Welcome to this our first issue of the European Region Newsletter for 2016. As always it is very full - and lavishly illustrated. Our thanks must go to Hasmig Chahinian for compiling it, Liz Page for proof reading the text  and to David Pintor for his unique headings.

Of course the Newsletter could not exist without content. For this edition we are delighted to feature news from twelve sections. These include Sweden, Lithuania and Greece as well as both the Basque Branch and the Galician Branch from Spain. We span the whole of Europe from France and the UK to Hungary and Turkey via Estonia, Germany, Hungary and Cyprus; thanks to all those who have contributed. It is inspiring to see the range of activities recorded, whether literary prizes, exhibitions, workshops or celebrations of illustrators and authors.

Our packed edition includes Frixos Michaelides reflecting on IBBY Cyprus in his reply to our 3 Questions, a report from the editor of Bookbird, a reminder that we will meet in New Zealand for the International Congress and a brief report of our meeting in Bologna. Naturally a major item for discussion was the proposed European Region Conference. We will be sending out further notices and reports on this in the coming months and look forward to your support.

Once again thank you to all our contributors; until the next time.

Vagn Plenge and Ferelith Hordon

Greetings from Bologna!

Look! Views from the exhibition on German illustrators.
At the entrace of the book fair

IBBY International Press Conference

You couldn't attend the IBBY International Press Conference in Bologna, and you feel you have missed something? You would like to have all the information about IBBY events, the Congress in Auckland, the winners of the IBBY-Asahi and Hans Christian Andersen awards? Sit back, relax, and let us bring Bologna closer to you for 42:15 minutes!

Meeting of the European National Sections in Bologna

All members of the European Sections were invited to the traditional Regional Meeting during the Bologna Children's Book Fair. This took place on Tuesday, 5th April. We were delighted to welcome representatives from 16 sections. The result was a lively meeting.

We opened by reviewing the Website and our Facebook presence. A PowerPoint presentation gave a clear idea of how both are being used as well as reminding us - if that was needed - what was involved. The Website is well used and new additions are highlighted making it attractive and current.  Our Facebook page certainly attracts followers. It is a very effective way of raising the profile of IBBY - and IBBY in Europe.

Much of the session was then taken up in discussing how to plan for the proposed One Day European Region Conference. A Work Group has been established and the important questions of time, place and topic are being explored. We aim to make real progress in the coming months.

The exciting initiative set up by USBBY and REFORMA through which child refugees are given access to a library card was commended to all delegates. Everyone was encouraged to think of positive actions that sections could undertake in this area.

From left to right: Vagn Plenge (Denmark), Ferelith Hordon (UK), Deborah Soria (Italy), Serpil Ural (Turkey), Sabine Fuchs (Austria), Hasmig Chahinian (France), Anna Kourannou (Cyprus), Helena Bergendahl (Sweden), Tina Bilban (Slovenia), Jenni Erkintalo (Finland), Ilze Stikāne (Latvia), Petr Eliáš (Czech Republic), Leelo Märjamaa (Estonia) and Eva Devos (Belgium - Flemish Branch). Missing in the picture: Doris Breitmoser (Germany) and Zoltan Pompor (Hungary).

Kia ora IBBY Europe Regional members!

New Zealand IBBY looks forward to welcoming you to Auckland, New Zealand in August, 2016.

Join us, and colleagues from around the globe, to explore the excitements and challenges of literature and literacy education in a rapidly changing world.

If you are from one of the over seventy IBBY member countries and have never been to this unique country, you will find much to tempt and inform you on the video below!

 3 questions to... Frixos Michaelides - Φρίξος Μιχαηλίδης



In this column we address 3 questions to a member of a European Section of IBBY.

In this issue, meet Frixos Michaelides - Φρίξος Μιχαηλίδης from IBBY Cyprus!

Do you have a name to suggest for the next issue? Send us a mail!


A workshop in writing.

1.What inspired you to join IBBY?

The primary goals and general mission of IBBY and of course CYBBY: To bring books and children together since when I was growing up we didn't have the chance to have so many books or bookstores accessible to us. So I decided that I wanted to give the children of the next generations the chance and the delight of encountering beautiful new books, not only from Cyprus, and contribute to bring fantasy and magic close to their souls and minds. That is obtained by any means available: authoring, illustrating, giving lectures and workshops to children, presentations and speeches to parents – adults and promoting book-mind in cooperation with CYBBY, the Ministry of Education and Culture and others. My foremost objective, which is actually my motive and source of inspiration, is to put a smile at every child's face and comfort their soul by sparkling their imagination and creativity hoping they will find the good in themselves and in the world.

2. What are the challenges facing the children's book market in Cyprus?

Greek-Cypriot children's literature is a minority literature, which exists in the periphery of metropolitan Greek Children's Literature, striving to establish its place within the European and international literature.
Cyprus now has only 4 publishers dealing children's books consistently, releasing 5 to 15 books per year. Noteworthy children's books by gifted authors and illustrators are increasingly being published but the distribution of books abroad is very difficult; even in Greece because of the big number of their local publications. The competition is huge. Cypriot books do not get translated mostly because of the language barrier. Lately we have produced great, more attractive books that we are proud of and can stand in the international world of publishing, but we still need help with their promotion.
The language barrier may be bypassed through the publishing of multilingual editions, while projects that promote cultural exchanges between linguistic communities are urgently needed. 
Cyprus has exceptional children's literature that deserve to reach larger reading audiences.

Nevertheless, the children's book market (Greek and worldwide translated books), despite the economic crisis in Cyprus the last years, is fairly steady since CYBBY and many bookstores, authors, illustrators and teachers still make many successful efforts to bring books and children together.

3. What can IBBY Cyprus offer?

CYBBY (Cyprus IBBY) after forty two years of existance continues to contribute to IBBY's main mission as mentioned before. In the new era, CYBBY, aspires to play an important role in bringing Cyprus young readers and international children's literature closer as well as Cypriot book-creators closer to foreign audiences, expecting to create cultural book-bridges between Cyprus and the other countries since Cyprus literature is unique, carrying  the civilization and history of the three continents that surround the island.

Echoes from the European sections

From Sweden

Winner of the Peter Pan-award selected

Each year IBBY Sweden selects the best children's book in translation. This is a way for our organisation to emphasize how childrens' books build bridges and at the same time give much needed spotlight to translated books in general, books that tend to be less reviewed and acknowledged in Sweden. This year's winner is Sabelles röda klänning (Sabelles red dress) written by Marina Michaelidou-Kadi from Cyprus and illustrated by Daniela Stamatiadi from Greece.

Sabelle and her family have to leave their home and she can only take one thing with her. She chooses her red dress. The one she always wears. It reminds her of her home and of grandma who had to stay behind. With brilliance, this picture book tell the story of a child refugee and her first days in a new country.

As part of the award, IBBY Sweden in cooperation with the Gothenburg Book Fair will invite the author and illustrator to Sweden to meet readers and present their work. We at IBBY Sweden are delighted that they have accepted the invitation and we look forward to welcome them in September.

Sabelles red dress. Daniela Stamatiadi Marina Michaelidou-Kadi

Silent books in Sweden

Inspired by the great work of IBBY Italy, we have started our own version of the project Silent Books. We have developed and published  a booklet with ideas and methods of how to work with wordless picture books. Cay Corneliusson from IBBY Sweden has acquired Silent books from around the world and the collection will be disseminated together with the booklet to libraries working with refugee shelters in Sweden. In 2015 over 150,000 refugees sought shelter in Sweden as result of the civil war in Syria, many of whom are children. We believe Silent books can be one of many projects to help build bridges between libraries and refugee shelters. Some of the books used in the project are The Arrival by Shaun Tan and The Snowman by Raymond Briggs. The hand book (in Swedish) can be downloaded from www.ibby.se.


From Lithuania

ICBD in Lithuania: 9 awards given by the Lithuanian IBBY section 

The International Children's Book Day, which was celebrated all over the world for the 50th time (since 1967), came to Lithuania only 24 years ago because of historical circumstances. This difficult time was marked by many beginnings and one of the most important was restoration of Lithuania's independence in March of 1990, which opened gates to new international relationships, ideas, and initiatives.

Then, in 1993, we started to celebrate the biggest holiday for everybody who are connected to children's literature by establishing one of the biggest awards – award for the Best Book of The Year for Children and Young Adults. Čiuožyklos muzika (The Music of Skating Rink) by Bitė Vilimaitė (1992) was the first book awarded in this category. It is worth mentioning that the award was initially financed and continues to be financed by famous Lithuanian basketball player Šarūnas Marčiulionis.

During the last 24 years The International Children's Book Day has become one of the most important events of year for writers, artists, publishers, librarians, schools and university teachers, researchers and many others in the field of children's literature and reading in our country. With an increase of importance and attention to children's literature in general a number of awards during those years have also increased. We now have 9 awards that cover all field of children's books. All of these awards are given to the most prominent creators of the year after competent juries carefully consider all nominations.

Rebeka Una and Kestutis Urba

The winners of the previous (2015) year are:

- The Best Book of The Year: Atjunk (Disconnect) by Rebeka Una
- The Best Realistic Book for Young Adults: Niujorko respublika (The Republic of New York) by Akvilina Cicėnaitė
- The Best Book for The Youngest Readers: Drambliai ėjo į svečius ('Elephants Were Going to See Their Friends) by Evelina Daciūtė and Inga Dagilė
- The Most Important and The Most Artistic Translation of The Year for The Children – tale: Groznovilca v Hudi Hosti by Jana Bauer, translated from Slovenian by Gabija Kiaušaitė
- The Most Important and The Most Artistic Translation of The Year for The YA – book: Märchenerzähler by Antonia Michaelis, translated from German by Teodoras Četrauskas
- The Most Beautiful Book of The Year (award for the best colourful illustrations): Lėti ir tylūs dalykėliai (Slow and Silent Things) by Solveiga Masteikatė, illustrated by Skirmanta Jakaitė
- The Most Artistic Book of The Year (award for the black and white illustrations): Mano Vilnius mano (Mine Vilnius Mine) by Justinas Žilinskas, illustrated by Birutė Zokaitytė, Povilas Jankūnas and Agnė Dautartaitė-Krutulė
- The Most Important Debut of The Year: Akmenukų pasakos (Tales of Little Stones) by Aidas Jurašius
- The Most Important Work of Children's Literature Research and Reading Promotion – monograph: Šeimos vaizdinys sovietmečio lietuvių literatūroje vaikams (The Image of Family in Lithuanian Children's Literature of The Soviet Period) by Dr. Loreta Jakonytė.

The celebration of The International Children's Book Day in Lithuania comprises two parts. In the first part children's literature researchers discuss the new books published in the previous year, highlighting important things and criticizing bad things that happened in the world of children's literature. The second part consists of announcement of winners in all award categories. They are given prizes and diplomas and lastly the winner of The Best Book of The Year is crowned and usually delivers an acceptance speech. The celebration is concluded with theatre performance which based on good children's literature. This year it was The Snow Queen by H. C. Andersen.

From France

Discovering Belgian children's literature

"100% Belgiques !" is focussed on children's literature and redaing in Belgium:

Every year, IBBY France dedicates its seminar "Reading in the original language" to a guest country. This year, the guest of the 17th edition was our fascinating neighbour, Belgium! The seminar was held at the French National Library, on March 21, 2016. It received the support of Wallonie-Bruxelles international and the Flemish Literature Fund.

This seminar is an opportunity to collaborate with other IBBY sections, to exchange information and organise the event in common. From the very begining of the project, we worked with IBBY Belgium, represented by Eva Devos for the Dutch speaking branch and Natacha Wallez for the French speaking branch. Eva Devos and Natacha Wallez took part in the event by presenting a panorama of children's literature in Belgium and the context it evolved in. They also read the book Un secret pour grandir / Een geheim waar je groot van wordt, by Carl Norac, illustrated by Carll Cneut, in French and Dutch. IBBY Belgium was of a great help in determining whom to invite among the Belgian authors, illustrators, translators, librarians, and reading promoters.

We also had the pleasure of welcoming Wally De Doncker, IBBY's president, who gave a very committed speech "A child is a child. An individual" on IBBY, its history, its current projects and the challenges it faced.

The public met with Els Beerten and Eva Kavian, authors, Mélanie Rutten and Tom Schamp, illustrators and Maurice Lomré, a translator. They also listened to Lauren Moosen, from the Ministry of Culture of the Wallonie-Bruxelles federation, who talked about a reading promotion project in Wallonie-Bruxelles. Bruno Vermeeren, coordinator of the Flemish association of libraries, archives and documentation centres, presented a panorama on public libraries and reading in Belgium. Michel Defourny, a well-known Belgian researcher in Children's literature, made a conclusive speech summarizing the seminar.

The programme of the seminar can be downloaded here.

Some of the speakers on their way to the French National Library. From left to right: Natacha Wallez (IBBY Belgium), Wally De Doncker (IBBY president), Els Beerten (author), Maurice Lomré (translator), Sylvie Dhaene (Iedereen Leest). © Eva Devos (IBBY Belgium) The opening of the seminar. From left to right: Hasmig Chahinian (IBBY France), Wally De Doncker (IBBY president), Jean-Marie Compte (Head of the Literature and art Department, French National Library). © IBBY Belgium Presenting Belgian Children's Literature. From left to right: Natacha Wallez (IBBY Belgium), Eva Devos (IBBY Belgium), Hasmig Chahinian (IBBY France). © Wally De Doncker

From Germany

The German Children's Literature Award (Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis) is celebrating its 60th Anniversary

Motif by American illustrator David Wiesner (2015 prize winner)

This year, the German Children's Literature Award is celebrating its 60th anniversary. Since 1956 it has been given annually to outstanding works of children's and young adult literature. The award is endowed with a total of 62,000 Euros and funded by the German Federal Ministry for Families, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. It is organized by the Arbeitskreis für Jugendliteratur/IBBY Germany. From the beginning it has always been an international award, thus books from languages other than German are also eligible – provided that they have been translated and published in German. The prize is intended to encourage the development of children's and young adult literature, to arouse and maintain public interest in those works, and to stimulate discussions in this field of literature. The goal of the award is to strengthen children and young adults in their personal development and to offer guidance to the vast German book market.

Each year a jury of literary specialists and critics awards prizes in the categories of Picture Book, Children's Book, Young Adult Book, and Non-Fiction. Furthermore, an independent young adult jury awards its own prize. This jury consists of six reading clubs from all around Germany.

On 17 March 2016, this year's shortlist was presented at the Leipzig Book Fair. The list of the 2016 nominations can be found at www.djlp.jugendliteratur.org.

The award winners will be announced on 21 October 2016, at a ceremony during the Frankfurt Book Fair. This year's Special Award for Lifetime Achievement will be given to a German author.

To mark the award's 60th anniversary, an anthology with stories by Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis awardees will be published in July under the title Was ist los vor meiner Tür? by Jacoby&Stuart. Furthermore, several events will take place to celebrate the jubilee: a reading festival for children, a seminar for mediators of children's literature and an international authors' evening with the laureates Martin Baltscheit, Rose Lagercrantz and Iva Procházková. For more information go to: www.jugendliteratur.org.

2016 Kranichstein Youth Literature Grants (Kranichsteiner Jugendliteratur-Stipendien)

2016 prize winners Elisabeth Etz (© private) and Kathrin Steinberger (© Verlag Jungbrunnen)

Elisabeth Etz und Kathrin Steinberger were awarded the Kranichstein Youth Literature Grants (Kranichsteiner Jugendliteratur-Stipendien) at the Leipzig Book Fair in March 2016.

The awards are annually given by the Arbeitskreis für Jugendliteratur/IBBY Germany and the German Literature Fund (Deutscher Literaturfonds) to two authors of books for young adults whose first works are very promising, but who have not yet received recognition for them. The scholarships are endowed with 12,000 Euro each (paid over the duration of six months) and are meant to enable the authors to work on a book project. An independent jury chose the winners on the basis of the books in German submitted for the German Children's Literature Award / Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis.

For more information see www.jugendliteratur.org.

Call for applications: Workshop for translators of German children's and young adult literature in September 2016

On 4-9 September 2016 the Arbeitskreis für Jugendliteratur e.V. (IBBY Germany) and the Robert Bosch Stiftung will host the seventh annual workshop on the translation of German literature for children and young adults entitled ‘Kein Kinderspiel!' (‘No child's play'). It will take place in Hamburg/Germany.

The five-day workshop offers 15 translators of children's and young adult literature the opportunity to tackle specific problems of the genre and discuss current trends. Participants will have the chance to meet authors, critics and publishing representatives, and find information on grants and residencies as well as about existing networks. Above all, the workshop aims to be a centre for encounters, inspiration and exchange of ideas.

Though professional translators into all languages are welcome, the focus will be on translators into ‘small' languages from Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, North Africa and Turkey. The workshop will be held in German.

Participants can apply for travel allowance. Accommodation and meals for the duration of the workshop will be free of charge. Applications should be sent by 2 May 2016 at the latest.

Further details may be obtained from www.jugendliteratur.org and www.bosch-stiftung.de/brueckenbauer.

2015 workshop (© Kathrin Erbe)

Around the World in 70 Maps

The International Youth Library presents a new Travelling Exhibition featuring Three Centuries of Cartographic Treasures from Children's Literature.

Maps are a special kind of functional literature that depict the world in its entirety or in segments: continents, countries, oceans, mountains, islands, cities, buildings, travel routes and many more. However, maps are not "reality” but rather two-dimensional representations of how people imagine the world to be, how they perceive it and order it, how they orient themselves in it.

Maps have long played an important role in children's and youth literature. They are often used in non-fiction books to make locations and landscapes easier to visualize, for instance by inviting readers to let their fingers trace along the routes of explorers and discoverers. In children's and young adult fiction, especially in novels and picture books, maps also depict and locate important settings and events. While some of this fiction features maps of the world as we know it, other texts map fictional places in the real world or include maps of completely fantastical places, which appear utterly realistic due to the minute drawings of their creators.

This exhibition showcases 70 enlarged maps found by the International Youth Library in its holdings, including maps from valuable books in the historical collections, as well as unusual cartographic examples from newer children's books. It was first presented in 2014 in the International Youth Library in Munich and since summer 2015 has been available in slightly revised English-language and German-language travelling versions. The maps have already been on display at the Bergen University College in Norway, the Biblioteca Civica in Verona, Italy, and in public libraries in Bayreuth and Reutlingen, Germany.  In November 2016, they will be presented at the children's book fair FILIJ in México-City.

The exhibition, consisting of 40 banners, can be borrowed by interested institutions. Further information can be found on the International Youth Library website.

At the International Youth Library, in Munich. © Karten At the Biblioteca Civica, Verona (Italy). © Karten Biblioteca Civica, Verona (Italy). © Karten

From Greece

One of the "little houses" that hosts books as part of the "Read & Share" activity by IBBY Greece in cooperation with the Municipality of Kallithea.

Read & Share

The Greek Section of IBBY – Circle of Greek Children's Books - is running on the ‘Read & Share” activity for the second consecutive year. The activity is based on an open library-exchange programme that functions according to a free lending system in order for children to have immediate access to books and develop a love of reading from an early age. In cooperation with schools from all over Greece and other institutions (hospitals, Municipalities, children's guests' houses etc), IBBY Greece establishes "little houses” that host books at schoolyards, squares, parks and other places.

The books come from various publishing houses and have been submitted to IBBY Greece to be assessed by the different juries that have been awarding prizes for the last years. Children can borrow books freely, read and return them so that they can be borrowed by the next reader. When they return a book, children can borrow more. They can even leave their own books and share them with other readers. This way, sharing books becomes a way of sharing the joy of reading!

Illustration exhibition by illustrators-members of IBBY Greece for the Panhellenic Day against Violence and Bullying in Schools.

6th March – Panhellenic Day against Violence and Bullying at Schools

For the second consecutive year, the Greek Section of IBBY collected books that refer to school violence and bullying and created a poster with the motto, With the books on your side, say to violence "step aside” written by the author Vagelis Iliopoulos and designed by the illustrator Diatsenta Parissi. In March and April 2016 there was an exhibition of illustrations in the Cultural Centre of the Municipality of Palaio Faliron as well as other events with the same topic in cooperation with several institutions all over Greece (schools, universities, Municipalities etc). In addition, the first rucksacks were made containing books about school violence, mottos referring to Violence and Tolerance written by Greek authors as well as the educational programme that accompanies them. Schools can borrow these rucksacks for free.

The prizes awarded at the annual celebration of the ICBD 2016 by IBBY Greece.

2nd April 2016 – International Children's Book Day

The International Children's Book Day poster was translated in Greek by the honorary president of IBBY Greece, Mrs. Loty Petrovits-Andrutsopulou. On April 2, the annual celebration for the International Children's Book Day took place. During the event prizes were awarded to institutions and people who promote reading as well as to the creators of children and young people's literature for their distinctive writing, illustration and translation of books in 2015. The event took place under the auspices of the Municipality of Athens and a new reading campaign – "Read and Change” – was launched. The campaign has been initiated by the Association of Greek Publishers and Booksellers and (ENELVI), The Greek Section of IBBY and the Hellenic Authors' Society.

From Spain


Asun Balzola and Iñaki Martiarena "Mattin" in the illustrator corner

The Illustrator Corner is a project of the Council of Donostia-San Sebastian and Galtzagorri Elkartea, Basque Branch of Spanish IBBY. The goal of this project is to exhibit the work of Basque illustrators.
The illustrator Aitziber Alonso made a small room for the exhibition in which the works of Iban Barrenetxea, Eider Eibar, Elena Odriozola, Antton Olariaga, Maite Gurrutxaga, Aitziber Alonso, Jokin Mitxelena, Estibalitz Jalón, Jon Zabaleta, Belen Lucas, Asun Balzola and Iñaki Martiarena "Mattin" have been shown since October 2012.

Asun Balzola (Bibo, 1942 - Madrid, 2006)

The works of the great Basque illustrator, writer and translator Asun Balzola were shown at the Illustrator Corner from November 2015 to February 2016.  His archives have been stored at the Children’s Literature Documentary Centre of the Children’s Library of Donastia (Gipuzkoa) since 2007, including his correspondence original illustrations and monographs.  Some of these works in this exhibition are being shown for the first time thanks to the collaboration between Galtzagorri Elkartea  and the Children’s Literature Documentary Centre.

Visitors to the exhibition had the opportunity to watch an interview made by the librarian Elena Oregi with the writer Mariasun Landa, a friend of Balzola.  You can watch the interview in this link.

Iñaki Martiarena "Mattin” (Donostia, 1967)

The Illustrator Corner opened its doors to the illustrator "Mattin” last February. Comics, original illustrations, books… and other objects were shown at the little room of Cultural House of Aiete (Donostia). The last day to visit this exhibition is on 22th of May. The Council of Donostia has made this interview with Iñaki Martiarena "Mattin”.

The project Maria Goikoak Batbirulau! app winner of Gipuzkoapp's award

Galtzagorri Elkartea has won the GipuzkoAPP's 2015 Award with the project Maria Goikoak Batbirulau! app. This app was created by Galtzagorri Elkartea and Oreka Interactive in 2014. It is based on the classic book of Basque Children Literature Maria Goikoak Batbirulau! (Anjel Lertxundi/Antton Olariaga/Erein-Alberdania-Igela) and tries to link the two formats, paper and screen and new technologies. The goal of this multiplatform application was to fill a gap in Basque Children Literature: we wanted to explore new ways of encouraging the habits of reading of children. So, this app links games and fun with Basque Children Literature.

Galtzagorri Elkartea received the award on December 2015. This award is given by the Diputation of Gipuzkoa (Spain). 23 multiplatform applications were submitted and only one application was intended to literature. The jury valued the quality, the innovation and the utility of Maria Goikoa Batbirulau! app. The award consists of 3 000 euros. You can watch the promo video of the laureate app.

The first Basque booktube competition took place in Autumn 2015

A lot of young adults participated in the First Basque booktube competition last autumn. The competition was organized by Galtzagorri Elkartea, Basque branch of Spanish IBBY in collaboration with the Council of Galdakao (Bizkaia, Spain).

Young people between 12 and 16 years had to record a booktube and share it on YouTube, recommending a Basque book chosen among the young adults Basque Literature list made by Galtzagorri Elkartea. We received 46 booktubes, and these videos and another issues and news are all available in this link: https://booktubelehiaketa.wordpress.com/

On December 18 2015 we celebrated the award ceremony. Some young people danced to the beat of Justin Bieber just before the ceremony, with a book in their hands. You can see hear all the choreography.


The new catalogue of Galician Books for Children and Young Adults published during the year 2015 is now available. Check all the information, covers and details of the Galician titles by downloading our catalogue here. Discover more about Galician literature at galix.org/p/english.html.

From the United Kingdom

IBBY UK has been busy since our last report to the Newsletter. There have been events to support - and celebrate - our nominations for the Hans Christian Andersen Award. Both Chris Riddell and Elizabeth Laird joined us for an evening at Waterstones Bookstore in Central London where they engaged in lively and far-ranging discussion to a packed and appreciative audience. (www.ibby.org.uk/news.php)

Chris Riddell is the current Children's Laureate for the UK.

Then there was our One Day Conference held in partnership with the University of Roehampton. This year the theme was Steering the craft - navigating the process of creating children's books in the 21st century. The speakers included Julia Eccleshare, Jane Ray, Dianne Hofmeyr, Clémentine Beauvais and Daniel Hahn. The programme was packed with interest and business at the book stall brisk - especially the demand for the IBBY UK Christmas card, this year designed by the artist Jan Pienkowski in memory of his arrival in the UK as a  refugee. We were particularly delighted to be able to welcome IBBY President, Wally de Donker to this Conference. www.ibby.org.uk/conferences.php

In the last newsletter, we recorded the presence of the Illustrated Honour Books. This travelling exhibition has been a great success and has been on show in five different venues. They started at the Story Museum in Oxford where they were seen by c1500 visitors; at Seven Stories in Newcastle they were on public display. They then travelled to Worcester University where they were used by the students, while at Roehampton they were on show for both students and conference delegates. Their journey ended at Brighton University School of Education. This link gives a vivid account of their reception there.

Finally we are all looking forward to the 35th IBBY Congress in New Zealand. IBBY UK is delighted to report that we have provided bursaries to enable two new delegates to attend the Congress.

From Estonia

Translator René Tendermann accepting the Tower of Babel Honor Diploma. © Anu Kehman

The best children's books published in Estonia in 2015 have been selected

IBBY Estonia has presented Tower of Babel Honour Diploma – an annual award that is given to a foreign author for an outstanding children's book published in a foreign language and translated into Estonian. The award went to Rainbow Rowell for Eleanor & Park (Eleanor & Park), translator René Tendermann and the publishing house Pegasus. The aim of the award is to encourage the translation of good foreign children's books into Estonian. The translator also receives a prize of €1000.

Piret Raud. © Ingrid Maasik

The Cultural Endowment Annual Award 2015 for the best children's book by Estonian author went to Piret Raud for Lugu Sandrist, Murist, tillukesest emmest ja nähtamatust Akslist (The Story of Sander, Muri, the Tiny Mommy and the Invisible Aksel), Tänapäev publishing house. Piret was also the Estonian candidate for the H. C. Andersen Award 2016.

There are several wonderful exhibitions of illustrations travelling through Europe.

In October 2015, an international exhibition "It's Always Tea-Time" opened in Estonian Children's Literature Center in Tallinn. This is an exhibition of close to hundred illustrations inspired by Lewis Carroll's classic "Alice in Wonderland” created by seventy-two European children's book illustrators. In 2016, the exhibition will open in Poland in Gdansk, Wroclaw and Warsaw, and in 2017 in Berlin, Germany.

Since May 2015 the exhibition "Elas kord... C'era una volta..." (Once Upon a Time) has been travelling in Italy. There are 59 pieces of artwork inspired by Grimm's fairy tales created by twenty distinguished Estonian illustrators.

The Tallinn Illustrations Triennal "Pildi jõud" (The Power of Pictures) continues its travels in Poland, exhibiting the works of artists from the Baltic Sea countries, and "Meremuinasjutud" (Fairy Tales of the Sea) has reached Denmark. Seventy-nine illustrators from ten Baltic Sea countries participate in this exhibition.

To encourage children to read, the IBBY Estonia Library in the Park will open again in May. Children who visit Kadrioru Park in Tallinn during summer months have an opportunity to read good books by Estonian and foreign authors including IBBY Honour List titles and the books awarded with the Tower of Babel Honour Diploma. There are also translations of Estonian authors available for foreign visitors.

Happy Spring to all from IBBY Estonia!

From Cyprus

Cyprus IBBY organized many events during the winter of 2015-2016 promoting children's books by urging children and adults to read children's books, and be engaged in all kinds of activities with their family including a book as a new member of their company:

As every year… the celebration of the three hierarchs… 30th of January

The day of the Saints of Education includes book reading and all sorts of book-fun activities in all schools of Cyprus (primary and high schools). Authors and illustrators meet with children in schools or libraries, bookstores and publishing houses to read, play, sing or act and have fun with children's books and learn more about creating a book and the work of Cypriot or other book-creators.

Woman's Day and literature: March 10th 2016: A cup of tea with a book aroma please!

Every year in March, Cyprus IBBY honours the Cypriot ladies of literature, on Woman's Day (March 8th),  by organizing a beautiful tea-event and presenting the works of women – authors who offered a great deal in Cyprus children's literature. This year Maria Louka, Katina Zeniou Konstandinidou and Roulla Ioannidou were honoured for their life work.

National awards 2016, February 17th

The annual national literary award winners for children's authoring and illustration were presented at a beautiful ceremony at the Ministry of Education and Culture Building. Maria Olympiou and Panagiota Plisi were given the Author's award for 2014 and Filippos Theodorides won the illustration award for 2014.

I will tell you a story… 20 Authors from Cyprus present their work at a fairy Christmas celebration in cooperation with the Bank of Cyprus cultural foundation.

About 20 authors from Cyprus presented their works to the public in a festive climate during Christmas season in the heart of Nicosia. Children had the opportunity to listen to beautiful stories, make crafts, and sing or create with prominent creators from Cyprus.

Lefcosiazo… Lefcosia (Nicosia) at Christmas… Popup festival!

During the Christmas popup festival the municipality of Nicosia invited known authors and illustrators to have fun with children and read Christmas stories from their works and make this Christmas fairy and pleasant for the little fellows who enjoy books, reading and storytelling.

Anemi: The annual Cyprus journal on children's literature

The new, 23rd issue of "Anemi” was released with interesting articles on Cyprus, Greek and international children's literature, national and international events and contests that concern authors, illustrators, teachers, librarians, parents and scholars and anyone interested in children's literature.

Cybby in Athens!

Cybby celebrated its 40 years of existence (October 5th, 2016) at the Cyprus Embassy in Athens after an official invitation from the Embassy and the Greek-IBBY. Frixos Michaelides – Author and Secretary of Cybby presented the works of Cyprus IBBY during its 40 years of presence in Cyprus arts and culture. After a warm welcoming three authors: Frixos Michaelides, Anna Kouppanou and Andri Antoniou presented their new books and exchanged views with the public.

Modern Cyprus literature in Athens

The next day the Cypriot authors had the opportunity to visit primary schools of Athens, meet with children and share their love for books, stories and creativity. Children surprised the authors with beautiful creations inspired by their books.

From Turkey

Donations for the Book Fairs

CGYD / IBBY Turkey made a call to members for donations of books from publishers and authors, as well as hand-made bookmarks and postcards from illustrators to be sold at the book fair stand of CGYD.  Donated items were sold during the two book fairs held in Istanbul (TUYAP in November 2015 and CNR in March 2016) and the income earned will be used for CGYD's activities in 2016. 

Books for refugees

With the initiative of CGYD, Turkish Ministry of Culture decided to buy books from 70 different publishers that publish books in Arabic and distribute these books to the public libraries in Istanbul that are located in the areas where many refugees are living. CGYD is also brainstorming on a project to attract refugee children to these libraries.


Getting ready for the IBBY Congress 2018

New Zealand is getting registrations for 2016... CGYD, on the other hand, is getting ready for the 36th IBBY Congress, which will be held in Istanbul in 2018. Committees are working to make sure that Istanbul will be an unforgettable experience for all the guests.

The entrance to the Golden Horn and Seraglio Point (at the very tip of the Historic Peninsula, at far left), as seen from Galata Tower, 2006.
© Creative Commons, Simm

From Austria

The Austrian Society for Children's and Youth Literature Research (ÖG-KJLF) is a platform whose purpose it is to initiate and promote research in the field of children's and youth literature. The Society sees itself as a scholarly-oriented extension to the established institutions promoting children's literature and serves as an intermediary between the relevant teaching and research activities at Austrian universities and teacher education schools. More information on the Website.


Staging of the 8th annual conference in Vienna on historical children's and youth literature on 27 November,  2015: "Konstruktionen österreichischer Identitäten im Kontext von Kinder- und Jugendkultur, -literatur und -medien" in co-operation with the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the Society for Book Research in Austria.

The fall conference of the Österreichische Gesellschaft für Kinder- und Jugendliteraturforschung was staged in cooperation with the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the Society for Book Research in Austria on 27 November, 2015, in the Marietta Blau-Saal of the University of Vienna.

In his opening remarks, Univ.-Prof. Dr. Moritz Csáky made reference not only to children‘s and young adult books, but also to the role of school textbooks in the general discourse over cultural memory and memory generally. He cited among other things the instrumentalization of the works of Hugo von Hofmannsthal in depictions of the threat from the East.

The historian Univ.-Prof. Dr. Ernst Bruckmüller presented a portrait of a children's book that was published in 1946 by Marga Frank under the title "Wie der liebe Gott Österreich erschaffen hat" (How God created Austria). In the course of his paper he noted that during the years 1933 and 1945 young people were conditioned to be Germans and not Austrians. The development of an Austrian identity in these years was very much associated with the country's landscape.

Prof. Dr. Sarolta Lipóczi from the University of Keckemét in Hungary gave a paper on the "Hungarus-Bewusstsein in der Habsburger Monarchie im Kontext der historischen Kinder- und Jugendliteratur".

Dr. Elisabeth Großegger from the Austrian Academy of Sciences focussed her attention on three books for children and young adults devoted to "Prinz Eugen", two of which appeared at the beginning of the 20th century, among them Hugo von Hofmannsthal's "Prinz Eugen" and another written a hundred years later at the beginning of the 21st century by Karin Kneissl. All the books developed aspects of Prinz Eugen's life that gave children and young people of very differing time periods a role model.
Univ.-Prof. Arno Rußegger analyzed the depiction of Empress Elisabeth of Austria ("Sisi") in a number of children's books and the role she plays in them.

Lea Grimm, M.A. who teaches at the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main presented the results of her analysis of the Austrian prize for children's and youth books in the years 1955 to 2015.

In a workshop report Dr. Hannes Schweiger from the Literature Archive of the Austrian National Library considered the ways in which literature for children and young adults could be presented at the National Library's new Museum of Literature.
Finally, PD Dr. Ernst Seibert gave a paper on "Identitäten am Ende des Jahrhunderts des Kindes" in which he offered insight into the development of the Society in the past 15 years and reviewed his own studies on Austrian children's literature in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

The conference concluded with special lectures by Prof Dr. Ute Dettmar, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, ("Fortgesetztes Erzählen. Kinder- und Jugendliteratur im Netz von Populär- und Medienkultur") and by Prof. Dr. Wynfrid Kriegleder ("Zur Erforschung der Kinder- und Jugendliteratur in Österreich"). Kriegleder discussed the perennial question as to the position of Austrian literature in histories of German language literature.

Prize-winning theses from the year 2015

For this year the ÖG-KJLF awarded prizes for five theses in recognition of their contribution to research in the field of children's literature. The awards went to:

  • ANSELGRUBER, Marie-Louise: Friedensbilderbücher. Die österreichische Kinder- und Jugendbuchautorin Mira Lobe als Friedenserzieherin. M.A. thesis, University of Montreal (Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Nikola von Merveldt).
  • GITTINGER, Kerstin: Von Nazis, Tätern und Mitläufern. NS-Täterschaft in der österreichischen Jugendliteratur von 1945. Dissertation Vienna 2015 (Supervisor: PD Dr. Ernst Seibert).
  • LOBE, Rebecca Viola: "‘…Until the day she found an empty chair": the representation of death in selected picturebooks".Diploma Thesis Vienna 2015 (Supervisor: PD Dr. Susanne Reichl).
  • MERL, Rosemarie: Der imaginäre Gefährte als kinderliterarisches Motiv. Diploma Thesis Vienna 2014 (Supervisor: PD Dr. Ernst Seibert).
  • PREINDL, Nadja: Russische Kinderliteratur im europäischen Exil zwischen 1918 und 1939. Dissertation Vienna 2014 (Supervisor: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Fedor B. Poljakov).
Digitalised historical books

Digitalised historical children's and youth books, school books and teaching aids from the holdings of the University Library in Vienna:


From Hungary

Comparison of Hungarian and German trends in the Children's Book

With the cooperation of the Goethe Institut Budapest and the Hungarian Board on Books for Young Readers a children book exhibition and a symposium were held on 26 February.

To check the German-language children's literature and to promote their dissemination abroad in 2013 the Goethe Institute Prague and the International Youth Library made the exhibition "From the very beginning" on the general trends of recent years. Then the Goethe Institute, Poland has also modified the book collection in collaboration with the International Youth Library. Some "old" titles remained, others were replaced. From autumn 2015, this exhibition - shown in Hungary - including three titles that have already been translated into Hungarian.

What taboos or taboo violations are emerging in both publishing landscapes? What dictates and what tolerates the market? What are the expectations of parents and children? What kind of pictures would readers and publishers like to see - and what would the Artist?

Experts of the publishing scene, illustrators and writers of both countries gave a report.

The programme included an exhibition of German children's and young adult books that have been awarded in the recent years. An introduction of each of these books was given in Hungarian (we were happy to notice that a few titles are available in Hungarian already and we are eager to read more of them).

There was also an illustration workshop for students held by the German illustrator Regina Kehn and Boglárka Paulovkin from Hungary. The topic was Wolfgang Herrndorf's novel Tschik.

In the round table talks Katrin Hogrebe of the German Carlsen Verlag, Beate Schäfer editor Susan Keller author and Regina Kehn illustrators were our guests. Many Hungarian publishers, authors and illustrators, teachers, readers and members of HUBBY could discuss their experiences with the participants, and everyone agreed to continue the discussions at similar events.

From left to right: Eszter Anna Balázs (editor Kolibri Publishing House); Dóra Péczely (editor Pagony - Tilos az Á Publishing House);
Zoltán Pompor (IBBY Hungary), Katrin Hogrebe (Carlsen Verlag), Péter Dóka (editor Móra Publishing House) © Béres Attila

 Recent publications

Bookbird. Issue 54.1, 2016

As I write this, the Paris talks on climate change have just closed. The commentators are optimistic; maybe there is hope for the planet after all. Yet from my December horizon in southern Sweden, I am reminded on a daily basis that the autumn temperatures have never in a hundred years been so high. "Winter is not coming," to paraphrase a well-known series. And closer to the polar regions, the situation is even worse. There, the thawing permafrost and diminishing icecaps have already harmed or altered the ecology drastically. The flora and fauna, as well as the people there, are living under increasing pressure. One can only wonder how this will affect the way of life and culture of the indigenous peoples. Of course, minorities and Indigenous populations already struggle to maintain their unique cultural and historical characteristics in the face of majority culture and globalization, but what is happening now is an ecological sea change (literally); it threatens the material and ecological foundations of those cultures especially. This issue of Book-bird focuses on Indigenous children's literature. The cover is from Arctic Stories by the author Michael Kusugak (discussed in one of the articles) and illustrator Vladyana Krykorka. The illustration—with the Inuit girl, the huskies, the snow and ice—can serve as a reminder of a world and way of life that may be rapidly vanishing. All peoples should of course have the right to choose and shape their own future: to adopt and embrace the new, but also to choose what to keep of the old ways. However, when the world is damaged, such options are reduced—and most drastically for those who are the least to blame. Thus, to me the illustration also serves as inspiration to continue the fight against global warming. Maybe this is what the girl is telling the black bookbird on the cover; maybe she is sending us a message. But these are just my private musings. Roxanne Harde, who I welcome back to Bookbird as guest editor for this issue, provides a critical yet personal introduction to the theme, where she draws on her own extensive work and research into Indigenous children's books. In her overview, she comments on the themed texts: three articles, a Letter, and an essay in the Children & Their Books section. I am also happy to announce that yet another Bookbird editor emerita, Barbara Lehman, makes a comeback in this issue in the capacity of Postcard editor. As usual, there is also a full review section (the "Books on Books") collected and edited by Christiane Raabe and Jutta Reusch of the International Youth Library in Munich. Liz Page reports from the wide world of IBBY. In the Letter section, we find Nita Berry writing on the topic "Social Change through Children's Books—An Indian Perspective." And finally, a text that I have slotted, tongue in cheek, under the heading "Dogs & Their Books"—an essay by Helene Ehriander on a project with "reading education assistance dogs," or "Book Dog." In other words, there is much to read in this issue of Bookird for human and canine alike. Björn Sundmark

Bookbird. Issue 54.2, 2016

Bookbird 54.2 (2016) My grandmother Gerda used to read H. C. Andersen's stories to me. She read about The Ugly Duckling and The Red Shoes; she read about The Steadfast Tinsoldier and The Wild Swans. Sometimes her throat would get dry, or the story would make her sad (or both). That was my cue to fetch her a glass of water. After a little pause, she would continue to read. Her voice was old and comforting, and a bit hoarse. A few years later, when I was too big to sit in her lap, she gave me her six big blue Andersen books – "to Björn," it says, in her shaky-old handwriting. Therefore, when editing this issue of Bookbird, I have been reminded of Andersen's stories, hearing them in my grandmother's voice, and seeing Andersen's name and his work connected, again and again, to the 57 nominees and to their work – thousands of stories. Yes, it has been wonderful to see the books submitted from IBBY sections from all over the world, books by authors and illustrators nominated to the Andersen prize. It is often said that the winner takes it all, but to my mind, what is most remarkable is the range and quality of the nominees, and that the books have come from all over the world. They are all winners to my mind; and we, the readers, are all privileged as long as there are such outstanding authors, illustrators and storytellers in our midst. Andersen and my grandmother would agree, I am sure. In this special issue of Bookbird all of the nominees are presented on one page each: a short text, a photo and illustration, and the titles of five important works. This means that there is little room left to make an ordinary Bookbird, with articles, reviews, and essays. However, to make this Nominees' issue into something more than a catalogue I wanted to provide something more. That is why you will also find two author interviews, one with David Almond (Andersen Prize winner 2010) and one with Cornelia Funke. If the 57 presentation texts are the distilled commentaries and assessments about the work of outstanding authors and illustrators, the interviews aim for something else. They allow David Almond and Cornelia Funke to speak in their own words and on their own terms about their work. Björn Sundmark

Bookbird can be read on-line through Project Muse.
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libri liberorum, Jg. 16, Heft 45-46, 2015 – "Crosswriting” (appeared in March 2016)

Issue 45–46 of libri liberorum is devoted to "Crosswriting". Although this term comprises many different aspects, the publication focuses on the phenomenon that many authors who write books for adult readers are at the same time writing texts for younger audiences. In the critical assessments of the oeuvre of a writer children's and youth literature is often not considered to have the same significance. But it is more often than not the case that when we take a closer look the two literary fields do not exist independent of one another, moreover they are often linked to one another with regard to themes, material and motifs. 


Helena Bergendahl (IBBY Sweden)
Ana Mª Cendán Doce (IBBY Spain)
Hasmig Chahinian (IBBY France)
Carolin Farbmacher (IBBY Germany)
Sabine Fuchs (IBBY Austria)
Ferelith Hordon (IBBY UK)
Eva Kaliskami (IBBY Greece)
Tülin Kozikoğlu (IBBY Turkey)
Libby Limbrick (IBBY New Zealand)
Leelo Märjamaa (Estonia)
Frixos Michaelides (IBBY Cyprus)
Inga Mitunevičiūtė (IBBY Lithuania)
Liz Page (IBBY)
Zoltán Pompor (IBBY Hungary)
Björn Sundmark (Bookbird)
Erik Titusson (IBBY Sweden)
Maria Luise Weber (International Youth Library, Germany)

 How to subscribe

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