…and to all the illustrators who have won prizes in the prestigious international BIB award in this special, 50th-anniversary year.Add a Comment
…and to all the illustrators who have won prizes in the prestigious international BIB award in this special, 50th-anniversary year.Add a Comment
Thanks for talking to Boomerang Books about The Peony Lantern, Frances. It’s my pleasure. Where are you based and how involved are you in the world of children’s and YA lit? I’m based in Sydney. I’ve been involved in the children’s lit world for many years now, through membership of the Children’s Book Council of […]Add a Comment
EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT! Life in Outer Space has been chosen as the winner of the 2014 Ena Noel Award, a biennial IBBY Australia Encouragement Award for Literature for Young People. Past winner include Markus Zusak, Sonya Hartnett, Catherine Jinks, and a host of other wonderful writers who I’m totally honoured to be in the company of.
You can find out more about the award here
The good people at IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) have this to say:
Melissa Keil’s debut novel arrived on the YA scene with a refreshing, individual style which has impressed not only its target audience but also readers across generations…Keil has a superb knack of capturing the teenage ‘cringe’ factor: the beach picnic episode is a laugh-out-loud account of awkwardness and developing confidence. The ingenuous style of this novel makes it highly readable and amusing.
Colour me chuffed.
|Pam Dix from the IBBY committee UK with the President of IBBY Korea, Su-Jung Kim and writer Sang-Hee Lee.|
Thanks for talking to Boomerang Books, Elizabeth Fensham. My Dog Doesn’t Like Me (University of Qld Press) resonated with me because I also have a puppy, Floyd (whose middle name is Pink)– a spoodle who is easier to train than Eric’s dog, Ugly, but I have used one of the dog-training tips described in the novel. […]Add a Comment
Why we must promote acceptance to children
FLINT eMagazine writes:-http://flintmag.com/children/
Acclaimed author Susanne Gervay’s new children’s picture book,Elephants Have Wings (Ford Street Publishing, H/B $26.95,) is inspired by the ancient story of the blind men and the elephant and promotes the importance of peace and inclusion to younger readers.
Inspired by Susanne’s journey to India and South East Asia, she returned imbued with the cultures of India and Asia and the parable of the blind men and the elephant with its spiritual traditions in Buddhism, Jainism, Hinduism, Sufism and modern philosophy. As the child of refugees, Susanne wanted to open a discussion about pathways to peace by creating an illustrative text that gave young people positive ways to navigate a world torn by conflict.
Beautifully illustrated by Anna Pignataro, Elephants Have Wings follows the story of two children, riding on the wings of a mystical white elephant, embark on an extraordinary journey to discover the meaning of the parable of the blind men and the elephant, and the humanity in all of us. Endorsed by the esteemed Blake Society and created by the award-winning picture book team of Susanne Gervay AO and Anna Pignataro, Elephants Have Wings is a remarkable book that promotes peace and understanding to young readers.
Interview with Susanne
I’ve spoken to hundreds of thousands of young people, sharing my books across the world, in remote indigenous communities, Australian capital cities, throughout regional Australia, across the USA, Asia, India, Kiribati, Europe, from the richest to poorest communities, to young people in prison, hospitals, special schools, remote Outback stations, international schools. The young people I speak to come from many faiths, ethnicities, cultures. However there is a commonality. They seek acceptance, safety, love and are overwhelmed and disempowered by a world in conflict. Story can create a place to unravel their fears and disempowerment and provide pathways to compassion, understanding of other peoples and faiths and become a participant in creating a safer world.
On my tours, a little American boy told me that when he grows up he wants to be an architect. But he will only design short buildings. The Twin Towers of 9-11 are part of who he is now. I included his words which felt so poignant, in my ‘I Am Jack’ series.
I was flown to New York to speak about the power of my young adult novel ‘Butterflies’ to travel with young burns survivors and families. I had the extraordinary privilege to be on the faculty with Kim Phuc, the 9 year old Vietnamese girl running naked from napalm bombs in Nick Ut’s 1972 iconic Pulitzer Prize winning photo. With 80% of her body burned, she decided to turn pain into compassion. She is a UNESCO Ambassador for Peace and established the Kim Phuc Foundation for child survivors of war.
My hero Jack, of the ‘I Am Jack’ books and his friend Christopher whose parents are Vietnamese refugees present their project to the school.
“Jack and Christopher say together. ‘Kim Phuc, the girl running from the bomb, said, ‘Don’t see a little girl crying out in fear and pain. See her as crying out for peace.’” (Chapter 10)
As part of a delegation, an initiative of the Edmund Rice Centre, I travelled to Kiribati with Patrick Dobson, father of Indigenous reconciliation. Kiribati looks like paradise, an island nation of 32 atolls in the Pacific with approximately 100,000 people. However, without sanitation, rising sea levels, inadequate fresh water supplies, one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world, it is a multi-faith country struggling for survival. I had the privilege of sharing my books with wonderful teachers, students and communities. I addressed an assembly of hundreds of students under an open canopy. When I announced that I would donate my books to the school, in a spontaneous thanksgiving of song, their voices rose in a powerful celebration of thanks. It was deeply moving.
There have been many special moments of connection through story. I was invited to represent Australia in the international peace anthology by IBBY Korea under the auspices of the United Nations. My story ‘Remember East Timor’ was one of 22 stories, by 22 authors, 22 illustrators from 22 countries with different faiths and cultures. My author visit to the Deaf and Blind School where I read my picture books to children with multiple disabilities and diverse faiths, was significant in sharing the commonality of all children while recognising their difference.
As the child of refugees, ‘Elephants Have Wings’ encompasses the ethos that drives all my writing, engaging with young people as they face the challenges of life and empowering them with compassion, understanding of different faiths, humanism. The extraordinary tree of life that connects all humanity spreads its ways through the pages of ‘Elephants Have Wings’, as the mystical white elephant takes the children across the beauty of the world, its conflict and then safety of home.
‘Elephants Have Wings’ was written for young people and adults to open discussion about what sort of world they want and how they can contribute to it because ‘The elephant is in all of us’.
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IBBY and UAEBBY launch the Sharjah IBBY Fund
The United Arab Emirates Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) and the International Board on Book for Young People (IBBY) Foundation launched the Sharjah government-supported Sharjah IBBY Fund which aims to promote a love of reading among children so that they become life-long readers, ensure that children have access to books as well as support needed training programmes for professionals in this field.
The Fund aims primarily to provide support for children whose lives have been disrupted through war, civil disorder or natural disasters in the region of Central Asia and North Africa through implementing reading-related projects.
The launch of this Fund was announced at a press conference held during the Sharjah Children's Reading Festival 2012 at Sharjah Expo Centre.
Everybody has a song,
be it short or be it long,
in the right or in the wrong key,
Like the hee-haw of a donkey,
Twitter, tweet, tu-whit, tu-whoo,
howl or growl or quack or moo.
Don’t be silent
you must sing
as you’ve been made.
Welcome, everybody, to this week’s Poetry Friday, which we are delighted to be hosting. Please leave comments below with links to your “songs” and I’ll be updating this post throughout the day.
The above poem comes from the joyous anthology Under the Spell of the Moon: Art for Children from the World’s Great Illustrators. This superb book, first published by Groundwood in Canada in 2004, then in the UK in 2006 by Frances Lincoln, is now available for the first time in paperback (Frances Lincoln, 2012). Produced by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), the book is edited by erstwhile President of IBBY and founder of Groundwood Patsy Aldana, and has a thought-provoking Foreword by award-winning author Katherine Paterson. It provides a fantastic showcase of 32 illustrators from across the globe, who have all donated their work to benefit IBBY – indeed 12.5% of the book’s proceeds go to IBBY. Illustrators include Piet Grobler, who illustrated the poem cited above, as well as many others of my personal favorites such as Mitsumasa Anno (Japan), Peter Sís (Czech Republic/USA), Anthony Browne (UK), Isol (Argentina), Pulak Biswas (India), Luis Garay (Nicaragua) – and the book has also introduced me to many illustrators whose work I intend to explore further…
Each illustrator was asked to “illustrate a text of his or her own choosing, be it a poem, nursery rhyme, song, piece of prose, riddle or street game.” The result is a wonderfully eclectic gathering of mostly verse that is given in its original language, sometimes incorporated into the artwork, and, where necessary, in English translation: and indeed a special shout-out must go to Stan Dragland’s virtuoso translations. The quirkiness of the collection probably comes from this freedom of choice given to the global spread of illustrators: so each page turn brings a surprise, both in text and artistic style. The one thing that links every page is the joie de vivre of the texts and the virtuosity each illustrator has brought to his or her contribution.
And nAdd a Comment
Crossing Boundaries: Translations and Migrations, to be held at Imperial College, London, from 23rd to 26th August 2012.
It’s going to be fantastic and I get to see friends from all over the world.
Can’t wait to speak about ‘Ships in the Field’ on a panel with Marjorie Coughlan editor of Paper Tigers
Zeynep Bassa (Author and Illustrator, Turkey)
Picture Books on the Theme of Migration in Germany
Questions of migration, discrimination, social marginalisation and integration appear as newly emerging topics in children’s books. Based partially on the author’s personal experiences as a migrant mother of two children in Germany and from work with migrant children, this paper reviews some of the children’s books published in Germany on the subjects of tolerance and acceptance of different identities.
(Editor, Paper Tigers, U.K.)
Escaping Conflict, Seeking Peace: picture books that relate refugee stories, and their importance
Attention is drawn to picture books in English from around the world about children and young people who have been forced from their homes because of conflict. These are stories that need to be told, whether they are biographical or fictionalised accounts, for understanding of the past, healing in the present, and hope for the future.
The IBBY CONGRESS London was about making friends across the world from Slovenia to Canada; USA to South Korea, from Mongolia to New Zealand; from India to the world…. to Australia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Some of the wonderful friends I made are in these photos – and there were other wonderful people too – Dr Veronika Rot Gabrovec Slovenia; Ingrid Kallstrom Stockholm; Merle Harris Edmonton Canada; Swapna Dutta Bangalore India …and …….many friends.
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There are a couple 2013 conferences that have recently announced their call for proposals. Are you interested? 1.
The 10th IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People ) will hold its regional conference 18020 October in St Louis, MO.
This conference will feature a limited number of simultaneous sessions that address the conference theme and/or feature international children’s literature. All sessions will be one hour and can take one of several forms, including but not limited to:
Proposals should include a title and a description of the proposed session (100-150 words). Also include the following contact information: name, affiliation (if any), address, and email. If the proposal has multiple speakers, please include contact information for everyone listed. Proposals should be sent to email@example.com. Please feel free to contact Susan Stan at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions before submitting proposal. Deadline for submission: February 1, 2013
The Library Services to Multicultural Populations Section and Education and Training Section of the IFLA (International Federal of Library Associations invites proposals for papers to be presented at a two-hour session in the next IFLA General Conference on August 2013 in Singapore.
Theme: Indigenous knowledge and multiculturalism in LIS education and library training: infinite possibilities
Submission deadline: 15 February 2013. Please visit the following link for the details:
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The IBBY press conference at the 2013 Bologna Children’s Book Fair will take place March 25 at 2:30 pm. Highlights will include:
~ IBBY Documentation Centre of Books for Disabled Young People
~ IBBY Projects (including the the IBBY Children in Crisis Fund and the IBBY-Yamada Programme)
~ International Children’s Book Day 2013
~ 2013 Selection of Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities
~ 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Awards
The United Arab Emirates Section of IBBY (UAEIBBY) will organize the First International Board on Books for Young People Conference for the Region of Central Asia and North Africa (CANA): Bringing Books and Children Together in Sharjah, UAE, April 21 – 23, 2013.
The Indonesian Section of IBBY (INABBY) has announced the 1st Asia and Oceania Regional IBBY Congress to be held in Bali, Indonesia, May 23 – 26, 2013.
The USA section of IBBY ( USBBY) is sponsoring the 10th IBBY Regional Conference: BookJoy Around the World in St. Louis, MO, October 18 – 20, 2013.
IBBY Cuba will be hosting the Congreso Internacional Lectura 2013: para Leer el XXI to be held October 22 – 26, 2013 in Havana, Cuba.
IBBY India and Association of Writers and Illustrators for Children (AWIC) is organizing The International Conference on Literacy Through Literature to be held in New Delhi, India, February 6 – 8, 2014.
The IBBY 34th International Congress: May everyone really mean everyone. Reading as an inclusive experience will be held in Mexico City, Mexico, September 10 – 13, 2014. Submissions are now being accepted for a special issue of Bookbird to coincide with the Congress. Papers are welcomed that examine texts for children from Mexico or the Latin American world as they relate to or intersect with the conference theme. See Bookbird’s website at www.ibby.org/bookbird for full submission details.
The 33rd IBBY Congress took place this past summer in London and a selection of videos of some of the plenary and other sessions are now available on the Congress website. Click here to watch them. Hopefully PaperTigers Editor Marjorie Coughlan’s session Escaping Conflict, Seeking Peace: picture books that relate refugee stories, and their importance will be uploaded soon so that those of us that couldn’t attend can enjoy her presentation.Add a Comment
The following are a few good ways to get involved in the dynamic world of YA.
ALAN, the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE, is seeking applicants for the position of editor of their journal, The ALAN Review. To apply, interested persons should submit the following: a letter of application detailing qualifications for the position and the applicant’s vision for the journal, a current vita, one sample of published writing, and a letter of general support from appropriate administrators at the applicant’s institution. Classroom teachers are eligible and encouraged to apply. Applications should be sent via email, using the subject line, ALAN Editor, to Teri Lesesne, Executive Director of ALAN (AlanExecutiveSecretary@gmail.com). Please send files as Word attachments. Applications must be received no later than October 1, 2013. Finalist interviews will be conducted at the NCTE conference in Boston.
Note that the TAR editor receives complimentary registration to the ALAN Workshop and a stipend of $2,000 a year.
Click here for further information about the position from ALAN’s Policy & Procedure Manual.
There is still time to register for the United States Board On Books International Conference in St. Louis MO, Oct. 18-20
Speaker highlights: Ashley Bryan, Mem Fox, Gregory Maguire, Pat Mora, Katherine Paterson, Peter Sis, Jacqueline Woodson
Breakout Session highlights (and there are many more):
“Bringing the World to Your Library: Incorporating International Books into Everyday Practice”
“Diverse Voices, Digital Narratives: Connecting Children, Books, and Digital Media to Promote Bookjoy Around the World”
“PictureBookJoy: Humor in International Picture Books”
“Depictions of African American and Black Culture in Graphic Literature”
“Hair in Children’s Literature around the World”
“BookJoy for Middle School: Poetry in Many Voices”
YALSA is seeking program proposals and paper presentations for its 2014 Young Adult Literature Symposium,Keeping it Real: Finding the True Teen Experience in YA Literature, to be held October 31 – November 2, 2014 in Austin, TX. YALSA’s 2014 Young Adult Literature Symposium will gather together librarians, educators, researchers, authors and publishers to explore what’s ‘real’ in the world of teen literature. In what ways is young adult literature reflecting the real and amazing diversity of today’s 42 million teens and it what ways has it fallen short? Who are today’s teens, really? What are the ‘real’ issues that they want and need to read about, and how do they want to read about them? Why are realistic teen experiences in books sometimes controversial when they accurately portray a young person’s life? How are the evolving areas of identity and sex(uality) being explored in YA literature and nonfiction? Join YALSA as we explore what is ‘real’ in young adult literature.
YALSA invites interested parties to propose 90-minute programs centering on the theme, as well as paper presentations offering new, unpublished research relating to the theme. Applications for all proposals can be found at http://ala.org/yalitsymposium (click “Propose a Paper/Program”). Proposals for programs and paper presentations must be completed online by Nov. 1, 2013. Applicants will be notified of their proposals’ status the week of Jan. 12, 2014.
Important news from IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People)
In international children’s book news, the 2013 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, sponsored by the Swedish government and currently the world’s largest award for children’s and young adult literature, has been presented to Isol, the Argentinian writer and illustrator of children’s books. According to the ALMA website: ” Isol’s great talent as a picturebook author is apparent in the overall experience created by the dramatic composition, the choice of colours and the intensity of the drawn line.” (wwww.alma.se)
IBBY has selected the next editor for Bookbird . Dr. Bjorn Sundmark will edit the journal from 2015- 2018. He is Associate Professor of English at the Faculty of Education, Malmo University, Sweden, and serves on the board of the Swedish National Culture Council.
Some of my ‘babies’ promoting STORY as a way to reach the world for 2010 are:-
SCBWI International Conference at The Hughenden 17-19th September 2010
The Kids & YA Literature Festival at the NSW Writers Centre Rozelle 3rd July 2010
My new book ALWAYS JACK comes out for Breast Cancer Awareness month October 2010
I AM JACK in the USA published by Tricycle (Random House USA)
Storytellers, Partners in Crime, Sydney Writers & Illustrators Network, Launch of ‘Fear Factor – Terror Incognito Picador – at The Hughenden 2010 www.thehughenden.com.au
More News coming … let’s make 2010 an amazing year.Add a Comment
Zohreh Ghaeni, president of 2010 Hans Christian Andersen Award Jury, has created a new website which provides information on the 2010 Hans Christian Andersen Awards’ candidates. The prize, named after Danish author Hans Christian Anderson, is sometimes known as the “Little Nobel Prize” is an international award given biennially by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) in recognition of a “lasting contribution to children’s literature”. There are two categories of award winners: authors and illustrators. For the 2010 Awards, 28 writers and 27 illustrators have been nominated by 32 different IBBY National Sections. The winners will be announced at the IBBY Press Conference at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair on Tuesday, 23 March 2010.Add a Comment
Today at the Bologna Book Fair the 2010 the Hans Christian Andersen Award Jury of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) announced the winners of the 2010 Hans Christen Anderson Award. PaperTigers was there to hear the exciting news and we send our congratulations to David Almond from the United Kingdom, winner of the 2010 Hans Christian Andersen Author Award and Jutta Bauer from Germany, winner of the 2010 Hans Christian Andersen Illustrator Award.
Also announced at today’s press conference was the winner of The IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award. This award is presented to projects run by groups or institutions that are judged to be making a lasting contribution to reading promotion for children and young people. 12 projects were nominated for this year’s award and two winners were selected: Osu Children’s Library Fund (Ghana) and Convenio de Cooperación al Plan de Lectura (Medellín, Colombia).
Click here to read the press releases from today’s announcements.Add a Comment
(Click on event name for more information)
November Events for Kids at Dar el Shorouk Stores~ Cairo, Egypt
Govenor General’s Literary Award Winners Announced~ Montreal, QC, Canada
Sharjah International Book Fair and Announcement of the Etisalat Prize for Arabic Children’s Literature Winner~ ongoing until Nov 6, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
30th Santiago International Book Fair~ ongoing until Nov 14, Santiago, Chile
Nambook-010: The 5th Nami Island International Children’s Book Festival~ ongoing until Nov 14, Nami, Korea
Entries Accepted for the 2011 PBBY-Salanga Prize~ ongoing until Nov 15, Philippines
The Children’s Bookshow: Stories From Around The World~ ongoing until Nov 17, United Kingdom
2010 Original Art: Celebrating the Fine Art of Children’s Book Illustration~ ongoing until Nov 24, New York, NY, USA
Scholastic Asian Book Award~ submissions accepted until Dec 31, Singapore
Hedwig Anuar Children’s Book Award 2011~ entries accepted until Dec 31, Singapore
An Exquisite Vision: The Art of Lisbeth Zwerger~ ongoing until Jan 9, Hannover, Germany
Monsters and Miracles: A Journey through Jewish Picture Books~ ongoing until Jan 23, Amherst, MA, USA
Drawn in Brooklyn Exhibit of Original Picture Book Art by Brooklyn Illustrators~ ongoing until Jan 23, Brooklyn, NY, USA
National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature Presents From Houdini to Hugo: The Art of Brian Selznick~ ongoing until Jan 29, Abilene, TX, USA
International Youth Library Exhibit: The World in Miniature. The Family in Historic Picture Books and Children’s Literature~ ongoing until Aug 31, Munich, Germany
EXEtreme Imagination: A Festival of Literature for Children and Young People~ Nov 1 – 7, Devon and Exeter, United Kingdom
Exclusive Screening: Library of the Early Mind~ Nov 2, New York, NY, USAAdd a Comment
The 2011 Bologna Children’s Book Fair takes place March 28 – 31 in Bologna, Italy. The IBBY stand will include the following presentations:
• IBBY Honour List 2010
• Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities 2011
• International Children’s Book Day 2011
• IBBY Congress 2012 London
On March 28th IBBY will hold a press conference at 14:30 (Sala Concerto room) featuring:
• International Children’s Book Day: 2011 Sponsor IBBY Estonia
• IBBY Projects and activities
• Bookbird: introduction of new president
• IBBY Congress 2012 London, United Kingdom
This will be followed by a reception at the IBBY stand: 15:30, Hall 29, stand A 51.
The poster and message to celebrate the 2011 International Children’s Book Day (April 2nd) is now available here. Each year a different National Section of IBBY has the opportunity to be the international sponsor of ICBD and for 2011 the sponsor is IBBY Estonia. This year’s theme is “The Book Remembers”, the poster was designed by Jüri Mildeberg (aka Jüri Mildebergius) and the message written by Aino Pervik.
Registration has opened for the 9th IBBY Regional Conference: Peace the World Together With Children’s Books, to be held October 21 – 23 at the Arne Nixon Center for the Study of Children’s Literature in Fresno, CA, USA. Click here for flyer and go to www.usbby.org for more information and conference updates.
First call for IBBY Cuba’s Congreso Internacional Lectura 2011: Para Leer el XXI Se ha de conocer las fuerzas del mundo para ponerlas a trabajar has gone out. The event will be held October 25 – 29 in Havana, Cuba.
The 33rd International IBBY Congress will be held August 23 – 26, 2012 in London, UK. The theme is Crossing Boundaries: Translations and Migrations. Delegates will explore how books and stories for children and young people can cross boundaries and migrate across different countries and cultures. The congress will look at issues such as globalisation, dual-language texAdd a Comment
The first issue of IBBY Asian Newsletter has come out and is definitely a must read! This newsletter belongs to all national sections in Asia: from the Middle East to the Far East, and contains a wealth of information and photos. Following the decision of the Asian national sections’ gathering at the 2010 IBBY Congress, two issues of this newsletter will be published each year (April and September).
Included in the April 2011 issue are:
• Report from Australia
• IBBY India’s activities
• News from Iran
• JBBY describes its wide ranging activities
• KBBY reports
• Alif Laila Book Bus Society Brings Children and Books Together!
• Palestinian IBBY
Abigail Sawyer regularly reviews books for us here at PaperTigers, and she’s also, in her own words, “a lifelong library lover and an advocate for access to books for all”, so who better to write an article for us about “unconventional libraries” and the children’s books they have inspired. Abigail lives in San Francisco, California, USA, where her two children attend a language-immersion elementary school and are becoming bilingual in English and Mandarin: an experience that has informed her work on the blog for the film Speaking in Tongues. I know you’ll enjoy reading this as much as I have.
On Traveling Libraries and Heroic ‘Book People’: Inspiring children’s books about getting books to people in remote places and difficult circumstances
My sons and I paid our first-ever visit to a bookmobile over the summer. For us it was a novelty. We have shelves of books at home and live just 3 blocks from our local branch library, but the brightly colored bus had pulled up right near the playground we were visiting in another San Francisco neighborhood (whose branch library was under renovation), and it was simply too irresistible. Inside, this library on wheels was cozy, comfortable, and loaded with more books than I would have thought possible. I urged my boys to practice restraint and choose only one book each rather than compete to reach the limit of how many books one can take out of the San Francisco Public Library system (the answer is 50; we’ve done it at least once).
The bookmobiles provide a great service even in our densely populated city where branch libraries abound. There are other mobile libraries, however, that take books to children who may live miles from even the nearest modern road; to children who live on remote islands, in the sparsely populated and frigid north, in temporary settlements in vast deserts, and in refugee camps. The heroic individuals who manage these libraries on boats, burros, vans, and camels provide children and the others they serve with a window on the world and a path into their own imaginations that would otherwise be impossible.
Shortly after my own bookmobile experience, Jeanette Winter‘s Biblioburro (Beach Lane Books, 2010), a tribute to Colombian schoolteacher Luis Soriano, who delivers books to remote hillside villages across rural Colombia, arrived in my mailbox to be reviewed for Paper Tigers. I loved this book, as I do most of Winter’s work, for its bright pictures and simple, straightforward storytelling. Another picture book, Waiting for the Bibiloburro by Monica Brown (Tricycle Press, 2011), tells the story of Soriano’s famous project from the perspective of one of the children itAdd a Comment
As Grace mentioned, we're in Fresno together for the IBBY regional conference. They asked us to speak together about Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. To prepare, we dug up all of the old drafts of the novel, and also my editorial letters/edits (to my horror, I discovered that although I had saved the different drafts with my edits in Track Changes, I had neglected to save any of my editorial letters, as they had been in emails and not saved as separate documents. Luckily, Grace was able to find them in an old email account. Whew!)
Some of the fascinating (at least to us!) things we found:
The 1st draft was 22,859 words; the final draft was 42,840 words, almost twice as long!
The 1st draft had 26 chapters, and the final book had 48 chapters.
The green tiger was not in the original draft.
In the original draft, the parents didn't try to follow/find Minli.
In the original proposal, Minli was named "Cai" (and then "Kai").
The first working title was God of the West. The next title was Never-Ending Mountain.
I also read a portion of my first editorial letter for the book. As I mentioned at the panel, my letters with Grace tend to be a little more casual than to some other authors who I don't know as well. With Grace, I cut to the chase quickly--but I always start with praise! Here's a sampling:
So, I thought I'd get down in writing some of the things we discussed over the phone. But just to reiterate, I loved it. I think overall, it's extremely well crafted with a wonderful story arc. The novel is moving, magical, and engaging. I think this is in really great shape! I have a few main comments, most of which we've discussed:
1) The novel feels a little slight right now, and things overall feel a little too easy for Minli. I'd like to add at least one more big challenge for her, and also make a few of the existing challenges a little more difficult/drawn out. For example, she seems to find the King in The City of Bright Moonlight too quickly--she should struggle with this more. I like the idea you mentioned, of having her spend one night with the boy and the buffalo.
Overall, don't be afraid to put your characters in peril! I don't think I worried once about whether Minli would succeed in her quest, or feared for her safety or her life. This made for a comforting, pleasant read, but I think more conflict overall would go a long way toward making this more rewarding.
3) It's not believable that her parents would just wait around for her at home for her to come back--have one or both of them go after her? Or have them send someone else after her? If they do stay behind, you need a convincing reason why, and also her reunion with them at the end needs to be more dramatic. Wouldn't they cry? And what did they do while she was gone? Did they set up a shrine to her? Pray for her every day? Maybe they sent the old man selling the fish after her, or maybe a man from the village, or a kind traveler passing through?
International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) has just posted the latest regional newsletters from IBBY Asian and IBBY Europe. When you have moment, be sure to give them a read. The newsletters, which are written in English, contain a wealth of information on the events that IBBY national sections were involved with during the past year as well as plans for 2012. For those of you that are on Facebook many of the IBBY national sections now have Facebook pages. Do a Facebook search for IBBY, “like” the pages and the postings will automatically be delivered to your Facebook newsfeed.Add a Comment
Peter Sis won the Hans Christian Andersen Award! for best illustrator in 2012. Congratulations, Mr. Sis! The best thing about the Hans Christian Andersen Award is that the award includes authors and illustrators from around the world. This award is presented each year by the International Board on Books for Young People. Winning is a huge honor.
The 2012 Han Christian Andersen Award winner for writing is Maria Teresa Andruetto from Argentina. Andruetto won this award not only because of her novels for young people but also for her work promoting literacy among children and teens.
So one of today's Kids Book Websites is IBBY - The International Board on Books for Young People.