A selection of 100 books for children and young people in Arabic from different countries in the Arab-speaking world is now available in English. The list was originally in French and was collated by the Arab World Reading Committee of the journal Takam Tikou, which brings together professionals from different horizons: the French National Library / IBBY France, the Institute of the Arab world, Libraries of the City of Paris... IBBY Ireland is very proud to have been involved alongside IBBY France, IBBY UK and IBBY Europe in the English translation of this exceptional catalogue.
Organised by genre and in alphabetical order by title in English, this guide also includes a few translations into Arabic of books originally published in different languages, to encourage the building of bridges between languages and cultures.
The selection will be presented in the Frankfurt Bookfair later this week, but the PDF can be downloaded, right away, on the IBBY Europe website, for free.
And don't forget that on the same website you can find recommendations of great books for children and young people written in all the languages spoken in Europe, including the main languages spoken by migrant or refugee families such as Dari, Farsi and more. What better way to say 'Welcome' than with a book in a language the young new arrivals understand?
Here are the 9 titles making up IBBY Ireland's shortlist for the IBBY Honour List 2018!
Every two years, the national sections of the International Board on Books for Young People are invited to select books from their country to be featured in the prestigious Honour List in three categories: Writer, Illustrator, Translator. A fourth nomination can be added when more than one language is spoken in the country.
This is the first time in six years that IBBY Ireland have entered their nominations of Irish-published books selected by a panel of independent experts and we are delighted to share our shortlist with you today.
All the Honour Books will be included in a specially produced catalogue and showcased at the IBBY International Congress in Athens (August-September 2018), the 2019 Bologna Book Fair, as well as in the permanent collections of the International Youth Library in Munich, the Swiss Institute for Child and Youth Media in Zurich, Bibiana in Bratislava and the Japanese Board on Books for Young People.
Needless to say that the selected books will get plenty of attention way beyond Ireland!
Stay tuned for the announcement of our final nominees soon!
To find out more about the Honour List, head over here.
''Artists may not be able to change regimes, influence governments or save the migrants, but they can raise awareness of a reality that has become part of the contemporary socio- political environment. As visual storytellers and communicators, we can continue to pose questions and challenge indifference in the work we make, highlighting the positive impact that the migration of peoples, cultures and ideas has had across the globe.''
Such was the brief illustrators the world over were given by the Biennial of Illustration Bratislava and the International Centre for the Picture Book in Society, United Kingdom. And the response was immediate and overwhelming with close to 200 postcards featuring in the exhibition, illustrated, designed and sent from all the corners of the globe in an attempt to ''focus attention on the plight of thousands of children and their families who, under oppressing regimes, violence and poverty, are forced to migrate to safer places in the world''.
This exhibition was supported by IBBY.
A director on the Illustrators Ireland Board and IBBY Ireland member, Margaret Anne Suggs was in Bratislava recently attending the Biennial of Illustration, where she gave an illustrated presentation on the topic of 'The Identity of the African-American Child in 20th Century Picture books'. Here she kindly gives us permission to reproduce the abstract of her talk, which should give us all plenty of food for thought...
''In America, many groups claim their motherland, or their ancestral home as part of their identity, such as the Irish-Americans, the Italian-Americans, or the African-Americans. While most European immigrants “have been comfortably assimilated into the cultural mainstream”1, African-Americans have not easily assimilated as they are immediately recognised and separated by their skin colour. African-Americans have made an epic journey from being sold as slaves to being a vital part of the fabric of American society and in children’s books today, there is a growing and healthy emphasis on depicting a multiracial American society. But how did that change throughout the 20th century because unfortunately, the illustrations that are found of African-Americans in children’s books have not always been positive?
''In very early examples such as Little Black Sambo, 'Negroes' were often shown as minstrels or ‘golliwogs’ and language used in the writing of the story tended to be derogatory towards people of colour. By the late 1950s, books including minority characters begin to appear in shops and libraries, but they were often still written, illustrated, edited, and published by white people and language was carefully chosen to avoid any offense to minorities. It was truly the examples from the 1960s, as a direct result of the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, that began to show multiracial societies authentically represented through illustration. Finally, by the 1990s, Black people began to appear in children's book illustration as self-appreciating, proud people sometimes using colloquial dialects in the writing of the texts.
''Children’s books of recent years show a greater mix of races, more shades of skin colour, many hair textures, and the joining of Black and White families. The previously skewed “notions of what was beautiful, appropriate, uplifting, or authentically Negro” have changed and are now being reflected positively and imaginatively in the illustrations, themes, and language of children’s books. This is only one step in the right direction for diversity in children's literature. Hopefully there are more to come.''
Margaret Anne Suggs
Twelve illustrators were chosen to represent Ireland in the 2017 Biennial of Illustration
Bratislava (BIB), “one of the oldest international honours for children’s book illustrators”. The
BIB exhibition is held in conjunction with the IBBY Institute Bratislava Conferences and the BIB
Margaret Anne Suggs, a director on the Illustrators Ireland Board and
IBBY Ireland member, presented at a talk at the IBBY Conference: The Identity of the African-
American Child in 20th Century Picture Books.
This was Ireland’s first time submitting illustrations to the award and they were warmly
welcomed by the BIB/ IBBY committee and the Slovak Government.
The illustrators who were chosen to represent Ireland were: Sarah Bowie, Michael Emberley,
Jennifer Farley, Tatyana Feeney, Brian Fitzgerald, Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick, Olivia Golden, PJ
Lynch, Shona Shirley Macdonald, Lauren O'Neill, Margaret Anne Suggs, and Olwyn Whelan. IBBY Ireland was honoured to be part of the selection process before the summer.
The 2017 Grand Prix winner was Ludwig Volbeda from The Netherlands.
This September sees the release of Muroe Leaf and Robert Lawson's The Story of Ferdinand from publishers Faber & Faber. A classic first published in 1936, it has never been out of print in its native US, but this is its first UK publication, to tie in with the feature film out later this year.
Readers may well be familiar with the story of this flower-loving bull who has no interest in fighting in the bull-ring. But did you know that this book also holds a particular place in the history of IBBY?
In 1946, Jella Lepman (IBBY's main founder and inspiration) set up the first International Youth Book Exhibition in Post-War Germany. The Exhibition featured children's books donated by publishers from all over the world as well as art produced by children from America, France, England, Sweden, Switzerland and of course Germany. The Exhibition was an instant hit in a country where children were as starved of food as they were of stories.
During the Berlin leg of the tour in December 1946, Lepman became overwhelemed with the pleas of young visitors who came 'begging for books' and struck on her newest idea: she decided to translate Ferdinand into German and get it printed on newsprint. Overnight, 30,000 copies were produced and, in the days following Christmas, distributed to eager young readers. In A Bridge of Children's Books (O'Brien Press for the Irish edition), Lepman wrote:
Ferdinand was a spectacular success. His creator should have won the Nobel Peace prize. Soon the story of Ferdinand could be heard being told on every street corner in Berlin. The first edition was out of print the wink of an eye, and not even a copy remained for the files. We paid dearly to buy some back from the black market, where Ferdinand finally wound up as a prize object.
Years later, after establishing the International Youth Library and the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), and working further afield in the developing countries of the Middle East, Lepman could write that 'in many parts of the world children were holding books in their hands and meeting over a bridge of children's books.' The Story of Ferdinand, now translated into over 60 languages, is one of them.
The Silent Books are standing, leaning and lying proud in their latest home. The exhibition of wordless picture books from around the world has reached the last leg of its Irish tour, Tralee Library in Kerry, ready to wow the county’s children and adults.
After the launch by the Mayor of Tralee tomorrow, local primary school pupils will browse the exhibition and step into the shoes of refugees, for whom the books were originally collected by IBBY for the library on the island of Lampedusa. Imagining the challenges facing those who are forced to flee their countries and begin a new life, children will then create their own ideal nations, complete with flags, laws and national anthems.
All are welcome to the Silent Books exhibition, on display until June 16th in Tralee: a wonderful celebration of the power of picture books to tell stories that transcend words.
This weekend, IBBY Ireland will be taking part in Listowel Writers' Week, the National Children's Literary Festival in County Kerry. On Saturday 3rd June, from 3.30pm, pop into the Town Park for a free treasure hunt using books from around the world. Look for clues, 'visit' countries and continents, and don't forget to get your special passport stamped at each destination! Find out more on the festival website here. And check out the rest of the events which include talks and workshops with the likes of Holly Webb, Nick Sharratt, PJ Lynch, Oísin McGann, Sarah Webb, Cathy Cassidy, Mags Suggs and more. More info here.
Not many people get the chance to rule a country. And looking at the world today, some of those who do could have used better training. But tomorrow’s world looks brighter, at least if Irish children have their way. With the help of IBBY Ireland, primary school pupils in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown and South County Dublin have been creating nations - inventing new countries with laws, languages, flags and holidays, not to mention national puddings.
These 'Nation Creation' workshops are accompanying the Silent Books exhibition on its tour of the country’s libraries from Dublin to Kerry. With the help of writer Debbie Thomas and illustrator Tatyana Feeney, young nation builders begin by stepping into the shoes of refugees such as those arriving on the Italian island of Lampedusa from Africa, Asia and the Middle East, where the exhibition has its permanent home.
Children explore how Silent Books, with their universal stories beyond words, can comfort, educate and entertain those traumatised by war, persecution or natural disasters. They imagine the feelings that might accompany forced migration: from fear, anger and loneliness to more positive possibilities such as relief and the hope of a better future.
Groups then design their own ideal nation, naming and drawing the country and making its flag out of felt with colours and shapes that symbolise the country’s values or history. We’ve had pineapples representing health and natural abundance; magical, pure unicorns, and white circles of peace.
Laws range from the unsurprising - sweets every day, optional schooling – to the impressive free housing, taxes to pay for health care, bartering systems to replace money, internet regulation, gender equality and bans on guns and drugs. More disconcertingly, while kindness is often enshrined in law, the penalties are anything but: life imprisonment or even public execution.
Still, on the whole the future looks good in Ireland – as long as it’s ruled by under-18s.
You can catch up with the Silent Books Exhibition in dlr LexIcon until May 29, and in Tralee Library from 2-19 June.
The Great Reads Award, run by the School Library Association in the Republic of Ireland, was set up by a group of school librarians working in a variety of Irish second level schools who are passionate about introducing students to great books.
The aim of the award is to highlight new authors and diversify the reading of young adults. It’s also an opportunity for students to voice their enthusiasm about good writing for their age group at a time during the school year when examinations are less pressing.
The GRA organizers are now looking for nominations. The books have to answer the following criteria:
(a) Fiction with YA protagonists;
(b) Published between January 2016 and May 2017;
(c) Début authors to fiction or established authors who are new to the YA scene;
(d) Works written in English or translated into English (this includes authors who may have already published YA works in their own language but were translated into English for the first time.) Submissions must be suggested to a school librarian for consideration or to firstname.lastname@example.org