The International Youth Library, located in Munich, Germany, is the largest library for international children’s and youth literature in the world. Opened in 1949, it has been continuously expanded and is now recognized internationally as a centre for children’s and youth literature from all over the world. Drawing upon its unique collection, the International Youth Library mounts a variety of exhibitions on a wide range of themes every year, in the halls of Blutenburg Castle, including original works by illustrators, representative surveys of the children’s literature from different countries or cultures, and current or historical aspects of children’s literature.
While attending the 2010 Bologna Children’s Book Fair in March, we visited the International Youth Library’s (IYL) booth and perused the books in the newly announced 2010 White Ravens catalogue: books that deserve worldwide attention because of their universal themes and/or their exceptional and often innovative artistic and literary style and design. We also learned of the IYL’s plans for the 1st White Ravens Festival to be held in the summer of 2010. Although the festival seemed far away at the time, it is now set to begin – how time flies!
From July 20th to 25th, 13 authors and illustrators from Bavaria and abroad will read from their books, conduct workshops and creative writing classes, and talk about themselves and their work in podium discussions. The festival will provide space both for renowned, award-winning authors and illustrators and for new literary discoveries, and will focus on the encounters between these authors and illustrators and their audiences. Readings in English, French, Norwegian, Polish and Spanish will turn the festival into a truly international experience and the festival’s Bavarian and international contributions will serve as a bridge between different cultures.
The main festival venue will be the International Youth Library. However, the invited authors and illustrators will also be available for performances and workshops in youth and cultural centres, schools, and libraries around Bavaria during this time. Apart from open events in the afternoon and on the weekend, there will also be a special program for schools.
This is sure to be a special event and we look forward to reading more about it from those lucky enough to be there…