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.