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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.

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Six South African Books Make the IBBY Honour List 2018

The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) South Africa section is proud to announce that six children’s books produced locally have been included on the IBBY International Honour List 2018.

The IBBY Honour List is a biennial selection of outstanding, recently published books which celebrates writers, illustrators and translators from IBBY member countries. The IBBY Honour List is one of the central ways in which the organization furthers its objective of promoting children’s and youth literature at an international level.

The books on the Honour List will go on to be exhibited at conferences and book fairs around the world.

They will also form part of permanent collections in some of the biggest international youth libraries.

Books included on the list are representative of the best children’s literature in their country and are suitable for international publication.

Every year, nominations are submitted in the following categories;

  • excellence in writing,
  • translation or
  • illustration.

The following titles from South Africa have been included on the list for 2018:



There should have been five – Marilyn Honikman. (Tafelberg, 2016)

Language: English

This is the story of Job Maseko, one of 354 000 South Africans of all races who volunteered for service inWorld War Two. The book praises Maseko, a black South African who performed heroic work during the war, and questions why he was not awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery.

Asem – Jan Vermeulen. (LAPA, 2016)

Language: Afrikaans

’n Aangrypende grootwordverhaal oor verslawing, tweede kanse en wat dit beteken om jouself waarlik te vind. ’n Kragtoer van ’n boek wat nooit die leser met maklike antwoorde onderskat nie. Asem hoort op elke tiener se boekrak.

Akulahlwa Mbeleko Ngakufelwa –Zukiswa Pakama. (Pearson SA, 2016)

Language: IsiXhosa

Sinomtha is a talented girl who sings and can play a guitar. Help from friends and family allow Sinomtha to explore her love of music.

Her family is struggling to make ends meet after her mother lost her job, and Sinomtha often has to assist with finances by playing at gigs.


Die leeu en die muis – translated by Philip de Vos. (Humand & Rousseau, 2015)

Translation: English to Afrikaans

It is not always easy to be very small. But when a mouse decides to go and search for his own ROAR, he discovers that even the tiniest animals can have the heart of a lion. Big or small, there is a mouse AND a lion in each of us.




Imvunge yeAfrika–translated by Ndabayakhe William Zulu. (Jacana Media, 2016)

Translation: English to IsiZulu

With magical illustrations from Joan Rankin, and poetry from masterful story teller, Wendy Hartmann, the rhyme lyrically captures the magic of the African sounds of nature.

From the clicking of crickets to the crackle of the fire, follow the journey that celebrates these sounds, in the rhythm and music of Africa.

Ink – illustrated by Irene Berg, written by Ingrid Mennen. (Tafelberg, 2016)

Tinka becomes aware of words, language and writing. She names her family members one by one: her mum, her dad, her little brother Slip, sister Rosie and baby Jas. She draws a paper doll resembling a girl like herself on a sheet of newsprint. The paper doll is named “Ink”. Tinka introduces her new friend to all her favourite story books, because “A book is like a friend, with the best stories to tell”.

The final list for 2018 will be announced in September at a lavish ceremony in Athens, Greece.

See the full IBBY 2018 Honours List here. 

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Call for Membership – IBBY South Africa

At the start of a new year IBBY South Africa calls on local literary enthusiasts to join them in bringing books to the young readers of South Africa.

The International Board of Books for Young People South Africa works to promote South African children’s and youth literature so that all children can experience the joy of reading.

For more information on what we do and how we can work together please visit our website or see the image below.