vismane, the writer’s niece, told about the intention to create the nature and culture object “Baltā Vilka takas” (The White Wolf’s Trail).

We hope that with this trip we have started a new tradition, one that promotes the meeting and cooperation of writers and book illustrators leading to creative ideas for new books.

At “Zīlītes” © Silvija Tretjakova

From Spain
Galician Branch

Guide to Equality in Galician Children's and Young Adult Literature

This guide offers a selection of Galician books published in 2014, 2015 and 2016 that encourage reflection and debate on the role of women in society and the concept of gender. It also provides necessary references for women, new masculinities and diversity of sexual choices. It can be downloaded here.

Susana Suniaga illustrates the 21st Pontevedra International Children’s And Young Adult Book Fair

The City Council of Pontevedra in collaboration with GÁLIX (Galician Association for Children’s and Young Adult Literature) convened the 3rd International Illustration Contest in order to choose the poster of the 21st Pontevedra International Children’s and Young Adult Book Fair. The jury chose the work of Susana Suniaga because of its strong personality and the way it mixes literature and humor - the main theme of the Fair this year - through symbolic imagery.

From Spain
Catalonian Branch

Despite the effects of the crisis, Catalonian publishing has managed to maintain Barcelona as one of the editorial epicentres in Southern Europe. The number of publishing houses is still growing (three new publishers: Editorial Nanit, Liana Editorial and L'altra tribu) and existing companies are celebrating anniversaries: 95 years of Editorial Juventud; 30 years of Combel publishing house, 20 years of Corimbo, and the 40th anniversary of Ediciones Ekaré.
Several IBBY Catalonia stakeholders are celebrating their 10th anniversaries: Editorial Flamboyant, Editorial A buen Paso, the independent bookshop Abracadabra in Barcelona, and the Festival de narració oral Munt de Mots.

The 35th Children and Young Adult Book Fair of Catalonia took place from 1-14 April 2019 in Mollerussa. Barcelona was the honorary guest invited to the 45th International Book Fair of Buenos Aires at the end of April 2019, and one of the highlights of the programme was the exhibition "Visit Barcelona in 32 Children’s Books illustrations" curated by the experts Glòria Gorchs and Pep Molist.

Prizes and Awards: Maria Rius received the spanish "National Illustration Award 2018"; A dormir, gatets! published by Bárbara Casto at Zahorí Books was awarded the "Bolognaragazzi Toddler Award"; and Petit Indi by Mercè Galí was nominated for the "Silent Book Contest Gianni di Conno Award 2019".

The Catalan children’s book, El tren de les parades sense nom [The train of the nameless stations] written by Carles Sala i Vila and illustrated by Estela de Arendaza was selected for the international White Ravens 2019. In addition, three other titles, also published in Catalonia, but written in Spanish, were selected: Amaryllis by Germán Machado and Anna Aparicio Català (illustrator); Un día de tormenta [A stormy day] written by Daniel Nesquens and illustrated by Maguma; and W written by Isaac Rosa.

Raimon Portell Rifà won the National Children's and Youth Literature Prize with his book Camins d’aigua [Water Paths]. The award is given by the Spanish Ministry of Culture and Sports and is endowed with 20.000€. The book has already received the Premi Llibreter [Bookshop Award] and it is the second volume the trilogy La Ilum d’Artús.

The Magazine Cavall Fort has received a special Prize during the 37th Setmana del Llibre en Català (Catalan Book Week) for their engagement since 1961 in the promotion of the Catalan Language and Culture, Children’s Literature and Reading.

No llegiré aquest llibre by Jaume Cupons, Bestiolari 2 by Josep Vallverdú and Wolfgang (extraordinari) by Laia Aguilar were awarded the Premi Atrapallibres, a catch-a-book Award in which children are the jurors. You can read more about the award here.

We would like to express our sincere condolences on the recent deaths of: the catalan philologue Aina Moll; Ramon Folch i Camarassa, writer, translator, and scriptwriter of Massagran; the catalan pedagogue and writer Àngels Ollé; and, the valencian teacher and storyteller Llorenç Giménez.


From Slovakia

Advocates of Reading prepared a programme for kindergartens
(April - June 2019)

A year-long program for children that encourages them to become Advocates of Reading for younger classmates was completed by a group of pupils from a private elementary school by selecting appropriate book titls to present to their younger friends from the same private kindergarten. They chose the poem Frčko and the Hedgehog by the classic author Krista Bendová. They read the text of the poem and recorded the verses along with various sounds of the environment, where the action takes place. They prepared questions and tasks for the younger children to help them play with the poem, to get to know the environment and experience the story of the dog Frčko. Since September 2019, two more classes of elementary school pupils have signed up for the program and have shown an interest in becoming Advocates of Reading.

Seminar cycle - Open gate to reading
(April - May 2019)

A series of seminars for adults - parents, pre-primary education teachers, librarians and the general public, continued in April with a new cycle - Hide and Seek! The participants of the seminar learned how to discover the 'space' of the book with the youngest children. Space, which is hidden to them, and at the same time, how a meaningful connection or relationship with the child is established through game as a dialogue. Through the game of hide and seek, children gain security and confidence that whatever happens, they shall not be overlooked and shall be found whenever they need to be. The book thus creates an intermediate space through which the parent talks to the child and which helps them to find "bridges" for their experiences. The children take on various roles, in which they can discover the world, observe and get to know the surroundings. In May, the last practical meeting of this cycle was held in which participants shared their own experiences in implementing an innovative reading approach with the youngest children.

Children's Literature Festival Zlatá Priadka Piešťany
(May 2019)

In 2019, we commemorated the 100th anniversary of the birth of one of the most important Slovak writers - Mária Ďuríčková. On this occasion, the Municipal Library of Piešťany decided to dedicate a festival of children's literature to her memory. The festival included discussions with illustrators, publishers, theatre dramatization and reading, exhibitions and literary-art workshops. On 23 May, BIBIANA, as a partner of the festival, prepared a seminar “Can You See the Hill?” intended for teachers and librarians, it was led by Timotea Vráblová.

Literary, illustrative and dramatic creation for children and youth in 2018
(22 May)

In May, a scientific conference was held at the Faculty of Education of Charles University in cooperation with BIBIANA and SK IBBY. Its aim was to evaluate the 2018 works for children and youth in Slovakia. Literary scientists and experts commented on the original prose for children and youth, theatre, Slovak illustrators and illustrations and radio drama. Foreign lecturers spoke about Czech children's literature and an amateur dramatic ensembles at the Brno Children's Stage.

Good pages
(all year)

Timotea Vráblová and Beata Panáková have produced the radio program Good Pages for RTVS weekly from Monday to Friday. It focuses primarily on children's literature and its creators - from authors to readers, whose aim is to arouse interest in books and bring book tips for reading.

Book Feast 2019
(15 June 2019)

The Book Feast (with its motto "The Time is the Life. And the Life is in the Heart!") was organized on Saturday, 15 June. This open air festival included not only children's books, but also numerous creative activities, such as workshops, songs, dramas, reader's puzzles, as well as a rich programme on the main stage, where performances of writers, actors, singers, musicians, researchers, and of course, children, took place. The goal of the Book Feast was to increase the interest of children and their families in cultivating reading, thus developing children's perception, empathy, and creativity. This year's Book Feast was also an opportunity to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of children's writer Mária Ďuríčková with a competition for children, in which children at elementary schools created their own Janko Hraško (a character from M. Ďuríčková's book about Janko Hraško), by creating a 14-day diary where they detail him "living" with them, going to school with them, to their hobby groups and capturing his feelings during a visit to their home in the form of a diary.

Educational seminars cycle for adults
(February – May 2019, September – December 2019)

After successfully completing adult education seminars, and encouraged by the interest of many graduates in September 2019, a follow-up cycle of the "Open Gate to Reading" programme (on reading with children in the age of 0-6 years) and "We Read in the Space of Book" (reading with children 6-15 years) was launched. This second cycle has a similar structure to the first, in that each program consists of 4 workshops lasting 90 minutes, organized once a month, while the final seminar is a practical event, where participants share their own experience in applying new knowledge. During the period since October 2019 we have continued the "Open Gate to Reading" programs and "We Read in the Space of Book" repeating the first cycle seminars for new candidates, who are increasingly coming from the ranks of parents, teachers and librarians.

International reading conferences

Every two years the IBBY Institute Bratislava organizes two international reading conferences during the week of the opening of the Biennial of Illustrations Bratislava. The 2019 conferences were held on 22 and 23 October, with more than 150 participants. The aim of these conferences was to show how to stimulate and cultivate those processes that link a book and a book culture, as well as how to develop the individual's and community's reading experience. Contributions by 4 national and 10 international speakers raised many important topics related to the deeper meaning of reading. The first of the conferences "What we see and what we cannot see: a story in the picture book" was devoted to picture books and the use of illustrations in reading with children. The second conference "Reading - a creative process" brought up some challenging topics on the use of symbolic language in books, intuition in reading and writing, alternative book forms (pop-ups, three-dimensional books), use of stories for bibliotherapy (books used with traumatic children), and many other interesting presentations.

Music Salon 2019
(21 October)

A regular event as part of the biennial International Reading Conferences is the Zichy Music Salon, where we strive to revive the long tradition of music salons, when people used to meet each other to enjoy musical events in a friendly atmosphere. It is not a classical concert, although classical music is heard in the program along with dance and singing. The aim of the event is also to be a socio-cultural event, to bring together people who are dedicated to book culture and share common values.

From France

A presentation of international books at the French national library

Once a year, a special presentation of international children's and young adults books is made at the French national library (Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF). This annual rendez-vous, "L'Avant-Revue international", is organized 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 region.

This year, the event took place on 21 May 2019. The presentation also included some key resources where information on good books for children and young adults in various languages could be discovered, such as the IBBY Honour Lists, the IBBY Europe website, the White Ravens selection, the online journal Takam Tikou, among others.

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.

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 (13 to 15 May 2019) to this topic, under the title "Languages in children's and young adult's libraries". This was the second edition of this training session; the first one was held in June 2018.

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 on how to use these collections with children based on the library's experience in this field. Hasmig Chahinian (BnF/ IBBY France) presented various experiences worldwide as well as 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, France), with practical activities held with the trainees.

Visits to the Institute of the Arab World in Paris and to the Robert-Desnos library in Montreuil gave an opportunity to the participants 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 programme (in French) of the training session can be found here.

To read and to dream - Children's literature and handicap

On 22 October 2019, IBBY France participated in a seminar, "To read and to dream - Children's literature and handicap", organised by INSHEA. The INSHEA (Institut national supérieur de formation et de recherche pour l'éducation des jeunes handicapés et les enseignements adaptés) is the first institution for higher education in France dedicated entirely to people with disabilities and special educational needs. Its aims are: to develop interdisciplinary research, to offer training to all stakeholders in the field of inclusive education, and to develop a resource centre. INSHEA represents France at the « European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education ».

Hasmig Chahinian from IBBY France gave a talk about IBBY, IBBY Europe and the IBBY collection of outstanding books for young people with disabilities, explaining how the collection was created and how each IBBY section contributes to this international project. The participants showed great interest for IBBY's work and some of them asked to join the French section.

During the seminar, the IBBY 2019 Selection of Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities was displayed; The exhibition drew a lot of attention from the participants who asked many questions about the books. Publishers that specialize in books for children with special needs also displayed their books.

More information on the seminar and its program here.

French books selected for the IBBY Honour list 2020

The members of IBBY France voted online to select the books for the IBBY Honour list 2020. The selected titles are:


Jefferson, Jean-Claude Mourlevat, Gallimard jeunesse, 2018


Une super histoire de cow-boy, Delphine Perret, Les Fourmis rouges, 2018


Mog, la nuit des renards (Mog on fox night), Judith Kerr, trad. from English (United Kingdom) byr Ramona Bădescu, Albin Michel jeunesse, 2018

From Armenia

Contest for children's writers and illustrators

In September 2019 IBBY Armenia, with the support of the Armenian Knowledge, Science, Culture and Sport ministry, announced an annual contest for children's writers and illustrators. The aim of the contest is to stimulate the development of a writing and illustration culture for children. Authors and illustrators from the age of 18 are eligible to participate to the contest.

The results of the contest will be announced every December. The first prize will be tickets to an international book fair for the author and illustrator. The second prize will be the publication of a book by the author and illustrator. There will also be an encouragement prize given for third place. Furthermore, a special prize will be awarded from the President’s wife of Armenia Mrs. Nouneh Sarkissian.

The children of Achajur have a new reading corner

On 5 October the community library of Achajur in the Tavush region, was reopened on the initiative of IBBY Armenia and with the support of the IBBY Yamada Fund. At the opening ceremony the president of IBBY Armenia and the director of Khnko Aper National Children's Library Ruzan Tonoyan, the Ambassador of Japan to Armenia Jun Yamada and other cultural figures, each gave a speech. Representatives from different organizations of book sphere and guests were present.
Mrs Tonoyan celebrating the reopening of the library with the attendees, mentioning that it will bring new impetus to the community's intellectual potential and will be an example for other communities. The library, within the Achajur cultural center, opened its doors in front of booklovers to show a completely renovated and technically equipped library that has been replenished with new books. She added that,  "this initiative hopes to evaluate the role of libraries and their meaning in the organization and promotion of reading."
H.E. Ambassador Yamada mentioned that the Tavush region has become his favorite place in Armenia, and the library must be the favorite place of children, saying, "I think this is the most important occasion in the lives of your children." After the event, which included the participation of children  from the Achajur community, H.E. Ambassador Yamada and Mrs Tonoyan, with the community leader K. Ghaltakhchyan, participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Tavush's provincial administration and Achajur municipality, businessmen also supported the renovation works.

The collection of the library was replenished with over 500 new and colorful children's books donated by Edit Print, Zangak, Antares, GSM publishing houses, and the Noyan tapan, Bookinist bookstores. Letters of appreciation were handed to all supporters of the initiative.

Summer school for children

On 30 August the annual “Summer school” project of IBBY Armenia and  Khnko Aper National Children's Library closed. More than 50 children between the ages of 5 and 15 years, participated in the educational-cultural program. It is the third year that library has opened its doors to children and adults both living in Armenia and to the the summer visitors. The children had a chance to participate in different events, such as: outdoor games, painting, music, interactive lessons of English and Russian, as well as self-defense lessons. The participants of the 2019 summer school developed their cognitive and creative skills through book readings and discussions, educational, intellectual games, thus improving their existing knowledge and capabilities, and expanding the scope of their interests. The children visited bookstores, museums, theatres, cinemas and exhibitions, they also participated to various educational programs during the “Summer school” project.

From Slovenia

Slovenian Section of IBBY is the sponsor of International Children’s Book Day 2020!

It is a special honour for the Slovenian Section of IBBY to be chosen as the sponsor of the 2020 International Children’s Book Day. It was at the IBBY Congress in Ljubljana in 1966 that April 2nd, Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday, was proclaimed as International Children’s Book Day and has been celebrated ever since. The Slovenian Section of IBBY had previously been the international sponsor of ICBD in 1997, when artists Matjaž Schmidt and Boris A. Novak designed the poster Childhood Is Poetry of Life. Poetry Is Childhood of the World.

Peter Svetina
Damijan Stepančič

For International Children’s Book Day 2020, Peter Svetina wrote Hunger for Words, while Damijan Stepančič illustrated the poster and, together with Melita Rak, designed the message to the children in the form of a cube. Just as we construct words out of characters and stories out of words, you can construct a cube out of 2020’s message to celebrate International Children’s Book Day. We hope our construction will address children all over the world and inspire reading mentors to satisfy children’s hunger for quality literature.

Peter Svetina and Damijan Stepančič are distinguished Slovenian artists and our candidates for the 2020 Hans Christian Andersen Award. They are immensely popular among literary critics as well as young readers. Svetina is a writer and a poet writing for children, young adults and adults, but his works often cross the borders between different target audiences and can be read as crossover literature. Among other things, his works reflect his scholarly interests, as he is also an associate professor of Slavic literature at the Institute for Slavic languages, Alpen-Adria University, as well as translator and editor of several poetry collections. Stepančič has illustrated almost a hundred books to date, co-created many comic books and had several independent exhibitions in the sphere of illustration. The expressiveness of his illustrations is clearly influenced by painting skills, from the underlying colours and composition to the size of formats, which is in line with his conviction that painting and illustration go hand in hand.

In late October, we sent the posters and message cubes to all National Sections around the world. We really hope that you like them as much as we do! We wish you a successful and unforgettable celebration of 2 April 2020 and success in bringing children and books together!

More information on our website.

From Greece
Members of the jury with the fourteen young artists who created the most interesting paintings – Athens, Greece

International Children’s Cultural and Educational Painting Contest

An International Children's Cultural and Educational Painting Contest was hosted in Athens. It was organized by the Greek Section of IBBY in collaboration with the Association of Greek Social Communities of Russia and The Secretary General for Greeks Abroad. Three hundred children from Russia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan sent their pictures. The fourteen young artists who created the most interesting paintings were hosted in Athens, where an exhibition was held in order to display young artists’ works. The members of the jury were distinguished illustrators as well as the author Vagelis Iliopoulos. The winners of the firstthree awards are: Anastasia Vasanova from Russia, Leili Vasaeva from Azerbaijan and Dimitra-Olympia Malathouni from Greece.
At Republic Children’s Library of Azerbaijan

IBBY Greece and IBBY Azerbaijan in collaboration

Following an invitation from IBBY Azerbaijan, members of the Greek Section of IBBY visited the Children’s Library of Azerbaijan, which currently represents the Azerbaijani Section of IBBY. They exchanged ideas on children’s literature and agreed to collect Greek and Azerbaijani fairy tales in order to make a dual-language anthology. The project has already started and we are looking forward to the publication of the book. In addition, IBBY Greece has donated children’s books and props related to Greek culture to Children's Library of Azerbaijan. A great event was held by IBBY Azerbaijan to celebrate the donation.

Donation of books to Greek Language and Civilization Centers abroad

Donation of books to Greek Language and Civilization Centers abroad

The Greek Section of IBBY donated sixty books to the Greek Language and Civilization Centers of Azerbaijan, the Foreign Languages University of Baku and the Slavic University of Baku. Being a member of the Greek Section of IBBY, the teacher of Greek in both universities requested the donation in order to provide students with easy-to-understand texts to help them learn Greek effectively, as well as become familiar with the way young people live in Greece.

Presenting Maria Papayanni and Iris Samartzi’s nominations at Moscow International Book Fair

2020 HCA Award Greek nominees at Moscow International Book Fair

Maria Papayanni and Iris Samartzi’s 2020 HCA Award nominations were presented at Moscow International Book Fair. Dionisios Maroulis, Visiting Professor at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, delivered a speech on Maria Papayanni’s nomination for the author award and on Iris Samartzi’s nomination for the illustrator award. He also spoke about his experience of attending the 36th IBBY International Congress in Athens in 2018. The presentation was attended by Angela Lebedeva, member of the 2020 IBBY International Congress Organizing Committee, Igor Οleynikov, the 2020 Hans Christian Andersen Award medalist for illustration and Liudmila Chizhova, Executive Director of Russian IBBY.
The event was organized by the Hellenic Foundation for Culture and the Hellenic Republic – Ministry of Culture and Sports.
The new library at Agia Marina Primary School

Read and Share feelings, experiences, your inner self!
Α bibliotherapy programme  promoting children’s psychosocial health  in fire-ravaged areas   

Making the best of the contributions made by the participants of the 36th IBBY International Congress held in 2018 in Athens, the Greek Section of IBBY donated 500 children’s literature books and launched a new library in the Agia Marina Primary School at Nea Makri, one of the areas fire-ravaged in 2018.

Book shelves from the Primary School Library of the island of Sikinos

36th IBBY International Conference volunteers donate books to the small Aegean island of Sikinos

The 36th IBBY International Conference volunteers were awarded the 2019 “Panos Alefantos Award” – an award in honour of volunteers promoting reading. The volunteers offered their prize (books by Kokkini Klosti Books) to the Primary School of the island of Sikinos, which is a small remote Cycladic island. The Primary School library covers the needs of Pre-Primary, Primary and Junior High School students. Furthermore, the Greek Section of IBBY donated an additional 250 books to the same library.

 Recent publications

Bookbird. Issue 57.3, 2019

In spite of encouraging trends over the past few years, texts that are originally published in English continue to dominate the international exchange of stories. As a journal of international children’s literature, Bookbird strives to provide a global forum to authors, illustrators, and scholars who work and create in languages other than English. For this reason, issue 57.3 focuses exclusively on contemporary children’s and young adult (YA) literature originally published in a language other than English. In “Gabriela Mistral’s Poetic Retellings of Four Classic Fairy Tales,” Andrea Casals Hill presents and analyzes the acclaimed Chilean author’s poetic fairy-tale retellings, which have been recently republished as illustrated books. In “Thinking and Caring Boys Go Vegan,” Marianna Koljonen synthesizes an ecofeminist and intersectional analysis of gender and family norms in vegan identity books for children, asking questions about the audience of these texts and the ways in which they introduce, explain, and support veganism. In the third featured article, Lijun Bi and Xiangshu Fang examine Mao Dun’s “The Story of Big Nose” (1936) and Lao She’s “New Emile” (1936), exploring the context of revolutionary children’s literature from the 1930s China and comparing two dramatically different stories by two of the most important Chinese authors of that era. In the fourth article, “Tooran Mirhadi and Jella Lepman: Two Women, Two Continents, One Aspiration,” Leila (Roya) Maktabi Fard, an Iranian children’s literature researcher, critic, and librarian based in Munich, compares and draws parallels between two exceptional, perseverant, and pioneering women who established influential organizations for children’s literature, one in the East and the other in the West. In the fifth and final featured article, Carina Rodrigues discusses and introduces to an international audience Manuela Bacelar and her groundbreaking work as a trailblazer and eventually an esteemed figure in the field of Portuguese picturebook production.

Bookbird. Issue 57.4, 2019

In this special, full-color Bookbird issue, we are very pleased to present 34 wonderful authors and 36 amazing illustrators from a total of 39 different countries, who have been nominated for the 2020 Hans Christian Andersen Award. The Hans Christian Andersen Award (HCAA) is the highest international recognition given to an author and an illustrator of children's books. Given every other year by IBBY, the Hans Christian Andersen Awards recognize lifelong achievement and are presented to an author and an illustrator whose complete works have made an important, lasting contribution to children's literature. As any reader of this special Bookbird issue can see, the HCAA 2020 Jury has quite a challenging task in front of them. Each and every one of the illustrators and authors nominated for the award this year has made an invaluable contribution to the world of children's and young adult literature. As you read about their wonderful contributions, we encourage you to think of ways to make their work even more
widely known, translated, shared, and enjoyed across national, cultural, and linguistic boundaries.

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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)
Tilka Jamnik (IBBY Slovenia)
Evangelia Kaliskami (IBBY Greece)
Roma Kišūnaitė (IBBY Lithuania)
Gabriela Mikulcikova (IBBY Slovakia)
Liz Page (IBBY)
Petros Panaou (Bookbird)
David Pintor (Spain)
Marta Roig (IBBY Spain)
Ilze Stikāne (IBBY Latvia)

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