Malaysia Focus Guest Post – IBBY President Ahmad Redza on “Celebrating Diversity Through Multicultural Children’s Literature”

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Peter Duke moderating Yusof Gajah's session at AFCC 2013Continuing our series of guest posts by author Peter Duke about the Malaysia-focused/perspective presentations at this year’s AFCC.

Peter has written a number of children’s books that have been published under the name Peter Worthington by the exciting Malaysian publisher Oyez!Books. Originally from the UK, Peter has lived and worked in different countries in Asia, including Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia. He first served in the British army and was global partner of a major management consultancy firm until his retirement.


Ahmad Redza

IBBY President Ahmad Redza at 2013 Asian Festival of Children's Content (AFCC)

Ahmad Redza, who is currently the President of IBBY (the International Board on Books for Young People), gave a very polished presentation on his chosen subject. He made the point a number of times of his firm belief that children and books together create a greater understanding of different races, cultures and religions.
He stressed that children are our future and by bridging the gap through literature we create a platform for peace. A well-illustrated picture book can be read and understood in any language. Literature serves as a powerful vehicle for helping children understand themselves, their communities and the world.

‘Children in crisis’ is an important IBBY project. The key thrust of this is to bring knowledge through books and literature to children who are recovering from trauma caused by earthquakes, rebellion, loss of citizenship and being separated from their parents and often being driven from their homes. Reading, and learning to read, can bring peace of mind and help in a child’s recovery. But just giving a child a book is not sufficient; he or she needs to be taught how to use a book to gain greatest benefit from them.

In conclusion Redza reiterated his belief that through literature, children can bridge the gap between races, religions and cultures across countries and make the world a better place for all.

Then, at the end of his talk Redza also gave a brief overview of IBBY and its roles and projects.

Happy International Children’s Book Day!

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Internatioal Children's Book Day 2013It’s International Children’s Book Day! Since 1967, on or around Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday, April 2, International Children’s Book Day (ICBD) is celebrated to inspire a love of reading and to call attention to children’s books.

Each year a different National Section of IBBY is the international sponsor of ICBD. That section decides upon a theme and invites a prominent author from their country to write a message to the children of the world and a well-known illustrator to design a poster. These materials are then used in different ways to promote books and reading. Many IBBY Sections promote ICBD through the media and organize activities in schools and public libraries. Often ICBD is linked to celebrations around children’s books and other special events that may include encounters with authors and illustrators, writing competitions or announcements of book awards.

For 2013 the sponsor is the USA section of IBBY (USBBY) and the theme is “Bookjoy around the World”. The 2013 poster (shown above) was designed by Ashley Bryan and a high resolution image of it can be downloaded here. The 2013 message (which you can read here) was written by Pat Mora. To learn more about Ashley Bryan, Pat Mora, the term “Bookjoy”, click here to read the 2013 International Children’s Book Day brochure.

Latest news on IBBY regional and international conferences and more! Mark your calendars.

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

IBBY logo International Board on Books for Young People

paw_sm3The IBBY press conference at the 2013 Bologna Children’s Book Fair will take place March 25 at 2:30 pm. Highlights will include:

~ IBBY Documentation Centre of Books for Disabled Young People
~ IBBY Projects (including the the IBBY Children in Crisis Fund and the IBBY-Yamada Programme)
~ International Children’s Book Day 2013
~ 2013 Selection of Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities
~ 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Awards

paw_sm3The United Arab Emirates Section of IBBY (UAEIBBY) will organize the First International Board on Books for Young  People Conference for the Region of Central Asia and North Africa (CANA): Bringing Books and Children Together in Sharjah, UAE,  April 21 – 23, 2013.

paw_sm3The Indonesian Section of IBBY (INABBY) has announced the  1st Asia and Oceania Regional IBBY Congress to be held in Bali, Indonesia, May 23 – 26, 2013.

paw_sm3The USA section of IBBY ( USBBY) is sponsoring the 10th IBBY Regional Conference: BookJoy Around the World in St. Louis, MO,  October 18 – 20, 2013.

paw_sm3IBBY Cuba will be hosting the Congreso Internacional Lectura 2013: para Leer el XXI  to be held October 22 – 26, 2013 in Havana, Cuba.

paw_sm3IBBY India and Association of Writers and Illustrators for Children (AWIC) is organizing The International Conference on Literacy Through Literature to be held in New Delhi, India, February 6 – 8, 2014.

paw_sm3The IBBY 34th International Congress: May everyone really mean everyone. Reading as an inclusive experience will be held in Mexico City, Mexico, September 10 – 13, 2014. Submissions are now being accepted for a special issue of Bookbird to coincide with the Congress. Papers are welcomed that examine texts for children from Mexico or the Latin American world as they relate to or intersect with the conference theme. See Bookbird’s website at for full submission details.

paw_sm3The 33rd IBBY Congress took place this past summer in London and a selection of videos of some of the plenary and other sessions are now available on the Congress website. Click here to watch them. Hopefully PaperTigers Editor Marjorie Coughlan’s session Escaping Conflict, Seeking Peace: picture books that relate refugee stories, and their importance will be uploaded soon so that those of us that couldn’t attend can enjoy her presentation.

Nov. 2012 IBBY European Newsletter Now Online!

Friday, November 30th, 2012

The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) European Region’s November 2012 newsletter can now be read online by clicking here.

Welcome to Poetry Friday!

Friday, June 29th, 2012



Everybody has a song,
be it short or be it long,
in the right or in the wrong key,
Like the hee-haw of a donkey,
Twitter, tweet, tu-whit, tu-whoo,
howl or growl or quack or moo.
Don’t be silent
nor afraid,
you must sing
as you’ve been made.

Translation by Stan Dragland of the South African poem “Elke outjie…” by Philip de Vos

Welcome, everybody, to this week’s Poetry Friday, which we are delighted to be hosting.  Please leave comments below with links to your “songs” and I’ll be updating this post throughout the day.

The above poem comes from the joyous anthology Under the Spell of the Moon: Art for Children from the World’s Great Illustrators.  This superb book, first published by Groundwood in Canada in 2004, then in the UK in 2006 by Frances Lincoln, is now available for the first time in paperback (Frances Lincoln, 2012). Produced by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), the book is edited by erstwhile President of IBBY and founder of Groundwood Patsy Aldana, and has a thought-provoking Foreword by award-winning author Katherine Paterson.  It provides a fantastic showcase of 32 illustrators from across the globe, who have all donated their work to benefit IBBY – indeed 12.5% of the book’s proceeds go to IBBY.  Illustrators include Piet Grobler, who illustrated the poem cited above, as well as many others of my personal favorites such as Mitsumasa Anno (Japan), Peter Sís (Czech Republic/USA), Anthony Browne (UK), Isol (Argentina), Pulak Biswas (India), Luis Garay (Nicaragua) – and the book has also introduced me to many illustrators whose work I intend to explore further…

Each illustrator was asked to “illustrate a text of his or her own choosing, be it a poem, nursery rhyme, song, piece of prose, riddle or street game.”  The result is a wonderfully eclectic gathering of mostly verse that is given in its original language, sometimes incorporated into the artwork, and, where necessary, in English translation: and indeed a special shout-out must go to Stan Dragland’s virtuoso translations.  The quirkiness of the collection probably comes from this freedom of choice given to the global spread of illustrators: so each page turn brings a surprise, both in text and artistic style.  The one thing that links every page is the joie de vivre of the texts and the virtuosity each illustrator has brought to his or her contribution.

And now we turn to the eclecticism of the Poetry Friday gathering – what a joy it is to be hosting today!


Blythe revisits Peter Pan via Helen Marshall’s Skeleton Leaves.

Mary Lee has been as amazingly creative as ever: “I’m recycling words this week. I made a Wordle of some poems I wrote recently, then used only the words I found in the Wordle to create a new poem.”

Renee LaTulippe shares a video reading by Lori Degman (1 Zany Zoo) of her poem “A Snake Ate My Homework”, plus an interview with Lori and follow-up resources.

Liz Steinglass has four witty couplets animal couplets that I know will have me chuckling for the rest of the day.

Robyn Hood Black is “offering something hot and something cold from H. D. (Hilda Doolittle)” to help counter the heatwave in the US.

Joy has been posting poems all week based on her recent field trip to the Tambopata Research Center in the Amazonian rainforest – today she has A Room in the Jungle and challenges us to write a poem about “My Room”.

Tara brings sunshine to Poetry Friday with her focus today on Sunflowers, a poem by Mary Oliver, including a video reading.

Diane has a full platter of offerings – at Kurious Kitty’s Kurio Kabinet she has a very satisfying poem, “Perpetual Between” by Maggie Dietz; there’s a neat quotation from J. Patrick Lewis at Kurious K’s Kwotes; and an ekphrastic poem about “Degas’s Laundresses” by Eavan Boland at Random Noodlings.

Steven Withrow has a new poem, Cormorant that will have you grabbing the binoculars and heading for the sea, in your mind’s eye if you can’t manage it in reality.

Jama has a fabulous, lip-smacking feast today – oodles of brown-ness as well as a proposal for the UPS man… Excuse me while I go and raid my secret stash!

Heidi shares Denise Levertov’s What My House Would Be Like If It Were A Person as she reflects on her imminent move to a new home.

Irene Latham shares her favorite beach poem, along with her own poetic descriptions accompanying photographs of both of Florida’s coasts following a recent research trip.

Laura Shoven commemorates a very special meeting with Chu Chen Po’s Hedgehog: “I’ve been teaching the poem “Hedgehog” for years, but I met my first hedgehog last week. It was love.” Check out the beautiful photos too.

Carol shares Linda Pastan’s “To a Daughter Leaving Home” because her oldest son is moving to Phoenix to attend junior college today.

Jeff has a review of Out on the Prairie, a rhyming book set in South Dakota’s Badlands region.

Violet Nesdoly has an ode to a summer storm, “Lightning”, in a dramatic string of haiku format.

Linda Baie has a great review of our fellow-blogger Greg Pincus’ ebook The Late Bird, a collection of fifty of his witty, funny and thought-provoking poems first featured on his blog.  Go Buy!  (In her Poetry Friday post, Linda also asks us to take a look at her previous post – I’m glad she did – it’s a review plus giveaway of what looks set to becomg a very important book for teens feeling vulnerable because of their sexuality – The Letter Q.)

Andi at A Wrung Sponge has an original haiku with one of her equally beautiful photographs.

April Halprin Wayland says of her post over at Teaching Authors: “We teach you how to write a Hidden Words poem and give you a pretty stinky example of one I wrote. (We’re also announcing our latest book giveaway winner and talking about taking your writing to a different locale to refresh your creativity.)”  – And by the way, it’s not a “stinky” example at all!

Tabatha Yeatts focuses on James Flecker’s work today.

Iphigene continues Gathering Books’ focus on the Festival of Asian Literature and the Immigrant Experience with Emma Lazarus’ poem The New Colossus.

Janet Squires takes a look at Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature by Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Beth Krommes.

Karen Edmisten has “some rambling”! This post about posting about poetry will make you smile and nod!

Father Goose aka Charles Ghigna has some new snickersome snickers – “a few for the funny bone”.

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater has a wonderful original poem about an imaginary mechanic.

Donna has “written about farming the land this week to add to my Tugging of Tides poem…”

Betsy has been inspired by Mary Lee’s Wordle idea (see above) and Teachers Write Camp.

Kerry Aradhya highlights the rhyming picture book Subway by Anastasia Suen and Karen Katz.

Lorie Ann Grover has an original haiku “Puckered Pear” (such a great title!).

Julie Larios is on a Poetry Roller Coaster at Books Around the Table (her critique-group blog):  “I offer up some thoughts about the up-and-down nature of my love of poetry, and I post a poem by William Jay Smith titled “Moon” which is not about the moon at all.”

Ruth brings us extracts from Wordsworth’s Tintern Abbey “in honor of the nature on our vacation”.

Jone has been inspired to write Summer Room by Joy Acey’s call at the beginning of the day to write a poem about “My Room” (see above).

Greg Pincus points to his interview on Katie Davis’ podcast  in which he talks “about poetry (and self-pubbing poetry, too). Ya… a self-reflexive Poetry Friday!”

What a wonderful Poetry Friday gathering – a veritable feast.  I know the day’s not over yet in some parts of the world so if any more links come in, I’ll update them on my morrow… in the meantime, happy reading!

IBBY’s Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities Exhibit ~ Oakland, CA, USA

Monday, January 9th, 2012
Do you live in the Oakland, CA, USA region? If so, Oakland University is hosting an exhibit of  IBBY’s Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities that would be well worth attending. Here’s the press release:
Oakland University will exhibit a collection of rare books featuring a variety of illustrative styles and tactile reading experiences for readers with disabilities. Some books are presented in Braille with embossed pictures, others are made of cloth and still others have attached pieces intended for readers to handle.On loan from the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), the Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities collection will debut at an open house from 4-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 10,in OU’s Educational Resource Lab. The lab is located in Pawley Hall on the campus of Oakland University.The books in the collection – which feature special needs topics, characters and designs – promote understanding and knowledge, as well as foment ideas for the publication and promotion of new books in the field.Linda M. Pavonetti, chair of OU’s Department of Reading and Language Arts and vice president of IBBY, said she is pleased to have OU included among a number of international locations the collection is sent to each year.”Many of OU’s students have had limited exposure to international books. Because of that, there is a perception that the U.S. has cornered the market for children’s publishing,” she explained. “This exhibit may be the first step in understanding that we all need to help children learn – no matter the situation or difficulties. One of the best ways of doing this is through high quality books for all children in their native languages.”

The award-winning books in the exhibit were selected from more than 130 nominees submitted by IBBY National Sections and friends of the Haug School in Oslo, Norway, where the collection of more than 3,500 books is housed. They come from nations across the globe, including Japan, Finland, France, Spain, England, Australia, United States, South Africa, Italy, Quebec, Mexico, China, Switzerland, Poland, Germany, Korea, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Iran.

“The importance of this type of collection is clear to anyone who has ever tried to find reading material for children who are visually impaired,” Pavonetti said. “Books printed in Braille, BLISS or other tactile languages are rare and expensive. They are generally not available in libraries or bookstores. Parents and teachers of hearing-impaired students also understand the need for books that mirror other children who deal with the same problems their children face on a daily basis.”

For more information on the exhibit click here.

IBBY Regional Newsletters Posted

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) has just posted the latest regional newsletters from IBBY Asian and IBBY Europe.  When you have moment, be sure to give them a read. The newsletters, which are written in English, contain a wealth of information on the events that IBBY national sections were involved with during the past year as well as plans for 2012. For those of you that are on Facebook many of the IBBY national sections now have Facebook pages. Do a Facebook search for IBBY, “like” the pages and the postings will automatically be delivered to your Facebook newsfeed.

On Traveling Libraries and Heroic ‘Book People’: Inspiring children’s books about getting books to people in remote places and difficult circumstances

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Abigail Sawyer regularly reviews books for us here at PaperTigers, and she’s also, in her own words, “a lifelong library lover and an advocate for access to books for all”, so who better to write an article for us about “unconventional libraries” and the children’s books they have inspired. Abigail lives in San Francisco, California, USA, where her two children attend a language-immersion elementary school and are becoming bilingual in English and Mandarin: an experience that has informed her work on the blog for the film Speaking in Tongues. I know you’ll enjoy reading this as much as I have.

On Traveling Libraries and Heroic ‘Book People’: Inspiring children’s books about getting books to people in remote places and difficult circumstances

My sons and I paid our first-ever visit to a bookmobile over the summer.  For us it was a novelty.  We have shelves of books at home and live just 3 blocks from our local branch library, but the brightly colored bus had pulled up right near the playground we were visiting in another San Francisco neighborhood (whose branch library was under renovation), and it was simply too irresistible.  Inside, this library on wheels was cozy, comfortable, and loaded with more books than I would have thought possible.  I urged my boys to practice restraint and choose only one book each rather than compete to reach the limit of how many books one can take out of the San Francisco Public Library system (the answer is 50; we’ve done it at least once).

The bookmobiles provide a great service even in our densely populated city where branch libraries abound.  There are other mobile libraries, however, that take books to children who may live miles from even the nearest modern road; to children who live on remote islands, in the sparsely populated and frigid north, in temporary settlements in vast deserts, and in refugee camps.  The heroic individuals who manage these libraries on boats, burros, vans, and camels provide children and the others they serve with a window on the world and a path into their own imaginations that would otherwise be impossible.

Shortly after my own bookmobile experience, Jeanette Winter‘s Biblioburro (Beach Lane Books, 2010), a tribute to Colombian schoolteacher Luis Soriano, who delivers books to remote hillside villages across rural Colombia, arrived in my mailbox to be reviewed for Paper Tigers.  I loved this book, as I do most of Winter’s work, for its bright pictures and simple, straightforward storytelling. Another picture book, Waiting for the Bibiloburro by Monica Brown (Tricycle Press, 2011), tells the story of Soriano’s famous project from the perspective of one of the children it serves, whose life expands beyond farm chores and housework thanks to Soriano and his burros.

I was moved, of course, by Soriano’s story, which got me thinking about another favorite picture book my children found at our branch library a few years ago: That Book Woman by Heather Henson (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2008) is a fictionalized account of one family’s experience with the Pack Horse Library Project, a little-known United States Works Progress Administration program that ran from 1935-1943.  The Pack Horse librarians delivered books regularly to families living deep in Kentucky’s Appalachian Mountains.  In this inspiring story (more…)

2012 Hans Christian Andersen Award Candidates Announced by IBBY

Monday, May 16th, 2011

The Hans Christian Andersen Awards are presented every two years by IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) to an author and an illustrator whose complete works have made an important and lasting contribution to children’s literature. IBBY National Sections from 33 countries have made their selections and submitted 28 authors and 31 illustrators as candidates for the 2012 Hans Christian Andersen Awards. The winners will be announced at the IBBY Press Conference at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair on Monday, 19 March 2012.

First Issue of IBBY Asian Newsletter!

Monday, April 18th, 2011

The first issue of IBBY Asian Newsletter has come out and is definitely a must read! This newsletter belongs to all national sections in Asia: from the Middle East to the Far East, and contains a wealth of information and photos. Following the decision of the Asian national sections’ gathering at the 2010 IBBY Congress, two issues of this newsletter will be published each year (April and September).

Included in the April 2011 issue are:
• Report from Australia
• IBBY India’s activities
• News from Iran
• JBBY describes its wide ranging activities
• KBBY reports
• Alif Laila Book Bus Society Brings Children and Books Together!
• Palestinian IBBY