IBBY Announces the Shortlist for the 2016 Hans Christian Andersen Awards

HCA_Logo_72IBBY, the International Board on Books for Young People, has announced the shortlist for the 2016 Hans Christian Andersen Award – the world’s most prestigious children’s book award:

Authors: Cao Wenxuan from China, Louis Jensen from Denmark, Mirjam Pressler from Germany, Ted van Lieshout from the Netherlands and Lois Lowry from the USA.

Illustrators: Rotraut Susanne Berner from Germany, Pejman Rahimizadehfrom Iran, Alessandro Sanna from Italy, Suzy Lee from the Republic of Korea and Marit Törnqvist from the Netherlands.

The jury for this award is comprised of ten members from around the world:

Patricia Aldana from Canada/Guatemala is the 2016 jury president.  She led the jury comprising the following Lola Rubio (Argentina), Dolores Prades (Brazil), Wu Qing (China), Kirsten Bystrup (Denmark), Yasmine Motawy (Egypt), Shohreh Yousefi (Iran), Andrej Ilc (Slovenia), Reina Duarte (Spain), Susan Stan (USA) and María Beatriz Medina (Venezuela). Elda Nogueira (Brazil) represented the IBBY President and Liz Page acted as Jury Secretary.

The criteria used to assess the nominations included the aesthetic and literary quality as well as the freshness and innovation of the body of work; the ability to see the child’s point of view and to stretch their curiosity; and the continuing relevance of the works to children and young people. The Award is based on the entire body of work.

After the meeting Aldana said, “It was remarkable to work with such an accomplished jury. Despite coming from so many different cultures and backgrounds there was a surprising degree of consensus.  And it was a highly enjoyable process for us all.”

The two winners will be announced at the IBBY Press Conference on 4 April 2016 at the Bologna International Children’s Book Fair. The medals and diplomas will be presented to the winners during the 35th IBBY Congress in Auckland, New Zealand on Saturday, 20 August 2016.

About the Award

2016 is the 60th Anniversary of the Hans Christian Andersen Awards. Previous winners include: authors Erich Kästner (Germany), Astrid Lindgren (Sweden), Katherine Paterson (USA), Lygia Bojunga (Brazil) and Margaret Mahy (New Zealand).  Illustrators include Peter Sís (Czech Republic), Maurice Sendak (USA), Mitsumasa Anno (Japan), Wolf Erlbruch (Germany) and Robert Ingpen (Australia).

The IBBY members elect the Jury President during the biennial world congress and the Executive Committee elects the international jury of experts from nominations submitted by the IBBY National Sections.

The members of the Jury assess the complete body of the work in all cases. All the candidates nominated for the Award have made outstanding contributions to children’s literature in their countries and are selected by the IBBY National Sections. IBBY Canada’s nominees for 2016 were author Kenneth Oppel and illustrator Pierre Pratt.

The International Board on Books for Young People is comprised of 77 National Sections and works to bring children and books together.  It is the oldest and most highly regarded organization in the world working globally for children and books.  The Andersen Award is sponsored by Nami Island Inc.

For further information, please visit www.ibby.org.

Award-winning Canadian picture book a gift for every Syrian refugee family / Un album jeunesse canadien primé pour chaque famille syrienne réfugiée

IBBY Canada, Groundwood Books and Canada’s libraries welcome Syrian children

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 15, 2015

Sidewalk-FlowersIBBY Canada, the Canadian national section of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), is pleased to announce a special initiative: a children’s book as a gift of welcome and support for the Syrian refugee families coming to Canada, along with a card in English, French and Arabic encouraging children and their families to go to their public library where they will find so many of the resources they will need for their new lives.

IBBY Canada plans to provide Syrian families arriving here with a copy of Sidewalk Flowers, a wordless picture book with no language barriers to understanding, a visual story that can be enjoyed by children and parents.  Sidewalk Flowers, winner of the 2015 Governor General’s Award, shows a walk through a city by a father and daughter, as the little girl gathers urban wildflowers growing along the way.

For this special distribution of Sidewalk Flowers, author JonArno Lawson and illustrator Sydney Smith will be donating their royalties, publisher Groundwood Books will be foregoing any revenues, and Webcom will be donating the printing.  IBBY Canada is seeking distribution assistance for the books to reach Syrian families through the Department of Canadian Heritage.

english arabicIn the books will be a welcome letter from IBBY Canada. Also part of the welcome package for each family will be a postcard in English and Arabic or in French and Arabic, that introduces refugee families to Canada’s public libraries. The IBBY Foundation in Switzerland is supporting the printing of the cards. Libraries in Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton and Quebec are working with this IBBY initiative to make Syrian families feel welcome, and libraries in more cities across Canada are expected to join.

Patsy Aldana, president of the IBBY Foundation and founder of Canada’s National Reading Campaign spearheaded the initiative. “IBBY has a long history of providing books for children in crisis. Books are healing for children and families in difficult circumstances, and reading helps children everywhere live better lives,” said Ms Aldana.  “I’m so proud of how well IBBY Canada has executed this project.  And the response from Canadian public libraries has been wonderful. ”

IBBY (the International Board on Books for Young People) is committed to bringing books and children together. Founded in 1953, IBBY is an international network represented in over 70 countries. IBBY’s Children in Crisis projects have helped children in 25 countries in post-conflict and post-natural disaster situations. IBBY Canada was formed in 1980 to promote Canadian children’s literature; members include authors, illustrators, librarians, booksellers, educators, and publishers.

For more information, please contact promotions@ibby-canada.org

IBBY Canada, Groundwood Books et les bibliothèques canadiennes souhaitent la bienvenue aux enfants syriens


Sidewalk-FlowersIBBY Canada, la section nationale de l’Union internationale des livres pour la jeunesse (IBBY), est heureuse d’annoncer une initiative spéciale : un livre pour enfants sera remis comme cadeau de bienvenue et comme soutien pour les familles syriennes réfugiées qui viennent au Canada. Ce livre sera accompagné d’une carte en anglais, en français et en arabe qui va encourager les enfants et leurs familles à se rendre dans leur bibliothèque publique où ils trouveront beaucoup de ressources nécessaires dans leurs vies nouvelles.

IBBY Canada planifie de remettre aux familles syriennes qui arrivent ici un exemplaire de Sidewalk Flowers, un livre sans paroles qui grâce à une histoire racontée visuellement n’offre aucune barrière linguistique à la compréhension, cette histoire peut être appréciée par les enfants et par leurs parents. Sidewalk Flowers a remporté le Prix littéraire du Gouverneur général de 2015 pour l’illustration; on y voit un père et sa fille qui font une promenade dans une ville, alors que la petite fille cueille des fleurs sauvages qui poussent sur le chemin.

Pour cette distribution spéciale de Sidewalk Flowers (page couverture), l’écrivain JonArno Lawson et l’illustrateur Sydney Smith vont faire don de leurs droits d’auteur, l’éditeur Groundwood Books va renoncer à ses revenus et Webcom va couvrir les coûts pour l’impression. IBBY Canada a demandé du soutien au Ministère de Patrimoine canadien pour la distribution des livres devant rejoindre les familles syriennes.

french arabicUne lettre de bienvenue d’IBBY Canada sera incluse avec les livres. Dans le colis de chaque famille, on trouvera aussi une carte postale en anglais, en français et en arabe qui présentera les bibliothèques publiques canadiennes aux familles réfugiées. La Fondation IBBY (IBBY Foundation) de Suisse soutient l’impression des cartes. Des bibliothèques de Toronto, de Vancouver, d’Edmonton et du Québec travaillent activement avec cette initiative d’IBBY pour que les familles syriennes se sentent bien accueillies. Des bibliothèques de plusieurs autres villes doivent se joindre au projet.

Patsy Aldana, présidente de la Fondation IBBY (IBBY Foundation) et fondatrice de la Campagne pour la lecture a mené cette initiative. « IBBY a une longue histoire de fournir des livres pour les enfants en crise. Les livres apportent un baume aux enfants et aux familles dans des circonstances difficiles et la lecture aident les enfants partout au monde à vivre une vie meilleure. » a déclaré Mme Aldana. « Je suis si fière de la façon dont IBBY Canada a mis ce projet en œuvre. De plus, la réaction des bibliothèques publiques du Canada est formidable. »

IBBY (Union internationale les livres pour la jeunesse) favorise la rencontre des enfants et des livres. Fondée en 1953, IBBY est un réseau international représentant plus de 70 pays. Les projets Enfants en crise (Children in Crisis) d’IBBY ont apporté du soutien à des enfants de plus de 25 pays dans des zones affectées après des conflits ou après des catastrophes naturelles. IBBY Canada a été fondé en 1980 pour faire la promotion de la littérature canadienne pour la jeunesse; ses membres sont des auteurs, des illustrateurs, des bibliothécaires, des libraires, des enseignants et des éditeurs.

Pour plus d’informations, veuillez contacter promotions@ibby-canada.org

INVITATION: Launch of IBBY exhibit Silent Books: Final Destination Lampedusa

invitation-launch-Silent-Books-TorontoPlease join us for the Toronto launch of Silent Books: Final Destination Lampedusa, an international touring exhibit of wordless picture books.

Monday, November 2, 2015
Reception 6:30, Launch 7:00
North York Central Library, Toronto Public Library, Auditorium
5120 Yonge Street (north of Sheppard)

Hosted by Shannon Babcock, President, IBBY Canada; Vickery Bowles, City Librarian, Toronto Public Library; Alessandro Ruggera, Director,  Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Toronto; Deborah Soria, Silent Books Project Director, IBBY Italia

In honour of the exhibit, original art by Sydney Smith from the Canadian wordless picture book Sidewalk Flowers will be on display.


In response to the waves of refugees from Africa and the Middle East arriving on the small Italian island of Lampedusa, the International Board on Books for Young People (through IBBY Italia) is working to establish the island’s first children’s library, to be used by young migrants and local children. To build the library’s collection, IBBY Italia gathered outstanding wordless picture books from 23 countries.

To showcase the library, Silent Books: Final Destination Lampedusa, an exhibit of more than 100 renowned wordless picture books, has been touring around the world. Following stops in Italy, Mexico and Austria, in Canada the Silent Books exhibit has travelled to Edmonton (August 28 to September 18), Vancouver (October 1 to 22) and Toronto (November 2 to December 11).

These wordless picture books have a universal language of images and art, bypassing age, culture and language barriers, to offer readers a unique but shared reading experience.

Children’s book creator John Martz is Illustrator in Residence at Toronto Public Library

JFIR logoIBBY Canada program honours illustrator Joanne Fitzgerald

September 29, 2015 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: IBBY Canada and the Toronto Public Library are pleased to announce that children’s book creator John Martz is the 2015 Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence. John Martz’s residency will be at the Northern District Branch (Yonge & Eglinton) for the month of October.

John Martz has illustrated children’s picture books including A Cat Named Tim and Other Stories (Koyama Press), Black and Bittern Was Night (Kids Can Press), and Dear Flyary (Kids Can Press). He has also illustrated comic books, web comics and iPad picture books, and was the founding editor of the illustration blog Drawn.ca.

John Martz’s Illustrator in Residence schedule includes a series of workshops, art activities for children’s class trips to the library, visits to high schools and colleges, and portfolio reviews with individual artists. The Northern District Branch art gallery will feature John Martz’s and Joanne Fitzgerald’s artwork.

“The Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence Program launched at the Toronto Public Library in 2013, and has become a key event in the children’s book community,” said Shannon Babcock, president of IBBY Canada.

“Toronto Public Library is pleased to once again host the program at our Northern District Branch,” said Vickery Bowles, City Librarian. “This is a wonderful opportunity that provides people of all ages and stages with meaningful experiences, connects artists and supports the city’s creative and cultural communities.”

The Illustrator in Residence Program is a collaboration between IBBY Canada and the family of Joanne Fitzgerald (1956–2011), honouring the award-winning illustrator whose books include Plain Noodles, Emily’s House, and Doctor Kiss Says Yes.

The Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence Program offers a published children’s book illustrator a month-long residency in a public library. The Program honours the memory of Joanne Fitzgerald (1956–2011), whose booksinclude Plain Noodles, Emily’s House, and Doctor Kiss Says Yes, winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award.  The Program is a joint project of IBBY Canada, Toronto Public Library and the Canadian Urban Libraries Council, with financial support from Joanne’s family.

Toronto Public Library is one of the world’s busiest urban public library systems. Every year, 19 million people visit our branches in neighbourhoods across the city and borrow 32 million items. To learn more about Toronto Public Library, visit our website at torontopubliclibrary.ca or call Answerline at 416-393-7131. To get the most current updates on what’s happening at the library, follow us on Twitter @torontolibrary.

IBBY, the International Board on Books for Young People (www.ibby.org), founded in 1953, is an network of organizations in over 70 countries, committed to bringing books and children together. IBBY Canada (www.ibby-canada.org) promotes quality French and English Canadian children’s literature nationally and internationally.

For more information, please contact:

Helena Aalto
Promotion Officer
IBBY Canada