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 Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, the Basque and Galician Branches of IBBY Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the "Echoes from the European sections" column. And for those who couldn't attend the IBBY Press Conference at the Bologna children's book fair, here is a slideshow of pictures provided by IBBY Greece.

You couldn't join us at the European sections' meeting in Bologna? Ferelith Hordon summarizes the meeting for you. The minutes will be sent to the NS in Europe by email. The most exciting news from this meeting may be the European Regional Conference that will be held in 2019! We will keep you informed, of course.

As you all know, the IBBY Congress, "East Meets West around Children's Books and Fairy Tales", originally scheduled to take place in Istanbul, will now be hosted by IBBY Greece in Athens. On this occasion, Vassiliki Nika, President of IBBY Greece, is the guest of our "3 questions to..." column. She will convince you to join us in Athens for the IBBY Congress! It will be a great opportunity to attend interesting presentations and IBBY events as well as to meet a large number of "IBBY people".

New annotations about selected books have been added to the IBBY Europe website. You will also find a new page that provides access to all our newsletters! Please visit the website and well as our Facebook page. By the way, have you visited Bookbird's Facebook page?

And, as always, we would like to thank David Pintor, who designs a new header for each issue of our newsletter, and Liz Page, the executive director of IBBY, who manages to find time in her busy schedule to proofread our newsletter!

Best wishes to you all!

Hasmig Chahinian

Images of the IBBY Press Conference
at the Children's Book Fair in Bologna

The European national sections' meeting in Bologna 2018

The European national sections' meeting. © Eva Devos

The 2018 European Regional Meeting at Bologna was attended by representatives from thirteen IBBY sections. The conversation was lively, engaging and informative. Subjects covered included a report on last year's very successful Regional Conference – a first for the European Region. Held at Bologna, the venue very kindly supported by the Fiera, under the banner "Bridging Worlds: Reaching out to Young Refugees with Books and Stories", delegates heard about initiatives across Europe designed to meet specific challenges but which could inspire other projects. The books that were exhibited at the conference have now been catalogued by the BnF/IBBY France (The French National Library) with searchable descriptors and the aim is to add a link to the IBBY Europe website to enable sections to have access.

The group was given a positive update on the Website which is increasingly well used with the number of titles available on the Books in Languages spoken across Europe growing and will soon include more titles in Farsi. A significant addition and valuable resource is the list of 100 books for children and young adults in Arabic. Sections were urged to advertise these resources across social media – IBBY Europe does have an active Facebook presence.

The major part of the discussion was around the proposed second Regional Conference that would be held next year. The suggested theme would be looking at multilingualism in children – the challenges and responses this might occasion. A working party was established tasked with creating a firm proposal to be discussed during the European sections' meeting at the Athens Congress.

Ferelith Hordon

3 questions to... Vassiliki Nika


IBBY Greece will host the 36th IBBY International Congress in Athens.

With this in mind, we invited to Vassiliki Nika, President of IBBY Greece, to be the guest of our "3 questions to..." column.


Vassiliki Nika

1. What are the main challenges IBBY Greece has to face while organising the 36th IBBY International Congress in Athens with such short notice?

The short notice – a bit more than a year ¬– has been the greatest challenge that IBBY Greece has had to face and still faces to organise the 36th IBBY International Congress. A big issue for IBBY Greece was to thoroughly explain and attract the attention of organisations, institutions and foundations, as well as public officials as to how important this Congress is.

In addition, the issue of funding in a country that has been facing such a deep financial crisis is still an unsurpassed problem. However, we did decide to take the risk; we made the decision to work as fast as possible based on a small but flexible organizing committee and integrated the Congress within the activities of Athens UNESCO 2018 World Book Capital, although the Congress is mainly self-funded.

2. Which are the events you are looking forward to most?

We are really looking forward to the presentations of all the invited speakers and their scientific contribution to the congress theme, that will make the Congress of great benefit to the participants. In addition, both the Congress venue and the place where the Hans Christian Andersen Award Ceremony is going to take place have been very carefully selected. We have ensured that the Andersen Gala is taking place at Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, which is an exceptionally beautiful place in the south of Athens near the sea where the new National Library of Greece and the new Greek National Opera are housed. There are many cultural events that have been organised for the participants who wish to learn more about ancient and contemporary Greek culture.

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center Entrance,
Channel View by Georgios Liakopoulos. Creative Commons.

3. Can you give us five reasons to attend the Congress?

  • The scientific content of this Congress and its exceptionally timely topic. In a period of turmoil and movement of populations all over the world, books have proven to be one of the few safe shelters for children and young people.
  • The opportunity for people who are professionally engaged with the world of books – either as researchers or in relation to the production of them – to meet and exchange views.
  • The opportunity for people who have written, illustrated or translated books in several different languages to meet during IBBY award ceremonies and IBBY book exhibitions.
  • The opportunity for the participants to get in touch with contemporary Greek cultural production.
  • To seize the opportunity to travel to Athens in the summer – a city of great history and natural resources.

For more information, please visit the Congress website.

Echoes from the European sections

From Finland

Silent Books on Finnish soil

From left to right: Writer Katri Tapola, IBBY Finland's President
Noora Miettinen and board member Sara Nordlund-Laurent
opening the exhibition.

The Silent Books collection arrived in Finland for its two-month-long stay. The collection was put on show in three separate libraries in Helsinki before leaving for the Ukraine. IBBY Finland was keen to bring the collection to Finland because the refugee situation behind the original Silent Books project by IBBY Italy is of current interest in Finland. Even though the number of refugees in Finland is relatively low, there is a great need for books that all children regardless of language can read.

IBBY Finland also wanted to promote wordless picture books because they are very rare in Finland. Together with the Finnish Illustration Association, IBBY Finland launched the exhibition early in March. At the launch illustrator Emmi Jormalainen and writer and illustrator Sanna Pelliccioni discussed their wordless picture books. Jormalainen has already published several wordless picture books, however they are not specifically aimed at children. Her book Puu ('Tree') is part of the Silent Books collection. Pelliccioni's recently published Meidän piti lähteä (which roughly translates into 'We had to leave') is her first wordless book. Pelliccioni found her inspiration from a leaflet by IBBY Italy about the Silent Books project. Meidän piti lähteä is a story about war and fleeing from home, children at a refugee camp and, finally, a happy end in a new and safe home. Pelliccioni found that wordlessness suited the topic of her book since it also leaves the reader speechless.

The Silent Books exhibition has received a very good response and a lot of interest from librarians, writers, illustrators as well as from the public.

IBBY Finland celebrated anti-racist children's books and acknowledged outstanding book translations on ICBD

IBBY Finland celebrated the International Children's Book Day on 27th March by organizing a seminar titled Children's book preventing racism. During the seminar the audience had the opportunity to listen to presentations about literary art as a means to integrate children from refugee or immigration backgrounds to a new country and empower them, the ways in which the Finnish children's literature has approached racism and about the importance of reading about racism to children of all ethnicities, and how to promote anti-racism in children's books. The seminar concluded with a panel by two writers, a writer and illustrator and a researcher discussing the current publication situation in Finland surrounding the topic.

One of the recurring themes was working closely with children of diverse ethnicities and enabling them to speak up for themselves. This is of utmost importance since they have the knowledge and experience about their backgrounds and how it affects their lives. To IBBY Finland's knowledge, no children's books have been written on immigration and racism issues by an immigrant in Finland, something that IBBY Finland and the speakers were eager to change.

Another topic that was highly emphasized was a call for active change and empathy. For a long time, Finnish children's books about racism promoted tolerance and acceptance, passive emotions and states of being that do not enable change or make children to stand up and defend the attacked. More recent Finnish children's books focus on normalizing the idea that Finnish society consists of people from different cultures and ethnicities and even reclaiming some of the national symbols that the racist, right-wing movement has taken possession of.

In celebration of the International Children's Book Day and high-quality book translations, IBBY Finland also launched a new award called Aarressari (Treasure Island) together with the Finnish Association of Translators and Interpreters. The award is Euros 3,000 and will be given every other year to a translation that laudably represents its genre and broadens cultural horizon. The first Aarresaari laureate was Raija Rintamäki and publisher Kustannus Mäkelä for Swedish author Rose Lagercrantz' Dunne books. Honorary awards were given to Tuomas Nevanlinna for his translation of Roald Dahl's Dirty Beasts and to Eeva-Liisa Nyqvist for her translations of Siri Pettersen's Evna (The Might).

The jury also took the opportunity to express their wish to publish the translator's name more often on the book cover, which is very uncommon in Finland.

The seminar attracted widespread interest and all seats were booked well before the seminar date.

From Germany

New executive committee

Arbeitskreis für Jugendliteratur (IBBY Germany) has a new executive committee. It was elected by the general assembly at the Leipzig Book Fair on 16 March 2018. The new president for 2018 to 2021 is journalist Ralf Schweikart. The other members of the committee are bookseller Ute Henschel (vice president), former teacher and book club leader Marie-Luise Lichtenberg, as well as literature scholars Prof. Dr. Anja Ballis and Dr. Inger Lison. For more information visit our website.

2017 German Children's Literature Award
New Special Award for Young Talents

Since 1956 the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis (German Children's Literature Award) has been given annually to outstanding works of children's and young adult literature. It is endowed with a total of Euro 72,000 and funded by the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. 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. The award has been international since it was established: books that have been translated from other languages are just as eligible as German books.

Each year a jury of critics awards prizes in the categories of Picture Book, Children's Book, Young Adult Book, and Non-Fiction. Furthermore, an independent young adult jury awards its own prize. The young adult jury consists of six reading clubs from all around Germany. Both juries nominate six titles that have been published during the previous year in each category. From those they choose the winning titles. Each award carries a value of Euro 10,000 and can be split between authors, illustrators and translators.

The nominees for the 2018 Special Award for New Talents include three German translators, who have published their first outstanding translation in the previous two years. The winner is chosen by the special award jury, who is also responsible for awarding the Special Award for Lifetime Achievement of a German translator. The Special Award for New Talents is Euro 10,000, and the Special Award for Lifetime Achievement carries a value of Euro 12,000. Both Special Awards are given alternately to German authors, illustrators and translators.

On March 15, 2018, the 2018 shortlist was presented at the Leipzig Book Fair. The award winners will be announced on October 12, 2018, at a ceremony during the Frankfurt Book Fair. The award is organized by the Arbeitskreis für Jugendliteratur (Association for Children's and Youth Literature), which is the German Section of IBBY.

The list of nominations for the 2018 German Children's Literature Awards are listed at www.djlp.jugendliteratur.org

2018 prize winner Manja Präkels © Nane Thiel
2018 prize winner Flurin Jecker © Janis Maus Martin

2018 Kranichstein Youth Literature Grants (Kranichsteiner Jugendliteratur-Stipendien)

Manja Präkels and Flurin Jecker were awarded the Kranichstein Youth Literature Grants (Kranichsteiner Jugendliteratur-Stipendien) at the Leipzig Book Fair in March 2018.

The awards are given annually by the Arbeitskreis für Jugendliteratur/IBBY Germany and the German Literature Fund (Deutscher Literaturfonds) to two authors of young adult books whose first works are very promising, but who have not yet received acclaimed recognition for them. The scholarships are endowed with Euro 12,000 each (paid over the duration of six months) and are meant to enable the authors to work freely 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.

For more information see www.jugendliteratur.org

Call for applications: Workshop for translators of German children's and young adult literature in August 2018

2017 workshop © Kathrin Erbe/AKJ

On 12-17 August 2018, the Arbeitskreis für Jugendliteratur (IBBY Germany), the Robert Bosch Stiftung and the Deutscher Übersetzerfonds will host the ninth annual workshop on the translation of German children's and young adult literature entitled Kein Kinderspiel!/No child's play!. It will take place in Hamburg/Germany and will be held in German.

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 about 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. Professional translators into all languages are welcome.

Participants are offered a travel allowance. Programme, accommodation and meals for the duration of the workshop will be free of charge.

Further details can be obtained from www.jugendliteratur.org

From Ireland

Wally de Doncker, PJ Lynch, Liz Page and members of the IBBY Ireland committee © IBBY Ireland

IBBY Ireland held its Annual Lecture in February and was honoured to have IBBY International President Wally De Doncker as guest speaker. Wally gave an informed and passionate talk about the urgent need to fight illiteracy everywhere and outlined some of the great projects run by National Sections worldwide. In a world where half a billion women and 40% of children cannot read, Wally advocated for a greater role for libraries and concluded: 'Those who help children evolve into better readers are building a brighter future.' The talk was launched by IBBY Ireland's two Patrons: award-winning illustrator and Children's Laureate PJ Lynch and former Irish President Mary McAleese.

Máire Zepf, Andrew Whitson, PJ Lynch, Paul Howard, Marie O'Donohue and Sasha Chambers with the BIG PICTURE!
© IBBY Ireland

The Annual Lecture also saw the launch of the Irish tour of the travelling exhibition of the IBBY collection of books about and for children with disabilities. The collection was wonderfully received and has so far visited 8 venues in both Ireland and Northern Ireland. It was on display in Glenveagh School in Belfast, a school for children with severe learning difficulties, where it was celebrated through illustration, reading and storytelling thanks to storyteller Pat Ryan, Seamus Heaney's Children's Fellow Máire Zepf, illustrator Paul Howard and PJ Lynch.

On top of this, the collection served as backdrop for the launch of Inner Peace, A Coping Companion in Times of Stress. Inner Peace was written and designed by the students of Glenveagh School through a series of workshops facilitated by Fighting Words Belfast and IBBY Ireland's own Andrew Whitson. Andrew is a critically acclaimed illustrator and publisher who teaches in the school. You can find out more about the book and the process here.

Finally, IBBY Ireland now has its own You Tube channel! Find it here.

From France

From left to right: Géraldine Alibeu, Alia Al Shamsy, Anne-Laure Cognet. © IBBY France

Silent books. A panel discussion organised by UAEBBY and BnF/
IBBY France

Sharjah was the special guest of the Paris Book Fair 2018. On this occasion, UAEBBY (The United Arab Emirates section of IBBY) and IBBY France organised a panel discussion on Silent Books. The panel was held on March 18 at the Sharjah Pavilion. The speakers, illustrators Alia Al Shamsi from the United Arab Emirates and Géraldine Alibeu from France, addressed the issue of wordless picture books, these unique objects that tell a story each reader can understand and enjoy, regardless of language. How is a silent book created? What are its specific constraints, what different possibilities does it offer the illustrator?

The panel was moderated by Anne-Laure Cognet, a specialist of children's literature. During this event, the dossier of the journal Takam Tikou, Histoires sans paroles, focused on Silent Books, was also presented.

The journal also features, among other texts, an article by Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan al-Qasimi, founder of UAEBBY as well as an interview of Shereen Kreidieh, President of LBBY (The Lebanese section of IBBY).

The French National Centre for Children's Literature / IBBY France launches its new library resources portal!

On March 26th 2018, after more than 2 years of work, the National Centre for Children's Literature / IBBY France launched its brand new website. Its usability has been thought to be intuitive and user-friendly. Moreover, this website provides comprehensive information on the Centre's actions and resources:

  • Focus on its selection of best recently published books;
  • Publications and resources as Takam Tikou and La Revue des livres pour enfants magazines, monographs and even itinerary exhibitions;
  • Training sessions and cultural mediations, in France and worldwide;
  • International actions and projects, within IBBY and other organizations.

This website operates as a gateway to thousands of digital resources in children's literature that have been created by the Centre:

  • Information about more than 200 Literary Awards from all over the world, since 1922 to the present day ;
  • Online access to digitized versions of Takam Tikou (from 1989 to 2008) and La Revue des livres pour enfants (all issues except the last 2 years);
  • More than 500 frequently updated bibliographies, about authors, illustrators, iconic characters, various topics and reference books in children's literature;
  • A repertoire that contains addresses of more than 400 specialized organizations in children's books, oral literature and access to reading, in France and worldwide;
  • A schedule of major events in Children's Literature.

In only a few months, new features will be deployed. In the meantime, the National Centre for Youth Literature / IBBY France's website has already plenty to offer!

From Latvia

The small is big in a book

From the left: Ilze Stikāne, Silvija Tretjakova. © Kristians Luhaers

This spring, the motto of Latvian children's literature lovers is "The small is big in a book", the statement that is included in the title of the message by the well-known Latvian poetess Inese Zandere dedicated to the International Children's Book Day. This was also the title of the international conference, which took place on March 19, 2018 in the National Library of Latvia. Every spring IBBY Latvia and the Children's Literature Centre of the National Library organize a conference for specialists of children's literature and librarians, which evaluates books, published for children and young adults in Latvia in the previous year as well as discusses other interesting issues.

Toin Duijx. © Kristians Luhaers

The central theme of this year's conference was the IBBY Latvia sponsored ICBD poster and message that reminds us that the word small is a relative concept: "In a book, the small is always big, instantly, not just upon reaching adulthood. A book is a mystery in which something unsought can be found or something beyond one's reach." (I. Zandere).

The conference started with the report "IBBY: Bringing Books and Children Together and IBBY-Sections Together", given by a long-standing partner of IBBY Latvia Toin Duijx, secretary of the Dutch IBBY section. In his speech, he emphasized that the mission of IBBY in the world is to facilitate the link between children and books as well with the cooperative projects carried out between IBBY national sections.

Ķestutis Urba. © Kristians Luhaers

The conference continued with reports about children's literature in Estonia and Lithuania in the 21st century – "Estonian Children's Literature in the 21st Century. The Golden Years" by Jannika Palm, researcher at the Estonian Children's Literature Centre, and the report "Lithuanian Children's Literature in the 21st Century" by Kestutis Urba, IBBY Lithuania president. Silvija Tretjakova, liaison officer of IBBY Latvia and the head of Children's Literature Centre of the National Library of Latvia, in her report "Latvian children's literature in the 21st century", presenting the development of children's literature in this century, stressed its rapid advancement. It is interesting to compare the publishing process of children's books in these three Baltic countries. Unfortunately, the conclusion is not pleasing for Latvia – annually the greatest number of books are published in Estonia– around 800 titles (although it is the smallest of all the Baltic countries), then comes Lithuania with 500 – 600 books a year, while Latvia annually publishes 300 – 400 children and young adults' books.

The second part of the conference opened with Ilze Stikāne's, IBBY Latvia president, presentation – the overview of "Latvian Children's and Youth Literature in 2017", in which she evaluated 91 original first print books. Rudīte Rinkeviča, docent of University of Daugavpils, presented her paper "Translated Children's and Youth Literature in 2017" in which she focussed her attention on 200 translated books published in Latvia. The paper "Evaluation of Book Illustrations" by Renāte Kloviņa, Master's degree student of the Graphic department at the Art Academy of Latvia, gave an insight into the field of book illustrations as well as a glimpse into the process of how students work on book illustrations. Conference participants learnt interesting information from the report "Research about Book Reading Habits among Inhabitants of Latvia" by Agnese Karlsone and Marita Sanžarevska, third year culture sociology and management students at the Latvian Academy of Culture.

Anniversary celebrations of two organizations that are very important for the development of children's culture concluded the day devoted to children's literature, illustration and the promotion of reading: together we celebrated IBBY Latvia's 25th anniversary and the 20th anniversary of the Latvian Children's Literature Centre. The event was also the occasion for donating the poster and the message "The Small is Big in a Book" to the sections of IBBY in neighbouring countries, as well as to schools and libraries in Latvia.

From Greece

The President of the Greek Section of IBBY and the 2016-18 Ambassador of Children and Young People's Literature in Greece presenting the ICBD 2018 message and poster to His Excellency.

2nd April – International Children's Book Day 2018

On the occasion of International Children's Book Day 2018, His Excellency the President of the Hellenic Republic, Prokopios Pavlopoulos, welcomed the President of the Greek Section of IBBY-Circle of Greek Children's Books, Vassiliki Nika, the members of its Administrative Board, Katerina Dermata, Vangelis Valasiadis, Iro Papamoschou and Patty Papadimou, the Honorary President, Loty Petrovits-Andrutsopulou and the 2016-18 Ambassador of Children and Young People's Literature in Greece, Vagelis Iliopoulos, to the Presidential Mansion in order to express the interest of the Greek State in children's literature and reading. The President of the Greek Section of IBBY presented His Excellency with the message and poster to celebrate International Children's Book Day 2018, written and illustrated by the Latvian Section of IBBY, translated into Greek by Loty Petrovits-Andutsopulou and printed and distributed to schools and libraries by Patakis Publications.

During the meeting, His Excellency was informed on the progress of the preparations of the 36th IBBY International Congress in Athens that will take place under the auspices of His Excellency. The 36th IBBY International Congress is an exceptionally significant congress, which is going to put a spotlight on Athens in regard to international children and young people's literature.

The 2018 IBBY Greece Awards to persons, institutions and creators for their distinctive work during the year 2017

Celebrating the 52nd International Children's Book Day, the Greek Section of IBBY held its annual celebration event on Friday, March 30. In collaboration with the Association of Greek Publishers and Booksellers (ENELVI) and the Hellenic Authors' Society, IBBY Greece organised the annual event to present the 2018 Awards to persons and institutions for their work in promoting reading and literature as well as authors, illustrators and translators for their distinctive work regarding books published in 2017. At the same time, the annual opening of the events for the reading campaign Read & Change was proclaimed for the third consecutive year. The event was held at the Lillian Voudouri Great Music Library in the prestigious Athens Concert Hall (Megaron) under the auspices of the City of Athens and the National Library of Greece. photo 2 (caption): The 2018 IBBY Greece Awards to persons, institutions and creators for their distinctive work during the year 2017.

The President of IBBY Greece during the IBBY Press Conference in Bologna Children's Book Fair 2018

Bologna Children's Book Fair 2018

Members of the Greek Section of IBBY were present at the Bologna Children's Book Fair 2018. The President of IBBY Greece, Dr. Vassiliki Nika, attended the IBBY Executive Committee meeting on Sunday, March 25 in support of the 36th IBBY International Congress and shared information about it with the public and media during the IBBY Press Conference on Monday, March 26. In addition, visitors of the fair had the opportunity to acquire conference material and meet Greek writers and illustrators during the Koulouraki Party at the national stand of Greece in collaboration with the Hellenic Foundation for Culture.

David Pintor's illustration on the Reading Bridges poster project by IBBY Greece.

Books about migrants and refugees – Books for migrants and refugees: The Reading Bridges project
The Lending Backpack project

In an effort to promote IBBY's goal to foster international understanding through children and young people's books and support children whose lives have been disrupted by war, armed conflicts, natural disasters etc., the Greek Section of IBBY has been working on the following projects:

  • The poster project Reading Bridges sponsored by Kaleidoscope Publications. The poster depicts David Pintor's illustration, which was given to IBBY Greece for the project, along with selected titles of illustrated Greek books about migrants and refugees. The list of titles was compiled by students of the University of Athens under the supervision of Professor Angeliki Giannikopoulou.
  • The Lending Backpack project. Each backpack contains the Greek books featured in the poster for the Reading Bridges project, some books in Arabic and the educational programme Reading Bridges – the backpacks are loaned to primary schools. The Reading Bridges project will be presented in a poster session during the 36th IBBY International Congress in Athens, Greece.
During one of the Book meetings by an author-member of the Greek Section of IBBY at the Foundation library

Book meetings: My right to read!

On the occasion of Universal Children's Day – celebrated on November 20 each year – the Greek Section of IBBY worked closely with the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation (PIOP) on a project promoting reading under the name Book meetings: My right to read! More specifically, IBBY writers paid visits to the Foundation library to meet school groups of students, talk about books and promote reading for two consecutive weeks. The specific project was part of a larger campaign in celebration of Universal Children's Day called: Being quiet, whispering, speaking or shouting, I can express myself! The campaign was coordinated by the Network for Children's Rights with the cooperation of local cultural organisations.

"love2read2gether" campaign

In February 2018, the Association of Greek Publishers and Booksellers (ENELVI) in collaboration with the Greek Section of IBBY organised the campaign Love is 2read2gether! The aim was to invite people to visit a bookstore, choose a book to give to a beloved person and write personal greetings on the especially printed bookmark #love2read2gether.

International Greek Language Day – 9 February

On the occasion of International Greek Language Day (officially declared by the Greek state in memory of the national poet of Greece, Dionysios Solomos), the General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad in collaboration with the Greek Section of IBBY and at the initiative of Chryssoula Katsavria, member of the Hellenic Parliament, sent the following message worldwide: "The Greek language is a soul, the soul of civilization". The full message was written by the Greek author, Vagelis Iliopoulos, and was illustrated by the Greek illustrator, Christos Dimos. Both are the 2016-2018 Ambassadors of Children and Young People's Literature in Greece as well as the 2018 Greek nominees for the 2018 HCA Award. The message is aimed at Greeks all over the world through embassies and consulates and be translated in as many languages as possible.

Approval of educational programmes by the Greek Section of IBBY

Two educational programmes designed by the Greek Section of IBBY have been approved by the Greek Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs for the school year 2017-2018. Both programmes have been offered to schools free of charge. "ICBD - Let's play with IBBY posters": the programme takes full advantage of IBBY messages and posters in celebration of ICBD over the past twenty years. Based on this material, it also includes games that bring children closer to books and engage them in creating their own posters. Each year the programme is complemented by material based on the new IBBY poster. "With the books on your side, say to violence 'step aside'": the programme takes advantage of children and young people's literature books to sensitise students and raise awareness against school bullying.

IBBY Greece would like to thank Georgia Galanopoulou, author-member of IBBY Greece, who translated parts of the above texts.

From Armenia

The presentation of "7 colors" at Sharjah International Book Fair 2017

On November 1-11, 2017 the Sharjah International Children's Book Fair was held. IBBY Armenia attended the Fair and in cooperation with UAEBBY and organized the presentation of the collection of stories titled "7 colors" in English at UAEBBY's stand. The president of IBBY Armenia Mrs Ruzan Tonoyan welcomed all the attendees and presented the history of the creation of the book, mentioning that the presentation of the Armenian version of the book had been held at the National Children's Library of Armenia in 2015 and the English version had been presented to the readers for the first time at Bologna Children's Book Fair 2017. Mrs Alla Serobyan the author of one of the stories included in the book, read her story called "Vasil" for the children attending the presentation. Afterwards, they discussed the story and the children shared their opinions about it with the author. .

IBBY Armenia created a methodological guide for Armenian librarians

In July 2017 the Armenian National Section of IBBY, in cooperation with the Armenian Library Association and with the support from the IBBY-Yamada Fund, implemented a 3-day workshop aimed at the organization and promotion of reading among children and young adults in the libraries. Within this workshop-project IBBY Armenia initiated the creation of a methodological guide for librarians in Armenian that is will be helpful both for librarians serving children and young adults and for the students studying librarianship at the university. The guide was presented to the Armenian librarians in December 2017. The librarians had asked for such a guide and believed that it will help them to organize reading activities for children and young adults in the libraries more effectively. The methodological guide has already been provided to the children's sections of regional and community libraries.

IBBY Armenia announced a creative competition

On December 2017, IBBY Armenia, in cooperation with National Children's Library after Khnko Aper, and the Artbridge Bookstore, announced a creative competition for children's stories, fairy tales and poetry genres. The aim of the competition is to promote the development of children's writing, to encourage the young authors' interest towards children's literature, to identify, encourage and present the young people who write for children to the public. The contest is open to 16-25 year-old creators. The best works will be published.

The opening ceremony of Yerevan Children's Book Fair 2018. © Hripsime Lalayan

Yerevan 14th Children's Book Fair

On February 17-21, 2018 the National Children's Library and IBBY Armenia, with the support of the Ministry of Culture and in cooperation with the Armenian Library Association, the National Association of Publishers of Armenia and the ArtBridge bookstore, organized the Yerevan Annual Children's Book Fair. During the event a number of activities were held, such as individual and group meetings, discussions, watching cartoons, excursions, listening to music, and family readings. One of the major parts of the fair include the "Fairy-Tale Ambassadors" (storytelling by the ambassadors accredited to RA), during which the Argentinean Ambassador Mr Gonzalo Urriolabeitia, Ambassador of Czech Republic Mr Petr Mikyska, German Ambassador Mr Bernhard Matthias Kiesler, read different stories to the children visiting the fair and interacted with them, while also an UAE Embassy representative Ms Ahlam Rashed Al Salami donated books about the UAE to the library. The other exciting part of the fair was the "Gift to a Soldier" book donation campaign organized for Booking-Giving Day, on the 19 February.

The Argentinean Ambassador Mr Gonzalo Urriolabeitia reads a fairy tale. © Hripsime Lalayan Ambassador of Czech Republic Mr Petr Mikyska reads a fairy tale. © Hripsime Lalayan German Ambassador Mr Bernhard Matthias Kiesler reads a fairy tale. ©Hripsime Lalayan

From Sweden

IBBY Sweden held its annual meeting on March 19, 2018. The Board presented the work that had been done during the last year and looked forward to the events during the coming year.

With great surprise and joy, IBBY Sweden noticed how the interest among teachers to work with "silent books" has increased during this year. Our project Silent books started as an integration project for refugee children. The books are now used in preschools and schools not only as tools for practicing Swedish with children born abroad, but also as books used on a regular basis for all children. They serve as perfect starting points for conversations and story-telling. We have received a project grant from the Swedish Arts Council to conduct a survey on how the books are used in different contexts.

On the World Book Day in April, IBBY Sweden and the Swedish Library Association will launch a poster on children's right to read, inspired by the Convention on the Rights of a Child and a poster by Praesa. You will be able to download it from our website; the target groups are children that visit public libraries and school libraries.

Two of our Board members visited the book fair in Bologna, and at least two members will go to Athens. Finally, we thanked our much appreciated member of the Board, Erik Titusson, who has now decided to step down, for his work for IBBY in Sweden and internationally.

When the meeting was formally closed, the Board announced the winner of IBBY Sweden's Peter Pan-prize. This prize is awarded to a book, written for children or young people translated into Swedish from an author, country, or culture that is not so well-known in Sweden. The prize is an invitation to the Swedish Book fair in Gothenburg where the author will hold a seminar.

This year, the comic book Akissi och det flygande fåret is the winner. The author is Marguerite Abouet from Côte-d'Ivoire, and the illustrator is Mathieu Sapin, both now living in France. This book is about the siblings Akissi and her brother Fofan visiting their grandparents who live in the countryside in Côte d'Ivoire. With much humour in the text as well as in the pictures, the short stories depict the adventures of the children during their visit, and address how they react to the different life in a village in the countryside – they are accustomed to life in a modern city. The girl Akissi is brave and spirited reminiscent of Pippi Longstocking.

Before we all parted, Ulf Boëthius, a professor emeritus in literature, was awarded the Gulliver Prize for his excellent work that has contributed to create interest in children's books in the academic world and in the public. He has dedicated his research, his books, and many articles to children's literature in Sweden during the 20th Century. He has, in part, focused on the popular books that – at their time – were regarded as "bad literature", but also on the writings of two of our great authors, Lennart Hellsing and Barbro Lindgren. The jury consists of representatives from different parts of the world of children's books in Sweden, and the prize money is donated by different publishers. Ulf gave a very inspiring short speech in which he told us about his work and how his interest in children's books started.

From Spain
Basque Branch

70 Workshops for teachers to promote reading habits of their students

Galtzagorri Elkartea, the Basque Branch of Spanish IBBY, is developing a new project that will take place in 70 education centres in the Basque country with the support of the Basque Government. The "Reading promotion workshops for teachers" project started in March and will last until December 2018.

Galtzagorri Elkartea has developed a number of projects during its 27-year existence. While designing projects to promote reading enthusiasm, based on two criteria: one using quality books for children and youngsters; and two, to train reading mediators (teachers, parents, librarians, cultural activators, etc.). Indeed, quality books will not create readers on their own if intermediaries around children and youth do not encourage them to read. And for this, the intermediaries must be trained.

Video made by Galtzagorri Elkartea for the new project.

The "Reading promotion workshops for teachers" project combines these two criteria. That is why we have selected 40 EHGL titles of 2018 for this project, and some news releases published in the previous two years. Older quality books are included that are of interest will be given life again, classic works are also included. And, of course, there are apps that are published by Galtzagorri Elkartea based on the classic books of Basque children's literature. We believe that these apps are effective tools for attracting children and young people as readers.

The Galtzagorri professionals are presenting these strategies to promote reading based on these titles in Nursery, Primary and Compulsory Secondary Education centres throughout the Basque Country.

The teachers will not be the only participants of these workshops, because Galtzagorri Elkartea has also invited the librarians of the towns of the educational centres where the workshops will take place to attend.

Galician Branch

Galician Literature Day: Día das Letras Galegas 2018 – María Victoria Moreno

The celebration of Galician Literature Day that will be held on May 17, 2018, is dedicated to María Victoria Moreno, a children and YA author, as well as a secondary school teacher. Her most notable work is the novel Anagnórise (Galaxia, 1988), translated into Basque (Euskal Liburu, 1997), Catalan (Tándem Edicions, 1999) and Spanish (Pirene Editorial,1989). The homage to this author is a broad one, as it includes the publication, in the months leading to it, of many works dedicated to the author, as well as of reissues of many of her writings.

For more information (in Galician), click here.

XIX Edition "Salón do Libro de Pontevedra" 2018

The final details are almost in place to celebrate the XIX edition of the Pontevedra Book Fair, the place where readers, writers, illustrators and every other actor in children's and YA books come together. This year, the fair revolves around the theme "Women in tales" and has Mexico as its guest country. GÁLIX and the Pontevedra City Council were in charge of organising the 1st International Illustration Contest, through which the image of this edition's poster was chosen. The winner was Ana Villegas, from Spain; runners-up were Sofia Venzel (Russia), Rocío Alejandro (Argentina), Susana Suniaga (Venezuela), Diana Sofía Zapata (Ecuador), Inge Nouws (Netherlands), Pablo Balzo (Chile), Cristian Turdera (Argentina), Tiiu Kitsik (Estonia), Adolfo Serra (Spain), Yolanda Mosquera (España) y Camilla Zaza (Italy).

For more information (in Galician), click here.

From the United Kingdom

IBBY UK continues to be active and to grow its presence in the UK book world. The Committee is diverse, drawing members from the world of publishing, illustrators, teachers and librarians. IBBY UK is currently in the process of launching a new website – a process that has taken a little longer than hoped – but the framework is already live, and the section is working to migrate appropriate content from the old website as well as create new content. The aim is to have a really attractive and dynamic online existence – a gateway to attract new members.

IBBY UK was present at the London Book Fair, where it was a co-partner in two seminars – one with the organisation Inclusive Minds under the title Mind the Gap: celebrating authentic inclusion, the second with the British Council promoting writing for children from the Baltic countries. The London Book Fair is a high profile venue so IBBY UK is particularly pleased that it is present there. Later in April the section celebrated Melvin Burgess at an event outside London.

Happily ever after... with keynote speaker Vanessa Joosen at the annual IBBY UK/NCRCL conference. © IBBY UK

IBBY UK is always very proud of its One Day Conferences held in partnership with NCRCL (National Centre for Research in Children's Literature). These are held in the autumn. Taking the lead from the forthcoming IBBY Congress the theme this time was fairy tales under the title Happily Ever After: The Evolution of Fairy Tales Across Time and Cultures. A number of the presentations will be available to members on the website and the theme was also picked up for the latest IBBYLink.

Diversity is an important part of the IBBY UK mission especially in making people aware of books from outside the UK. In 2017 the section brought the touring collection of the 2013 Silent Books to the UK and organised exhibitions at seven different venues around the country. In the same way, the 2015 Collection of Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities has been on tour around England. Since 2014 IBBY UK has showcased the IBBY Honour List Books by organising the collections of the illustrated books to be on show at a variety of venues. All of these ensure that as many people as possible across the country are brought into contact with the books and with IBBY.

These are events within the UK – but IBBY UK is very pleased to be able to organise the inclusion of fourteen illustrators at BIB in September 2017. The section will also be supporting 2 bursaries to attend the Congress in Athens.

 Recent publications

Literatura Infantil y Juvenil de España. Selección OEPLI 2017

The OEPLI and the four Branches of IBBY Spain: Consejo, ClijCat, Galtzagorri and Gálix, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports, published the catalogue Literatura Infantil y Juvenil de España. Selección OEPLI 2017. This catalogue covers the bibliographical selection of the best books for children and young people by Spanish writers and illustrators that have been published over the past year. The selected works, which adhere to quality and suitability criteria, are considered significant within the existing large production, which makes them worthy of being included in this list of honour.

Considering that children's and young people's literature produced in the official languages of Spain has achieved an important level of quality and editing and that in order to stimulate better dissemination in international linguistic areas, thereby encourage the translation and editing rights, the catalogue has been produced in Spanish and English.

The catalogue contains a selection of 200 titles made by the different branches of the OEPLI – ClijCat, Galtzagorri, Gálix and Consejo. They have been selected by people from all sectors of the literary world: writers, illustrators, publishers, booksellers, librarians, critics, etc. therefore, guaranteeing the quality and suitability of each of the selected titles.

The pdf can be downloaded here.

Bookbird. Issue 56.1, 2018

'Translation' and 'Transmedia' are terms that mean different things to different people. The first issue of Bookbird for 2018 addresses these differences with a number of articles reflecting various aspects of these topics which are very relevant for today's children's books world.

A discussion about the attitude in the British book market towards inward translation compared to other markets is timely in view of current European political preoccupations. Another article highlights the dilemmas faced by a translator when trying to be faithful to an original work, while unable to ignore the demands of a global publishing market.

How James Joyce's story, The Cat and the Devil, written for his grandson, fares in French translation is likely to intrigue readers. Thought-provoking too, are articles about translation in minority languages, and an article about the rise in translation into Latin of children's books in recent years may well surprise those who have not considered the language's potential in the present-day.

Very much related to concerns of the present day is a discussion about how the interactive and 'trans-sensory' potential of an app version of a young adult novel may extend its meaning for readers through the engagement of multiple-sense experiences. Bookbird Editor, Björn Sundmark and guest editor, Anna Kerchy have written introductions that contextualize the articles, and also talk about other relevant issues affecting translations of books for young people. Allied to this as a practical demonstration of the international appeal of children's books, is a feature on Munich's International Youth Library's travelling exhibition, 'ViVa Vostok: Literature for Children and Young Adults from Central and Eastern Europe in the German-Speaking Area'.

Regular feature 'Books on Books' offers a close-up on critical works about children's literature from China, Germany, Austria, Japan, as well as on a publication about classical literature for young readers and one on translating children's literature. Short reviews of children's books include titles from Taiwan, Kosovo, USA, Palestine and South Africa in the 'Postcard' section of Bookbird. 'Focus IBBY' carries news of IBBY activities from around the world, and this issue features obituaries on two prominent IBBY and children's literature activists, Tayo Shima from Japan and Miep Diekman from the Netherlands.

As always, this issue of Bookbird is full of information about many aspects of writing, publishing, translating, and promoting children's books from around the world. Go to the IBBY website to discover how you can get your copy without delay. Or better still, take out an annual subscription to make sure you don't miss any issues.



Nara Adjemyan (IBBY Armenia)
Ana Cendán Doce (IBBY Spain)
Valerie Coghlan (Bookbird)
Eva Devos (IBBY Belgium)
Carolin Farbmacher (IBBY Germany)
Ferelith Hordon (IBBY UK)
Ulla Hjorton (IBBY Sweden)
Evangelia Kaliskami (IBBY Greece)
Marianna Koljonen (IBBY Finland)
Vassiliki Nika (IBBY Greece)
Liz Page (IBBY)
Jonathan Paul (IBBY France)
Juliette Saumande (IBBY Ireland)
Ilze Stikāne (IBBY Latvia)

 How to subscribe

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