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Call for Nominations: IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award 2020

IBBY South Africa calls on all southern African literacy organisations to apply for the IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award.

For more information on the award, please see the following message from Ahmad Redza Ahmad Khairuddin, President of the 2020 IBBY Reading Promotion Award Jury:

“The Award is given biennially to a group or institution, which by their outstanding activities are judged by the Jury to be making a lasting contribution to book promotion programmes for children and young people. The prize-winning organization will receive a diploma and a sum of US$ 10,000.00, which is generously given by the Asahi Shimbun Newspaper Company of Japan. The decision of the Jury will be announced at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in 2020 and subsequently celebrated at the IBBY Congress in Moscow, Russia in September 2020.

The Jury will select the recipient of the Award at its meeting in September 2019 in China. The following IBBY Executive Members constitute the Jury: Anastasia Arkhipova (Russia), Carole Bloch (South Africa), Sophie Hallam (UK), Basarat Midhat Kazim (Pakistan), Nora Lía Sormani (Argentina) and myself, Redza Khairuddin (Malaysia) as the Jury President.

The Award enjoys a good reputation because of the high standard of nominations for
this prestigious prize in former years.”

You can download the IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award Regulations here. Please return the completed application form to IBBY SA by e-mail on before the deadline of 14 June 2019. Each national section of IBBY is invited to nominate a total of two organisations for consideration for the 2020 award.

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Silent Books: Destination Lampedusa

In response to the waves of refugees from Africa and the Middle East arriving on the Italian island of Lampedusa, IBBY International launched the project “Silent Books, from the world to Lampedusa and back” in 2012. The project involved creating the first library on Lampedusa to be used by local and immigrant children. The second part required creating a collection of wordless picture books that could be understood and enjoyed by children regardless of language.

Following the success of the first call for books, there has since been two additional collections of ‘Silent Books’.  Each collection is divided into three sets; one set delivered to the library on Lampedusa, another deposited at the documentation and research archive in Rome (Palazzo della Esposizioni) and the last set forms part of a travelling exhibition of wordless picture books. This third set has toured as an exhibition at various venues in Italy and all over the world, as well as being displayed at the Bologna Book Fair and at the IBBY Congresses in New Zealand and Greece.

In July of 2018 IBBY Italia raised another call for submissions and thanks to generous donations from local literacy organisations, Collaborate and Book Dash, IBBY South Africa was able to facilitate the donation of a number of locally produced wordless children’s picture books to this worthy cause.

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Phendulani Literary Quiz celebrates 10 years

Some 30 teams took part in the Johannesburg round of the Phendulani Quiz at De La Salle College in Victory Park.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Phendulani Literary Quiz. Founded in 2008 by Marj Brown, Head of History at Roedean School, the Phendulani Quizzes take place all over the country and offer learners an incentive to read and engage with the world of stories.

Brown started the quiz with two goals: improving literacy levels and vocabulary; and improving emotional intelligence, creativity and global understanding. “It is through stories that children from under-resourced schools can travel the world and learn about others, enhancing tolerance and understanding,” she says.

This year featured quizzes at schools in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and smaller cities such as Knysna, Margate, Nelspruit, Pietermaritzburg and Bergville. The Phendulani Quiz sees an active improvement among participating schools. According to Brown, schools that have participated for a number of years have shown a rise in scores of between 30% and 40%.

The winning team in Johannesburg was from WH Coetzer Primary School.
Cape Town winners were Heathfield Primary School, pictured here with quiz master and comic book creator. Loyiso Mkize.

IBBY SA would like to extend a hearty congratulations to Marj Brown and all of the volunteers and sponsors who have helped the Phendulani Quiz grow and foster a love of reading in South African youth over the last ten years.

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Marilyn Honikman and Jaco Jacobs win at the 2018 South African Literary Awards

IBBY South Africa wishes to congratulate Marilyn Honikman and Jaco Jacobs as they are jointly awarded the inaugural Children’s Literature Award at the 2018 South African Literary Awards (SALAs) for their books There should have been five (Marilyn Honikman) and  Daar’s Nie ‘n Krokodil in Hierdie Boek Nie and Moenie Hierdie Boek Eet Nie (Jaco Jacobs) the last of which was also the recipient of the 2017 Exclusive Books IBBY SA Award.

Held annually, the main aim of the SALAs is “to pay tribute to South African writers who have distinguished themselves” and celebrate “literary excellence in the depiction and sharing of South Africa’s histories”.

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Moenie Hierdie Boek Eet Nie! by Jaco Jacobs wins the Exclusive Books IBBY SA Award 2017

IBBY South Africa is proud to announce that MOENIE HIERDIE BOEK EET NIE! by Jaco Jacobs, illustrated by Zinelda McDonald and published by LAPA Publishers, is the winner of the 2017 Exclusive Books IBBY SA Award.

Tracing back to 2007, this prize is awarded every two years to the writer and illustrator of the best children’s picture book or illustrated book for young people.

Nominations for the 2019 award will be called for in January of next year.

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International conference: Tales of Age, September 13th and 14th in Ljubljana

The Slovenian section of IBBY is co-organizing an international conference Tales of Age: supported by the Slovenian national committee for UNESCO. The conference will take place on September 13th and 14th in Ljubljana. The aim of the conference is to bring together international experts from the fields of literature, life sciences and philosophy and to open a dialog on ageing with all generations.

Furthermore, we would like to present practical examples of raising awareness about ageing  and building a dialog between different generations. We are well aware that many exceptional projects of this type are held in local environments where they make an important difference in the quality of life of local communities, but are rarely given the attention they deserve outside the communities. At the conference, some exceptional Slovenian projects and practices will be presented, however we would also like to widen our horizons by presenting successful projects and practices from around the world.Thus, we open a call for short presentations of projects that deal with raising awareness about ageing and building a dialog between different generations.

The presentations can be sent to until August 1st 2018, visit the website for more information.

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IBBY Announces Winners of the 2018 Hans Christian Andersen Award #IBBYHCAA18

Patricia Aldana, Chair of the Jury for the Hans Christian Andersen Award of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) today announced the winners of the 2018 IBBY Hans Christian Andersen Award considered to be the children’s Nobel. IBBY is very grateful to Nami Island Inc. in the Republic of Korea for their sponsorship of this prestigious award.

The 2018 winners are:

Eiko Kadono of Japan for Writing and Igor Oleynikov of Russia for Illustration

Eiko Kadono from Japan

There is an ineffable charm, compassion, and élan in the work of this great Japanese author.  Whether in her many marvellous and funny picture books, or her great series of novels about the witch Kiki, or her novel set during World War II about a brave girl who must walk through a terrifying tunnel of trees to get to school, Kadono’s books are always surprising, engaging, and empowering.  And almost always fun. And always life affirming.

Although, Kadono has travelled widely throughout the world, her stories are deeply rooted in Japan and show us a Japan that is filled with all kinds of unexpected people.  Her female characters are singularly self-determining and enterprising; figuring out how to cope with all kinds of complications without suffering too many self-doubts – though some of these do creep in.  As such, they are perfect for this time when we are all seeking girls and women in books who can inspire and delight us with their agency. The language in her picture books is notable for its playfulness and use of onomatopoeia. And of course, the beautiful, but simple language in her novels makes them extremely readable.

Igor Oleynikov from Russia

This exceptional illustrator can bring the page alive in a way that must be the envy of his peers. Coming from an early career as an animator, Oleynikov is a master of design and composition.  Furthermore, he brings an extraordinary cast of characters to life –from young boys and girls, to witches and giants, to wolves and sharks, to fairies and trolls, to Joshua and Ruth from the Old Testament, to even a brilliant tiny mouse who goes to Harvard!  Though he claims not to like illustrating ‘cute’ children, he is more than capable of creating beauty – in his landscapes and in his characters.  Beautiful or not, human or not, they burst with life, movement and expression.

Oleynikov brings the great Russian artistic vocabulary, style and passion to his work.  He frequently illustrates the Russian masters, Pushkin, Gogol, Trotsky, Brodsky, bringing them to life and to our contemporary sensibility. His versions of the classics are always original and surprising, never obvious or what one might expect. He is equally brilliant with Andersen, Grimm, the Old Testament, and Lear. While he excels at the short form—poems, stories, traditional tales, he can also create fabulous picture books. His talent knows no bounds.

The jury would like to emphasize the high quality of many of the submissions, especially those on the shortlist. In light of this, the jury chose to create a list of fifteen outstanding books, which they read in the course of their work that they consider to be of the highest quality and should be very widely translated. The first criteria for the selection of the shortlist and the winners was the artistic excellence of the writing and of the art. Of great importance to the jury was: the author or illustrator’s ability to connect to children – the use of voice; the credibility of the child’s world; the ability of children worldwide to connect to the work even if it was very culturally specific and authentic to the creator and her or his culture?  The jurors were also interested to explore the willingness to take creative risks. But ultimately, the selection of these shortlisted authors and illustrators, the winners, and of the fifteen books that the jurors recommend for worldwide translation, was the belief that these works should be read by children all over the world, be accessible and meaningful to them, and enrich their lives and understanding – build bridges in a time when so many are being broken.

The 2018 Shortlist comprises:


Marie-Aude Murail from France

Farhad Hassanzadeh from Iran

Joy Cowley from New Zealand

Ulf Stark from Sweden, who very sadly passed away last summer.


Pablo Bernasconi from Argentina

Linda Wolfsgruber from Austria

Xiong Liang from China

Iwona Chmielewska from Poland

Albertine from Switzerland

The Jurors in alphabetical order by country:

Lola Rubio (Argentina) – an editor and librarian

Yasmine Motawy (Egypt) – a professor of children’s literature

Eva Kaliskami (Greece) – a teacher

Yasuko Doi (Japan) – an international children’s librarian

Shereen Kreidieh (Lebanon) – a children’s publisher

Denis Beznosov (Russia) – an international children’s librarian

Andrej Ilc (Slovenia) – a publisher of adult and children’s books

Reina Duarte (Spain) – a children’s publisher

María Beatriz Medina (Venezuela) – director of the Banco del Libro and a professor

Junko Yokota (USA) – a children’s literature specialist

The profiles of the Authors of the HCAA 2018 Shortlist can be found here and the profiles of the Illustrators of the HCAA 2018 Shortlist can be found here.