UK bursaries for the 36th IBBY World Congress, Athens, 2018

In 2018, IBBY UK will again be supporting two of its members to attend the World Congress in Athens, Greece, 30 August  - 1 September 2018, where the theme is East meets West around Children’s Books and FairyTales

There are two bursaries available. On this occasion, one is for anyone working towards a degree in creative writing or illustration with a particular interest in writing or illustration for children; and the other is for anyone with an established interest in children’s books and literacy or the work of IBBY. We would particularly welcome applications from translators of children’s books since the Congress includes a section on translation. It is intended that at least one bursary will go to an applicant aged under 35; and special consideration will be given to applicants who are intending to offer to give a paper or poster session at the Congress. These do not have to be academic papers but can be reports on ongoing projects (including writing and illustration) with relevance to the theme of the Congress.  Members of the IBBY UK Committee will be supported separately to attend the Congress.

Previous bursary holders are not eligible to apply but previously unsuccessful applicants are welcome to make new applications.

Auction to the benefit of IBBY’s work with Central American Children

The renowned Canadian publishing house Tundra Books is turning 50! To celebrate they asked some of their illustrators to decorate the back of a limited edition Tundra50 tote bags. Tundra then set up an online auction for everyone to bid on these unique bags - great for carrying your books…

Tundra generously announced that all proceeds from this special auction will be donated to IBBY for the benefit of IBBY’s projects with the children of Central America. See the IBBY website for news and images from the outstanding Library of Dreams in El Salvador.

The auction closes on Friday, 28 July. 

Go to: to secure your artwork and support IBBY.

Hurry to place your bids and secure your one-of-a-kind work of art from your favourite picture book artist!

Happily Ever After - Call for Papers

IBBY UK’s annual conference will be held on Saturday 11th November at the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education, 44 Webber Street, London SE1 8QW.

Save the date! Booking will open at the beginning of September.

The theme is Happily Ever After: The Evolution of Fairy Tales Across Time and Cultures.

Our keynote speaker is Professor Vanessa Joosen, University of Antwerp. Other speakers will be announced soon.

Our call for papers is now open. See below for details. Closing date for proposals July 31st 2017.

Call for papers on the theme of Happily Ever After: The Evolution of Fairy Tales Across Time and Cultures

  • The same fairy tales often appear across different cultures. How and why does this happen?
  • Should fairy tales be updated – or even subverted – to appeal to modern audiences?
  • How have fairy tales evolved as they’ve been retold across the centuries?

The conference will include keynote presentations by writers, publishers and academics. Proposals are welcomed for parallel sessions (lasting about 20 minutes) on any relevant issues from any period in the history of international children’s literature. These might include:

  • variations in fairy tales across cultures
  • campfires to apps – how fairy tales have been shared across time
  • how fairy tales are viewed through a feminist lens
  • whether fairy tales are inclusive for readers of all backgrounds
  • the challenges that modern tellers of fairy tales face
  • how fairy tales can challenge established storytelling tropes
  • how to make an old story feel new

The deadline for proposals is July 31st 2017. Please email an abstract of approximately 200 words (for a 20-minute paper), along with a short biography and affiliation to Ann Lazim of IBBY UK at annlazim[at]

Please note that only six papers can be selected due to the smaller size of this year’s venue. 

ASAHI Reading Promotion Award - Beanstalk

 The IBBY  UK Committee are delighted to nominate BEANSTALK READUP  for the ASAHI Reading Promotion Award 2018.

This award is given biannually to a non profit making group or institution whose activities are considered outstanding and making a lasting contribution to book programmes for children and young people.

Beanstalk as been training reading helpers  (volunteers) , mostly mature adults, since 1973, placing them into primary schools to work one to one, twice a week, with struggling readers, making a huge difference to these children.

In 2016, BEANSTALK introduced their READUP  programme, recognising that some children struggle to relate to and respond to adults.

READUP  pairs children with student volunteers closer to their age, from a local secondary school or college, who they can relate to more easily,and has the biggest possible impact in transforming their reading ability. This builds confidence and self esteem in both child and reader,  a trusting relationship with the child they support, and the reader sees the difference they make to the child's life.

“Primary school can be really difficult for some children, and you can be the one who transforms their education. By improving their reading ability and confidence, you can give them the skills they need to succeed in their exams and progress with confidence to secondary school.” Lewis Holmes, a ReadUp volunteer from Robert Clack 6th Form.  

The substantial award (US$  10,000) would support BEANSTALK in  expanding  into other areas of the country, and raising awareness of this programme.

IBBY wishes BEANSTALK READUP every success in this nomination.

IBBY Honour List 2018

Each IBBY member country is invited to make one nomination in each of three categories: Writing, Illustration and Translation. The books nominated need to have been first published during the last three years, ie in 2015, 2016 or 2017.

In the writing and illustration categories, the books should be considered to be characteristic of their country and suitable to be recommended by IBBY for publication in other languages. This can be interpreted very broadly and there is such a wealth of possibilities. The IBBY UK committee would like to consider putting forward books that represent the diversity of the UK.

IBBY members may make two suggestions in each category: Writing, Illustration and Translation. Please send these to annlazim[at] by 30th June 2017.

  • A shortlist will be made by members of the IBBY UK committee. These books will then be discussed at a meeting on Monday 17th July from 1.30pm onwards at the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education, Webber Street, London SE1 8QW when the selections to go forward to IBBY International will be made. All IBBY UK members are welcome to attend this meeting. Please let Ann Lazim annlazim[at] know if you plan to attend.
  • For more information about the IBBY Honour List.

BookTrust Lifetime Achievement Award 2018

BookTrust’s Lifetime Achievement Award is an honour awarded annually to a children’s writer or illustrator whose body of work, in the opinion of the panel of judges, merits recognition for a lifetime’s achievement in children’s literature. The prize is managed by BookTrust and comes with an Honorarium of £5,000 provided by Arts Council England.
It is a separate recognition to the Children’s Laureate in that it is purely celebratory and is not attached to any wider purpose of promoting children’s literature. The past recipients are: 

  • 2015 Shirley Hughes
  • 2016 Judith Kerr
  • 2017 Raymond Briggs

IBBY UK has been invited to make a nomination for the 2018 Award. Please send your nominations to Nikki Marsh[at] by Monday 3rd July (members only.


IBBY AGM & a fond farewell

Over 50 IBBY members and guests attended the IBBY UK AGM and panel discussion on Riveting Reads at Waterstones Piccadilly on Tuesday 23 May. 

The panel was chaired by Daniel Hahn, and included Helen Wang, translator of Cao Wenxuan's Bronze and Sunflower, which won the Marsh Award in January; translator Sarah Ardizzone; and Joy Court, who with Hahn is the author of Riveting Reads: A World of Books in Translation, published by the School Library Association. 

John DunneThe meeting was also an occasion to thank and say a fond farewell to John Dunne, who has been a member for 25 years and has played a key role in IBBY's work and development during that time. 


IBBY Honour List Books at Portsmouth University

The illustrated books from the IBBY Honour List 2016 will make the last stop on their UK tour at the University of Portsmouth from 30th May – 9th June.
Visitors can see a preview of the books on Tuesday 30 May 12.00 - 16.00 at the University Library, Cambridge Road, Portsmouth PO1 2ST.
Afterwards they will be on display at the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries Graduate Show which takes place from Monday 5th - Friday 9th June, 10.00 - 16.00, Eldon Building, Winston Churchill Avenue, Portsmouth PO1 2DJ.
All are welcome!

UK entrants for the Biennial of Illustrations Bratislava 2017 announced

The International Centre for the Picture Book in Society based at Worcester University and IBBY UK (International Board of Books for Young People) are delighted to announce a collaboration to select UK illustrators for the Biennial of Illustrations Bratislava (BIB) 2017.

BIB is one of the oldest international honours for children's book illustrators and one of the more prestigious. Eleven awards are made, including a grand prize for unique and outstanding illustration. The work is displayed in an exhibition in Bratislava from 8 September to 29 October and a catalogue is published. In 2015 the UK had its first winner since John Rowe (1997), when Laura Carlin won the Grand Prix award and a BIB Plaque went to Levi Pinfold.

As part of their shared commitment to diversity and promoting awareness of the international children’s book world, this collaboration is seen by both ICPBS and IBBY UK as a very important step. IBBY Chair, Pam Dix, says, “ I am very keen to increase awareness of the Bratislava award in the UK particularly because of the status it awards to children’s illustration. I look forward to this being an on-going collaboration between our two organisations”.

Each country can enter a maximum of 15 participants who can then submit up to 10 illustrations from up to 2 books. Piet Grobler, Joint Course Leader for Illustration at Worcester, says, “hard choices had to be made but I am delighted and excited by these entries”. Piet, himself, was an award winner at Bratislava in 2003 and 2009.

  •  Illustrators selected for Bratislava 2017 by ICPBS and IBBY UK.
  • Read more about the 2015 BIB award winners.
  • First granted in 1967 to Yasuo Segawa (Japan), BIB is one of the more prestigious children's book awards today, along with Hans Christian Andersen Award.
  • Artists are selected by central organisations within each country and an international jury decides the award winners. The original artwork is exhibited in Bratislava, Slovakia. 
  • The winner of the Grand Prix BIB receives a financial award of 3.000 USD; the five Golden Apples BIB receive 1.500 USD each; and the five BIB Plaques receive 1.000 USD each. 
  • BIB is sponsored by UNESCO and the Ministry of Culture, Slovakia.
  • The exhibition includes a programme of events, including a seminar for artists from developing countries.


The Branford Boase Award is given annually to the author of an outstanding debut novel for children. Uniquely, it also honours the editor of the winning title and highlights the importance of the editor in nurturing new talent.

Now in its seventeenth year the Branford Boase Award is recognised as one of the most important awards in children’s books with an impressive record in identifying authors with special talent at the start of their careers. Previous winners and shortlisted authors include Siobhan Dowd, Meg Rosoff, Mal Peet, Philip Reeve, Frank Cottrell Boyce and Patrick Ness; last year’s Costa Book Award winner Frances Hardinge won with her debut novel Fly By Night in 2006. The shortlist for the 2017 award is as follows:

  • Cogheart by Peter Bunzl, edited by Rebecca Hill (Usborne)
  • We Are Giants by Amber Lee Dodd, edited by Niamh Mulvey (Quercus)
  • Little Bits of Sky by S.E. Durrant, edited by Kirsty Stansfield (Nosy Crow)
  • The Bubble Boy by Stewart Foster, edited by Rachel Mann (Simon and Schuster)
  • The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave, edited by Rachel Leyson (Chicken House)
  • Beetle Boy by M G Leonard, edited by Barry Cunningham and Rachel Leyson (Chicken House)
  • Riverkeep by Martin Stewart edited by Shannon Cullen and Sharyn November (Penguin Random House)

The rules for the Branford Boase Award state that the award is for the most promising book for children aged seven and up by a first novelist. The author may have published books in another genre but eligibility requires that this be their first novel for children. Two books longlisted for the 2017 award, Eden Summer by Liz Flanagan and Orangeboy by Patrice Lawrence, were discovered to be ineligible and were withdrawn as the authors have previously written short novels for children.

The winner of the 2017 Branford Boase Award will be announced on Wednesday 5th July at a ceremony in London. Frances Hardinge will present the winner with a cheque for £1,000 and both author and editor will receive a unique, hand-crafted silver-inlaid box.

MIGRATIONS: Call to artists


From 09 to 30 September 2017, the International Centre for the Picture Book in Society (ICPBS) will host an exhibition in collaboration with BIBIANA, the International House of Art for Children in Bratislava, Slovakia. The exhibition, titled MIGRATIONS, will coincide with the Biennale of Illustration in Bratislava (BIB) and its symposium.

MIGRATIONS hopes to draw attention to the plight of thousands of children and their families who are, as a result of oppressive regimes, violence or poverty, forced to migrate to safer places in the world. 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 through our work, at the same time highlighting the positive impact that the migration of peoples, cultures and ideas has had across the globe.

An installation of between 100 and 200 postcards (or more!) from illustrators all over the world will make up one half of the exhibition. Each of these will show a migrating bird, ‘flying’ or ‘perching’ in a room in BIBIANA. This installation will in itself emphasize that culture and ideas migrate across human borders, barriers and bans. Well-known picture book illustrators such as Isol from Argentina, Roger Mello from Brazil, Shaun Tan from Australia, Laura Carlin and Petr Horacek from the UK and Marit Törnqvist from the Netherlands have already agreed to take part.

A catalogue of the postcards will accompany the exhibition and will include a foreword by Shaun Tan, the 2011-winner of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. This installation will complement a series of illustrations created by the staff and selected alumni of the University of Worcester, UK, and its International Centre for the Picture Book in Society in response to the theme: Migrations.


Young Ambassadors for Inclusion - A new project by Inclusive Minds

Inclusive MindsInclusive Minds have announced a plan to help support real change and ensure authentic inclusion in children’s books.

An innovative crowdfunding project will give a voice to children and young people – the people who know most about what they want to see represented in books and how – and enable them to share valuable experiences with those who would like help ensuring authenticity.

Where real inclusion in books is concerned, thorough research is vital. Inclusive Minds will develop an extensive network of Ambassadors for Inclusion.  These are young people of all ages with experience of marginalisation who can share their unique expertise (covering all facets of diversity) with the book world.


Bridging Worlds. Reaching Out to Young Refugees With Books and Stories

Bridging Worlds. Reaching out to Young Refugees with Books and StoriesThe very first European Regional Conference Bridging Worlds. Reaching Out to Young Refugees With Books and Stories will take place in Bologna on the last day of the Children’s Book Fair: Thursday, 6 April.  

The programme includes an overview of the current situation worldwide, and there are three panels looking at issues related to libraries, to books and to the IBBY Silent Books collection. There are opportunities for the IBBY Europe National Sections to share activities and learn from each other. We also aim to develop a section on the current IBBY Europe website for sharing information, resources and looking at future activities.

The meeting will take place at the fairground in the Sala Concerto on the first floor of the Services Centre (block D) starting from 9am.


Sarah Crossan’s One selected for IBBY Disability List

One by Sarah Crossan

Sarah Crossan’s Carnegie Medal winner One is one of four IBBY UK nominations to be included in the international IBBY List of Outstanding Books for Children with Disabilities 2017. The other three are Cece Bell’s outstanding autobiographical graphic novel, El Deafo, and two of Dorling Kindersley’s ground breaking tactile braille reference book series, Counting and It Can’t Be TrueEl Deafo was also nominated by USBBY (the USA section of IBBY) and since it was first published in the US will appear in the list as a US nomination.

The complete international list will be unveiled at the Bologna Book Fair in April and IBBY UK will be offering the books as a touring collection in the UK in 2018. IBBY UK nominated 23 books for the list on this occasion and, because we would like to mark the progress that UK publishing is making in the representation of disabled young people, our nominated books will be touring alongside the international list.

If you or your institution is interested in receiving the book collections in 2018, please contact please contact Sue Mansfield.


IBBY UK at London Book Fair

IBBY UK are pleased to announce two seminars during London Book Fair 2017.

Tuesday 14 March
 13.00 – 14.00, Club Room, National Hall Gallery

Do pictures travel? Is there a European picture book aesthetic? 

This joint seminar with IBBY UK, the British Council and IBBY Poland, this year's Market Focus, will consider the role of pictures in books in translation. In some cases, illustration is the driving factor in a book's international success, whilst in others pictures don't seem to ‘travel’ to new climes. This seminar will explore picture book aesthetic and whether or not pictures can cross borders to find homes in new countries. 

The panel includes Aleksandra & Daniel Mizielinski, illustrators of the widely-successful Maps (published by Dwie Siostry in Poland and Big Picture Press).  Kasia Domańska (Dwie Siostry) and Lisa Edwards (Templar and Big Picture Press) will discuss the success of this book and the different considerations both UK and Polish publishers think of when buying or selling rights abroad. Polish illustrator Marta Ignerska will also join UK illustrator Sara Fanelli in a discussion about their work and the idea of picture book aesthetic in relation to their countries. Ignerska is a three-time winner of Bologna Ragazzi Awards and is known for the creative verve she brings to illustrating and designing her books. Fanelli is an Italian-born British illustrator, whose work has received international recognition including the National Art Library Illustration Award for Pinocchio. The event will be chaired by Duncan Partridge of the English Speaking Union.

Wednesday 15 March
11.30 – 12.30, Children’s Hub 

Story and Illustration: Ways to create unique children’s books

Although children’s books usually take shape in a collaboration between a writer and an illustrator, there are also books written and illustrated by the same person: a ‘writer-illustrator’. What are the challenges for this kind of creative process? What does the book gain from it? What issues arise for a foreign publisher when acquiring rights for this kind of a book? Writers-illustrators from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – the Baltic Countries’ top names in the children’s literature scene – will discuss their different experiences.

Estonia will be represented by Piret Raud – the country’s most-translated children’s author, who began her writing career as an illustrator; Lithuania will be represented by the famous illustrator and writer Kęstutis Kasparavičius, whose works are translated into 26 languages worldwide; Latvia will be represented by illustrator, Art Academy of Latvia lector R?ta Briede and creator of the Bikibuks children’s book series.

These leading children’s books authors and illustrators from the Baltic Countries will discuss the challenges of creating texts and illustrations for children. Do Baltic authors have their own unique ‘formula’ for children’s books? And do their books differ from those in the UK? The event will be chaired by Pam Dix, IBBY UK.

This session will look at what it means to create children’s books and literature – it is a challenge that requires keenness, creativity and courage. Children are the most demanding audience. Stories for children must be as real as we can imagine and conjure up.

IBBY Honour List 2016 on tour

IBBY Honour List 2016

The books chosen for the illustration section of the IBBY Honour List for 2016 are touring the UK during January-June 2017.

52 books chosen by IBBY members from Armenia to Venezuela as being examples of the best recent publishing in their country are visiting the following venues:

  • 9 January - 22 January: Brighton University School of Education Curriculum Centre
  • 23 January - 3 February: Roehampton University Library
  • 6 February - 3 March: Cambridge University, Homerton College Library
  • 6 March - 31 March: Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children’s Books, Newcastle
  • 2 May - 23 May: Plymouth Library Service for Schools
  • 29 May - 10 June: Portsmouth University School of Art and Design

Read more about the 2016 Honour List

Download a catalogue of the Honour List 

Read about the IBBY UK nominations for the Honour List

For more information about how to see the books during their visit, please contact IBBY UK at membership[at]


Bologna Best Children’s Publisher of the Year Prize 2017


We are thrilled to announce that Lantana Publishing has been nominated for the Best Children’s Publisher of the Year 2017, administered by the Bologna Children’s Book Fair!

The Bologna Prize for Best Children’s Publisher of the Year "acknowledges the most significant publishers in each of the six areas of the world: Africa, Central and South America, North America, Asia, Europe and Oceania." Lantana Publishing are one of five publishers nominated in the Europe category – and the only publisher from the UK!

Last year’s winners were:

AFRICA: Bumble Books di Publishing Print Matters; ASIA: Kalimat dagli Emirati Arabi Uniti; EUROPE: Andersen Press; NORTH AMERICA: Groundwood Books; SOUTH AMERICA: Ediciones Ekaré; OCEANIA: Book Island.


Long-serving IBBY member Patricia Crampton dies aged 90

Patricia Crampton

Patricia Crampton sadly passed away on the 1st December at her home in Calne, Wiltshire after a lifetime dedicated to translation. She was involved with IBBY in the UK and internationally from the 1960s onwards and is especially associated with the Hans Christian Andersen Awards. 

Patricia was a lively, engaging person with a marvellous sense of humour who made friends far and wide. Her intellect and enthusiasm for children’s books and especially the importance of translation made her a formidable advocate for the role of translators. Patricia successfully argued the case for translators receiving a share of the payments based on library borrowings when the Public Lending Right was introduced in the UK.

Born in Bombay in 1925 (where she learnt Hindi) her family returned to England in 1930. Patricia studied modern languages at Oxford University and at the age of 22 she became a translator at the Nuremburg trials in Germany. Patricia spoke nine European languages and amongst others translated books by Paul Biegel, Anne Holm, Astrid Lindgren and Gudrun Pausewang. She also translated Dick Bruna’s Miffy books and although they sold worldwide in Dutch he did not think they could be easily translated into English. Patricia proved him wrong and the translations made his books even more popular in homes and libraries throughout the English speaking world. 

Patricia was very involved throughout her life in IBBY and was also the UK representative on the Hans Christian Andersen Jury for the 1976 and 1978 awards and then president of the Jury for the 1984 and 1986 awards. The role of juror and then president of the Jury required considerable work and dedication in evaluating so many novels and picture books from National Sections. She was also a frequent attendee at international Congresses and was especially pleased to see so many friends worldwide when the Congress was hosted in London in 2012.  

During her lifetime she translated more than 200 children’s books and 50 adult books (including Thor Heyerdal’s The Ra Expeditions). She won many prizes including the Marsh Award in 1999 for her translation of Gudrun Pausewang’s The Final Journey and the Eleanor Farjeon award in 1991 for outstanding services to children’s books. She was also awarded the Fédération Internationale des Traducteurs Medal for worldwide services to translation. 

Patricia’s funeral took place on Monday 12th December in her home town of Calne on what would have been her 91st birthday. Her family chose a photo for the cover of the order of service which summed up her sense of commitment and enjoyment, featuring Patricia with a glass of wine partly hidden by a copy of The New Oxford English Dictionary



Melvin Burgess and Jane Ray nominated for HCA awards

Author Melvin Burgess, noted for his sometimes controversial work for young adults, and the talented illustrator Jane Ray have been nominated by IBBY UK for the international Hans Christian Andersen Awards 2018. The Awards are the most prestigious in the international children’s book world and presented every other year by the International Board on Books for Young People. They honour a “living author and illustrator whose complete works have made a lasting contribution to children's literature”.

Melvin and Jane have been writing and illustrating for children and young people for more than twenty years. Melvin’s 1996 book Junk won both the Guardian Award and the Carnegie Award, an achievement shared only by five other writers. Its unflinching portrayal of the lives of young squatters in 1980s Bristol is widely recognised as extending the boundaries of fiction for young adults. Jane is as adept illustrating her own texts as she is the work of other writers and is perhaps best known for her luminous and intricate illustration of traditional tales and her sensitivity to culturally diverse ways of looking at the world.

Pam Dix, the Chair of IBBY UK, said, “We are very excited to be nominating two such highly respected contributors to the UK children’s literature world and look forward to working with them during the nomination process and holding an event with them later in 2017.”

The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) is a non-profit organization which represents an international network of people committed to bringing books and children together. There are 75 national sections including IBBY UK, all of which can make nominations for the awards, which are judged by an international jury. Five books for each nominee are submitted for consideration by the jury. The books, chosen by Melvin and Jane and IBBY UK from all their work, are: 

Melvin Burgess

Melvin Burgess, Bloodtide, The Cry of the Wolf, Junk, and Lady,  published by Andersen Press; and Kill All Enemies, published by Penguin.

Jane Ray, Ahmed and the Feather Girl, Frances Lincoln; The Little Mermaid and Other Fishy Tales, Boxer Books; and illustrations for Kevin Crossley-Holland, Heartsong, Orchard Books; Berlie Doherty, Classic Fairy Tales, Walker Books; and Carol Ann Duffy, The Lost Happy Endings, Bloomsbury.

Jane Ray HCA

The shortlists for the awards will be announced in January 2018 and the winners at the Bologna Book Fair 2018. The Awards will be presented to the winners at the 36th IBBY World Congress, in Istanbul, Turkey in September 2018.

Previous UK winners of the author award are: Eleanor Farjeon (1956), Aidan Chambers (2002) and David Almond (2010). Last year’s winner was Cao Wenxuan (China). Previous British winners of the illustrator award are Anthony Browne (2000) and Quentin Blake (2002). The 2016 winner was Rotraut Susanne Berner (Germany).

For more information contact John Dunne: j.f.dunne[at]


IBBY UK Christmas card out now

Jane Ray Christmas Card 2016

This year’s IBBY UK Christmas card is an illustration from Jane Ray’s The Nutcracker which illustrates the opening scene: “The Front Door was flung wide to welcome guests to the Ernst family Christmas party. Friends and relatives, young and old, all came, stamping the snow off their boots and greeting each other with hugs and laughter”.

Jane’s card is available now to order at £6 (inc. postage and packing) for a pack of ten.

  • Previous card designs by Axel Scheffler, Jackie Morris and Jan Pienkowski are also available as individual packs of ten.
  • There are also multipacks of ten containing three cards each by Axel Scheffler and Jackie Morris, and two cards each by Jan Pienkowski and Jane Ray. 
  • A pack of 10 cards costs £6 (inc p & p).

To purchase by credit card, debit card or PayPal, please visit our online shop. Or to pay by cheque, please send your request with a cheque made payable to IBBY UK to: IBBY UK, 2
Goodison Close, Fair Oak, Hampshire SO50 7LE. 


Marsh Translation Award new shadowing scheme

The Marsh Children's Literature in Translation Award recognises the important role that translators play in opening up the world of literature to young readers. The award was founded to celebrate the best translation of a children's book from a foreign language into English and aims to identify the high quality and diversity of translated fiction available. The winning translator is awarded £3000.

The shortlist will be announced on 20 October at 2pm - you can buy tickets to the event here which will also feature a panel discussion on the theme of Diverse Voices.

This year, schools are invited to join the new shadowing scheme, the English-Speaking Union’s My Marsh competition, which celebrates the best of children’s literature in translation. Pre-registration is now open and you can find out how to get involved here. The  competition will open on October 20 and schools will have until the closing date of December 2016.

For more information, visit:

Livres sans paroles - destination Lampedusa

1. ibby-lampedusa-2016.jpg

Penni Cotton of IBBY UK and the NCRCL is working with IBBY France and IBBY Italia on a conference at Montolieu - the village of books - between 7-9 October 2o16. As part of the event children will work with local illustrators to create their own silent books to be shared with the children of Lampedusa, the Italian island which is the arrival point for many refugee families from Africa and the Middle East.

Call for Entries to Golden Pinwheel Young Illustrators Competition

illo comp*** Deadline 2 October 2016***

The organisers of Shanghai International Children’s Book Fair (CCBF) are honoured to invite you to take part in the second CCBF Golden Pinwheel Young Illustrators Competition. For this new edition, the Golden Pinwheel Awards are featuring a series of changes designed to make the programme more inclusive, representative and helpful to the young artist community. Emerging artists need as many opportunities as possible to introduce themselves to the global publishing community and to other industries that rely on their creativity and skills to flourish. This year, new rewards and prizes are being brought in by our publishing and licensing partners. 

About Golden Pinwheel Competition 2015

About 200 candidates from 16 countries and regions took part in the first edition of our young illustrators’ competition. A panel of seven judgesmet in Shanghai to select 50 finalists and chose the laureates of the main prizes.

All the laureates’ and finalists’ artworks were exhibited in a special showcase held at the fair and are also reunited in the 2015 Golden Pinwheel Young Illustration Artworks Catalogue available here.

More than 20,000 people visited the showcase and voted to elect their favorite artist. The exhibition gave great exposure to the illustrators.

Nicholas John Frith wins inaugural Klaus Flugge Prize

Nicholas John Frith has won the inaugural Klaus Flugge Prize for the most exciting and promising newcomer to children’s picture book illustration. He won for his book Hector and Hummingbird (Alison Green Books), about a spectacled bear and his noisy best friend.

"The shortlist featured six skilful and talented illustrators but Hector and Hummingbird is something very special’ said Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell, judge for this new prize, "We were particularly impressed with the way Nicholas John Frith creates the characters of Hector and Hummingbird through his illustrations, and the relationship between them is completely convincing. It’s certainly a very stylish book to look at, but the characterisation won it for us. Children will love these two heroes, it’s a book with heart!" 

Frith explains he found inspiration for the characters close to home: "Hector, a bear who appreciates peace and quiet, is based on my wife, who is distinctly Hector-like when she comes home after a busy day at work and has to cope with me, desperate to chat à la Hummingbird after a day alone in my home studio!" 

Trips to the Natural History Museum in Tring, where there are displays of spectacled bears and hummingbirds, also provided inspiration! Frith names mid-century illustrators Dahlov Ipcar, Roger Duvoisin and Leonard Weisgard as influences and, like them, used a demanding technique known as preseparation, creating separate pieces of art for each colour used in the book. The result is illustration that feels both nostalgic and thoroughly contemporary.

The Klaus Flugge Prize was founded to honour publisher Klaus Flugge, a supremely influential figure in picture books, who this year celebrates the 40th anniversary of his publishing house Andersen Press. Klaus Flugge discovered and nurtured many of today's most distinguished illustrators including Chris Riddell, fellow judge Tony Ross, and David McKee, creator of Elmer the Elephant.

Reflecting on the prize and the winner, Tony Ross said: "Judging illustration is always subjective, and often tricky, especially when the overall standard is high, as it was with the first Klaus Flugge Award, so Klaus, I hope you are as happy with the winner as we are."

The other judges were Professor Martin Salisbury Course Leader, MA Children’s Book Illustration at the Cambridge School of Art, and Ferelith Hordon, former chair of the CILIP Carnegie Kate Greenaway Medals and editor of Books for Keeps. Julia Eccleshare, children’s books editor of the Guardian, children’s director of the Hay Festival and head of Public Lending Right policy and advocacy was chair of the judges.

Nicholas John Frith received his award at a ceremony in London on Tuesday 6th September 2016 and was presented with a cheque for £5,000 by Chris Riddell.


Jacqueline Wilson’s Katy among IBBY UK’s nominations for the 2017 Disability List

IBBY UK has selected twenty three recently published books to put forward for IBBY’s international List of Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities 2017.

The selection was made by a panel of Clive Barnes, Becky Butler, Suzanne Curley and Carol Thompson, advised by inclusion consultant Alex Strick ( The nominations include books specifically published or thought suitable for children with disabilities and books which feature disabled characters.

This is the largest number of titles ever put forward by IBBY UK for this list and reflects the growing number of published books which feature disabled children and young people as protagonists or major characters. They were selected from a preliminary list over twice as long and include Jacqueline Wilson’s updating of the Susan Coolidge classic, Sarah Crossan’s Carnegie winning title One, Julia Donaldson’s What the Jackdaw Saw, and Cece Bell’s autobiographical novel El Deafo.

The panel would like to thank all those publishers who put books forward for nomination or who agreed to their books being considered by the panel.

IBBY UK’s nominations will be considered alongside nominations from other IBBY national sections for inclusion in the final international list which will be announced at the Bologna Book Fair next year.

An exhibition of the books on the international list in 2015 toured several venues in the UK earlier this year, visiting The Story Museum, Oxford; The Hive, Worcester; Seven Stories, Newcastle; and Brighton University School of Education. A report on this tour will be available later. It is planned to tour the 2017 collection in the UK in 2018.

Hans Christian Andersen Awards 2018

IBBY UK Members 
Hans Christian Andersen Awards 2018 Nominations

It's time for IBBY UK members to forward their nominations for the Hans Christian Andersen Awards 2018! 

The Hans Christian Andersen Awards are the most prestigious international awards for writing and illustrating for children. They are awarded every two years by IBBY internationally and they are for the whole body of a writer or illustrator’s work rather than any particular book. The winners of the 2016 Awards are author Cao Wenxuan from China and illustrator Rotraut Susanne Berner from Germany. Previous UK winners of the award are authors Eleanor Farjeon (1956), Aidan Chambers (2002) and David Almond (2010); and illustrators Anthony Browne (2000) and Quentin Blake (2002).

The recipients of the Awards are decided by an international jury from nominations made by the IBBY national sections. This year, we are asking IBBY UK members to suggest nominations for the award, which the IBBY UK Committee will use as the basis for its discussion of the IBBY UK nominations.

Here is a list of recent British nominees, although there is nothing to prevent us making the same nomination more than once: 2004 Tony Ross and Geraldine McCaughrean; 2006 David McKee and Philip Pullman (shortlisted); 2008 Jan Pienkowski and David Almond (shortlisted); 2010 Michael Foreman and David Almond (winner of the Hans Andersen author award); 2012 John Burningham (shortlisted) and Philip Pullman; 2014 John Burningham (shortlisted) and Jacqueline Wilson; 2016 Chris Riddell and Elizabeth Laird.


New conference papers added

IBBY Congress 2016IBBY UK celebrates the coming together of practitioners in children's literature and reading promotion across the world. Our main events are the biennial IBBY International Congress (the next one is 18-21 August in New Zealand) and our own IBBY UK/NCRCL Conference which is held every year at The University of Roehampton. 

Take a look at our past papers and presentations which are available from our website. Anthony Robinson's topical paper Belonging or Not: Roots and Consequences is now available for download.


The Young Muslim Writers Awards


The Young Muslim Writers Awards are back! Each year YMWA runs a writing competition for children aged between 5 and 16 to celebrate their creativity and writing talent.

Short stories and poems which are submitted are all assessed to select the top five entries from each category. These shortlisted entries are presented to our expert panel of judges comprised of distinguished poets, authors and other notable figures from the arts and media industry.

Shortlisted writers are invited to a star studded awards ceremony where the winners are announced and the guests are entertained by special performances.


Klaus Flugge Prize shortlist announced!

The Klaus Flugge Prize

The shortlist for the inaugural Klaus Flugge Prize was announced last week (Thursday 9 June 2016). Set up to honour publisher Klaus Flugge, founder of Andersen Press and a key figure in children’s picture books, this important new award is for the most promising and exciting newcomer to children’s picture book illustration.

From a longlist of twenty picture books by debut illustrators an expert panel of judges comprising Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell; Tony Ross, the UK’s biggest selling children’s illustrator; Professor Martin Salisbury of the Cambridge School of Art; and Ferelith Hordon, editor of Books for Keeps and IBBYLink, selected a shortlist of six.

A varied shortlist includes three books starring different but equally feisty, characterful little girls; an unusual information book about the creatures of the ice age, told by a little bison; the story of a friendship – between bear and hummingbird – that comes under pressure; and a collection of stunning portraits of wild animals by a self-taught artist.

The six books are:

  • Too Many Toys by Heidi Deedman (Walker Books)
  • Hector and the Hummingbird by Nicholas John Frith (Alison Green Books)
  • The Girl with the Parrot on her Head by Daisy Hirst (Walker Books)
  • Toby and the Ice Giants by Joe Lillington (Flying Eye Books)
  • Lili by Wen Dee Tan (Fat Fox)
  • Counting Lions by Stephen Walton, written by Katie Cotton (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books)

Chair of the judges Julia Eccleshare said: “We asked the judges to consider technique and artistic ability, and they chose also to take into account the illustrators’ skill at characterisation. The discussion was lively and wide ranging and the final shortlist features exciting and extremely talented illustrators. The Klaus Flugge Prize is very important, the only one to recognise new illustrator talent at this crucial early stage in a career and we look forward to watching all six of the shortlisted illustrators develop.”

The winner will be revealed at an award ceremony in London on Wednesday 14th September 2016 and will receive a cheque for £5,000.

Celebrating 10 years of Lulu…

Lulu loves the library

In May 2016,  Lulu Loves the Library celebrates 10 eventful years in print.  Since 2006, Lulu, the pint-size, book-loving hero – has won our hearts. We've also been delighted by the arrival of her little brother Zeki.  

Lulu loves books. They inspire her play and imagination – all those who read her stories find her an inspiration too. The books have been praised for being ‘naturally inclusive’ – Lulu doesn’t need a reason to be a star  in her own story! 

This combination of warm, child-friendly, inclusive stories, simple text and utterly charming illustrations has made Lulu a huge success in the UK. Sales in the USA reached one million dollars this year, and Lulu is also a hit in  the Netherlands, Denmark, Brazil and Korea, selling over 300,000 copies worldwide.

Independent publisher Alanna Books celebrates 10 years of Lulu with the publication in paperback for the first time of  Lulu Loves Flowers in May 2016.  Shortlisted for the 2015 Green Earth Book Award, the hardcover had rave reviews.  May 2016 also sees a celebratory edition of Lulu Loves the Library & Multi-language CD (listen to the story read in 
English and over 20 other languages). 

  • Anna McQuinn has been devouring stories ever since she was a little girl. She has worked as an editor, publisher and writer for over 25 years and is the author of more than twenty books for children. Anna was quite a contrary child and she’s excited that her favourite childhood poem is the basis for Lulu’s newest adventure.
  • Rosalind Beardshaw loved drawing form a very early age. She spent many rainy afternoons visiting art galleries. She spent sunny afternoons in her grandfather’s garden, blowing kisses and the flowers. Rosalind has illustrated many books for children including Mole’s Babies, Just Right for Two, The Fairiest Fairy, Warthog and Box.
  • For information please contact: Nicky Potter: nicpot[at] or tel: 020 8889 9735 • Alanna Books Email: info[at] or tel: 01753 573245  

Meg Rosoff wins the ALMA!

Meg RosoffIBBY UK are thrilled to congratulate author Meg Rosoff for winning the 2016 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.

The jury’s citation reads:

Meg Rosoff’s young adult novels speak to the emotions as well as the intellect. In sparkling prose, she writes about the search for meaning and identity in a peculiar and bizarre world. Her brave and humorous stories are one-of-a-kind. She leaves no reader unmoved.

Meg Rosoff made her authorial debut in 2004 with the dystopian YA novel How I Live now, which became an immediate success. Since then she has written six more YA novels, several picture books, and a novel for adults. Her collected body of work is richly varied and profoundly affecting for readers of all ages.

Rosoff writes about young people in the borderlands between childhood and adult life who face difficult trials in their quests to find themselves. At times they are pushed to the brink of the unbearable and beyond. Her protagonists battle questions of identity and sexuality and are thrown involuntarily into chaotic situations. Like Astrid Lindgren, Rosoff empathizes completely with young people and is utterly loyal to them. The adult world, when it appears, remains on the periphery. She uses concrete, vibrant language, whether she is describing a landscape, a piece of clothing, or the groceries in the pantry. She infuses darkness with humor to produce stylistic masterpieces.

In What I was (2007), questions of body, identity, and gender, the confusions of falling in love, and the desire and sexuality of the young all come to a head as the narrator sets out to find himself and choose a path different from the one laid out for him by the adult world.

At times, as in Just in Case (2006), reality and fantasy almost merge, so that we are hard-pressed to say what is ”really” happening. In There is no Dog (2011), things get truly crazy when a hormonal teen is given the job of the great Creator.

Meg Rosoff is the recipient of numerous prizes, including Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, Carnegie Medal and Deutsche Jugendliteraturpreis. Her books have been translated into more than 20 languages and she became Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2014.

The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award will be presented in a ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall on May 30, 2016.

  • The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) is the world's largest award for children's and young adult literature. The award, which amounts to SEK 5 million, is given annually to a single laureate or to several. Authors, illustrators, oral storytellers and reading promoters are eligible. The award is designed to promote interest in children's and young adult literature. The UN convention of rights of the child is the foundation of our work. An expert jury selects the laureate(s) from candidates nominated by institutions and organisations all over the world. The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award was founded by the Swedish government in 2002 and is administrated by the Swedish Arts Council.

Andersen Press wins The Bologna Best Children's Publisher Of The Year

ElmerAndersen Press has won the Bologna Best Children's Publisher of the Year Prize in the European category, becoming the first ever UK publishing house to win the prestigious award. The independent publishing house beat off fierce competition from Denmark, Poland, Portugal and fellow UK publisher Flying Eye to win the 2016 award in their 40th anniversary year.

The Bologna Best Children's Publisher of the Year Prize (BOP) acknowledges the most significant publishers in each of the six areas of the world: Africa, Central and South America, North America, Asia, Europe and Oceania. Instituted by Bologna Children's Book Fair in partnership with the Italian Publishers Association - the prize is awarded to those publishers who have most distinguished themselves for their creative and publishing excellence over the year, showing originality as well as professional and intellectual skills.

The winners were chosen by the publishing houses participating in the Bologna Children's Book Fair, based on the nominations they send in, along with those of Publishers Associations and book and reading institutions throughout the world. Six prizes are awarded each year, one for each geographical area of the world.

HCA Awards and IBBY Asahi Award announced!

HCa 2016IBBY is proud to announce the winners for the 2016 Hans Christian Andersen Award – the world’s most prestigious children’s book award and the IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award - awarded  to two groups or institutions whose outstanding activities are judged to be making a lasting contribution to reading promotion programmes for children and young people.

Congratulations to:

Hans Christian Andersen Award Winners:

IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award 

The medals and diplomas will be presented to the winners during the 35th IBBY Congress in Auckland, New Zealand on Saturday, 20 August 2016.


Picture This! Illustration Competition

Picture this!Picture this! The Worldwide Picture Book Illustration Competition is an initiative of Lemniscaat Publishers and the International Centre for the Picture Book in Society (UK).

Are you a new inspiring, unique picture book artist? If so, please send three of your most unique illustrations that together tell a story.

  • The story might already exist or be one of your own. Include the text that goes with each illustration and give a short synopsis (not more than 250 words of the whole story). Send it as a Word document.
  • The illustrations should not have been published before.
  • Any technique or medium could be used.
  • You may enter only if you have not published an entire picture book with a trade publisher before. You are, however, allowed to enter if you have published educational books or other forms and genres before (e.g. in a poetry anthology, adult fiction, book covers, etcetera). 
  • Illustrators from countries other than the United Kingdom, South Africa, Germany and the Netherlands and Belgium are also allowed to enter for the competition by uploading to any of the organising countries. For the sake of easy communication for all jury members, your text has to be in English.
  • Upload your entry, with accompanying text, before May 15 2016 on If you pass the first (digital) selection, you will be asked to send us hard copies of your work.

A professional jury will select the three best entries in the Netherlands, Belgium, South Africa, Germany and the United Kingdom. The results will be announced on in June 2016. Winners will be informed by email.

The works of the twelve winning artists will be part of a travelling exhibition, which will be shown in the participating countries. The final selection will be published in an international catalogue and presented to several leading picture book publishing houses at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair 2017, thus giving the artists an excellent opportunity to find commissions.

Picture this! is an initiative of Lemniscaat Publishers (NL) and the International Centre for the Picture Book in Society (GB). The competition is supported by Protea (ZA), Walker Books (GB), Boje Verlag (DE), Lemniscaat Publishers (NL) and the International Centre for the Picture Book in Society (GB).


Little Rebels Shortlist for 2016

Letterbox LibraryWe are proud to announce the Little Rebels Shortlist for 2016! There are 6 books on the shortlist this year. All stood out as literary rebels on the children’s literature scene for books published in 2015.

As always all can be bought from the award administrators, Letterbox Library, a specialist children’s booksellers who are also a not-for-profit and a workers cooperative. (And, during #littlerebels season -April to June- the shortlisted books are also listed at a special price).

The Little Rebels judges are meeting this month and the winner will be announced at the London Radical Bookfair on 7 May 2016 at the Alliance of Radical Booksellers’ new fair venue, Goldsmiths University. You can keep on top of the fair at [at]ARBRadBookfair. The event is FREE and open to all. 

This award is run voluntarily and unfunded by Letterbox Library on behalf of the Alliance of Radical Booksellers (ARB). To keep this award (and the sister, adult, award Bread & Roses) running, we do ask you to buy from Letterbox Library or from other ARB members  wherever possible. Thank you.


International Children's Book Day

 International Children's Book Day 2016Since 1967, on or around Hans Christian Andersen's birthday, 2 April, 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 has the opportunity to be the international sponsor of ICBD. It decides upon a theme and invites a prominent author from the host country to write a message to the children of the world and a well-known illustrator to design a poster. These materials are 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.

The sponsor for International Children's Book Day for 2016 is Brazil. You can read the story accompanying the poster here.

  • Current and past posters are available from the IBBY Secretariat. A catalogue of posters and messages that have appeared between 1967 and 2002, created on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of IBBY is also available.

Yamada Bee Farm competition!

BeeThanks to our generous and long-time sponsor, the Yamada Bee Farm, IBBY has been able to support many projects and workshops around the world. 

In 2013 the Yamada Bee Farm launched a competition that invites participants to illustrate around the subject of bees.  The 2016 competition is the fourth contest in the series and is open to everyone.  We would like you to encourage your children to take part.  



New multicultural publisher wins USA award

Lantana, a publisher dedicated to promoting cultural diversity in children’s books, has won a major US Award in its first year.

Chicken in the Kitchen by Nnedi Okorafor and Mehrdokht Amini, one of three picture books published by Lantana last year, has won Best Book for Young Children at the Africana Book Awards 2016.

The Africana Book Awards are awarded by the African Studies Association (USA) for books on Africa available for purchase in the U.S. The awards are designed to encourage the publication of accurate, balanced children’s materials on Africa, to recognize literary excellence and to acknowledge the research achievements of outstanding authors and illustrators.

The founding directors of Lantana, Alice Curry and Caroline Godfrey, said, “We are incredibly proud that Chicken in the Kitchen, the first book Lantana signed, is being honoured in this way.”

Chicken in the Kitchen tells the story of Anyaugo, a young Nigerian girl who is visited in her kitchen by a mischievous giant chicken. Jan Spivey Gilchrist, a Coretta Scott King Honor award-winning illustrator, said, “Nnedi Okorafor has written a gem of a picture book full of playful mystery, laughs and Nigerian magic.”

The award will be presented at a special ceremony at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington, DC later this year.


IBBY’s List of Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities

An invitation to nominate books for IBBY’s List of Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities 2017

Every two years IBBY compiles an international catalogue of recently published outstanding books for young people with disabilities. We seek to identify well-written and illustrated books for and about young people with different abilities, presented with dignity, emphasizing the person rather than the disability itself.  IBBY UK is now looking for nominations of books published in the UK for the 2017 catalogue and is inviting nominations from anyone interested to make nominations of books they think are suitable.

Nominations can be made in three categories:

  • books in special formats intended for young people with disabilities
  • books from the general run of publication whose presentation makes them suitable for use by young people with disabilities
  • books in mainstream publishing that portray young people with disabilities

The nominated books need to have been published in 2012 or later. And nominations should be sent to Clive Barnes at clivejbarnes[at] by 10 April 2016.

CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway shortlist announced

Amnesty CILIP HonourIBBY UK were delighted to attend the announcement of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway shortlist at Amnesty International HQ in London on Tuesday 15 March. This year's announcement includes a brand new award - The Amnesty CILIP Honour. The commendation will award one book from each list that most distinctively illuminates, upholds or celebrates freedoms. 

Amnesty have created teacher resources supporting human rights education for each title in both shortlists. Nicky Parker, Amnesty International UK’s Head of Publishing, said: ‘Books have a unique ability to inspire empathy, broaden horizons and empower young readers. We hope this award will make it easy for parents and teachers to identify books which will teach children about truth, freedom and justice and encourage them to feel they can shape a better world.’ 

This year's shortlist  is incrediby strong including Anthony Browne, Patrick Ness, Helen Oxenbury and Chris Riddell all of whom have a chance of taking home a third Medal, unprecedented in the long history of the awards. 

Sioned Jacques, Chair of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals judging panel for 2016, said: “These exceptionally strong shortlists reflect the huge range of writing and illustrating talent in children’s publishing at the moment. Questions of secrecy, lies, who we really are and how we identify ourselves are all explored in different, surprising and innovative ways. Our shortlisted writers and illustrators don’t shy away from difficult or big ideas but skilfully introduce them to young readers in ways that are gripping, moving, entertaining but always, without exception, page-turning.”

The CILIP Carnegie Medal 2016 shortlist:

  • One by Sarah Crossan (Bloomsbury)
  • The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge (Macmillan)
  • There Will Be Lies by Nick Lake (Bloomsbury)
  • The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness (Walker Books)
  • Five Children on the Western Front by Kate Saunders (Faber)
  • The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick (Indigo)
  • Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley (MiraInk, HarperCollins)
  • Fire Colour One by Jenny Valentine (HarperCollins)

The CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2016 shortlist:

  • Willy’s Stories illustrated and written by Anthony Browne (Walker Books)
  • There’s a Bear on My Chair illustrated and written by Ross Collins (Nosy Crow)
  • Once Upon an Alphabet illustrated and written by Oliver Jeffers (HarperCollins)
  • Sam & Dave Dig a Hole illustrated by Jon Klassen, written by Mac Barnett (Walker Books)
  • Something About a Bear illustrated and written by Jackie Morris (Frances Lincoln)
  • Captain Jack and the Pirates illustrated by Helen Oxenbury, written by Peter Bently (Puffin)
  • The Sleeper and the Spindle illustrated by Chris Riddell, written by Neil Gaiman (Bloomsbury)
  • Footpath Flowers illustrated by Sydney Smith, written by JonArno Lawson (Walker Books)

The winners for both the CILIP Carnegie Medal and the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal will be announced on Monday 20th June at a lunchtime ceremony at the British Library. One title from each shortlist will also be named the recipient of the Amnesty CILIP Honour. 

Join the IBBY UK Executive Committee

Calling all children's book enthusiasts! IBBY UK is looking for new members to join its executive committee. This is a fantastic opportunity for someone with experience or who wishes to gain experience as a committee member in the following areas:

  • PR, conferences and events.
  • Social media and the website.
  • Celebrating and promoting authors and illustrators in the UK and globally.
  • Advocating diversity and equity within children’s publishing.
  • Promoting books in translation and celebrating books from around the world.

Download more information here and get in touch!

2015 IBBY Selection of Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities

IBBY Collection of Books for Young People with Disabilities 2015The 2015 IBBY Selection of Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities is on display at The Story Museum in Oxford until 16th March 2016

The 2015 Selection comprises the best books submitted by National Sections of IBBY from their countries' production over the last 4 years that fit into 3 categories:

  • Specialised formats
  • Universal access
  • Portrayals of disability 

In 2015, 159 submissions were received from 27 countries and the 50 books in the current display were chosen as outstanding examples. More information about the collection and the catalogue for the exhibition which can be found on the IBBY website.


Hans Christian Andersen Awards Shortlist

Pam Dix, Nicolette Jones, Elizabeth Laird and Chris Riddell (left to right)IBBY, the International Board on Books for Young People is proud to announce the shortlist for the 2016 Hans Christian Andersen Award – the world’s most prestigious children’s book award. Congratulations to:

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 Rahimizadeh from Iran, Alessandro Sanna from Italy, Suzy Lee from the Republic of Korea and Marit Törnqvist from the Netherlands.

The shortlisted authors and illustrators were chosen from a list of 57 nominations, which included IBBY UK nominations Chris Riddell and Elizabeth Laird. We are very proud of our UK nominees - you can read their dossiers here. A big thank you for all their hard work promoting IBBY and the award through events this year.

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. 

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.

Previous UK winners of the Hans Christian Andersen Award include author David Almond (2010), Aidan Chambers (2002),  Quentin Blake (2002) and Anthony Browne (2000) .


Klaus Flugge Prize: Judges for the award announced

The Klaus Flugge PrizeSubmissions open for the inaugural Klaus Flugge Prize

An important new prize in the UK children’s book world, the Klaus Flugge Prize will be awarded to the most promising and exciting newcomer to children’s book illustration. It honours publisher Klaus Flugge, a supremely influential figure in picture books, who this year celebrates the 40th anniversary of his publishing house Andersen Press.

Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell; Tony Ross, the UK’s biggest selling children’s illustrator; Professor Martin Salisbury of the Cambridge School of Art; and IBBY UK's Ferelith Hordon, editor of Books for Keeps and IBBYLink  will form the judging panel for the inaugural Klaus Flugge Prize. Julia Eccleshare, children’s books editor of the Guardian, will be chair of the judging panel.

Julia Eccleshare said: “We are delighted to have this stellar panel of judges. They each have an extraordinary understanding of what makes great picture books, and a shared passion for picture book art. With their judgement as a guide the Klaus Flugge Prize will put talented new picture book artists in the spotlight.”

Call for Submissions

Publishers are now invited to submit for the award (for picture books first published on a children’s list in the UK in 2015). Publishers can submit up to five books from each of their picture book imprints. Books should be the illustrator’s first picture book for children. The deadline for submissions is 18th March 2016. The shortlist will be announced on 18th May 2016 and the winner will be revealed in September 2016.


IBBY Library Cards

IBBY Canada Library CardThousands of refugees are still arriving in Europe as they seek to escape from war, persecution and terrible hardship.  We, as IBBY members and supporters, need to use our skills and expertise to help them settle in their new homes.

IBBY Canada has launched an initiative to give every refugee arriving a library card using an idea that the IBBY Foundation and REFORMA produced for the US/Mexican border refugees.  The card has been made in Spanish/English, Arabic/English and Arabic/French. 

If you are interested in creating IBBY library cards in your area, please do contact us - info[at]

Your local libraries would need to agree to give every child that presents such a card a free library membership.

IBBY can give you the text and typeface, and you could approach:

  • local publishers or newspapers to print the cards;
  • local libraries to welcome the children and give them the services they need;
  • local relief organizations or refugee centres. 



Once Upon a Time...

Once Upon a Time with Elizabeth Laird and Daniel Hahn

Dindy and the Elephant

Elizabeth Laird and Daniel Hahn took part in an event on 22 November to celebrate Elizabeth as UK nominated author for the Hans Christian Andersen Award 2016, chaired by Janet Smythe, children’s programmer for the Edinburgh International Book Festival. The event was organised in partnership with IBBY and was part of the Festival’s ‘Booked!’ programme, funded by the National Lottery.

An audience of about 100 enjoyed a wide ranging discussion which started with Elizabeth talking about how delighted she is to be nominated for the HCA award – along with the Astrid Lindgren -  the most prestigious international children’s book award. She is a strong supporter of IBBY and stressed that it is the only international organisation devoted entirely to children’s books.  

Laird, whose experiences in living and travelling all over the world have strongly influenced her writing for adults with such books as The Lure of the Honey Bird: The Storytellers of Ethiopia as well as for children with The Fastest Boy in the World, and her latest fiction novel Dindy and the Elephant.

Support for Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants

Call for Support:

Children's book author Sita Brahmachari and illustrator Jane Ray have been actively working with the Islington Centre to support refugees through art and writing workshops. 

Islington Centre is an independent charity providing support and hospitality to refugees, migrants and asylum seekers who want to participate more in the country where they have found sanctuary.  

The Centre has been through some tricky times recently, due to dramatic cuts to its funding, but thanks to renewed efforts and huge energy, it remains open, just one day a week. The Centre is aiming to raise £30,000 by Christmas, in order to open for two days a week from January. 

"We watch the news and see the tragic situation of migrants and refugees on our borders and dying in the Mediterranean. Our response to the scale of this humanitarian disaster can be to feel helpless, not knowing how to respond. But right in our midst there is a place that is clearly helping so many, women and children who are simply looking for a safe place to call home.  When I visited the centre many of them told me that it was the only place of refuge for them… a life line. Please give generously." Juliet Stevenson, Actress

#ProjectKALA - Keeping African Languages Alive

Project KalaThe Pelican Post has launched its most recent venture, #ProjectKALA (Keeping African Languages Alive) at The British Library and with the help of the Guardian newspaper

The aim is to raise £6,500 in order to translate, print and ship 3,000 books into Fante for distribution in Ghana. Although local languages are being taught in schools as a child's first language, the lack of appropriate children's fiction in those languages means that many children grow up unable to read in their native tongue, despite being able to speak it.  The project and its supporters firmly beleive that storytelling in classrooms is not only key to improving literacy uptake rates and driving down poverty but also in terms of a developing a child's own imagination, confidence, aspirations and sense of self identity and net worth.

#ProjectKALA, with the help of the publisher Walker Books, will translate, print and distribute 3000 copies of Handa's Surprise into dual language versions (Fante and English) for distribution to schools and directly impacting some 20,000 children but also leaving a legacy for future classrooms to read and enjoy.  For many of the children it will also be the first time they have read a book in their native language.   

#ProjectKALA's Crowdfunder campaign is now open until 6th December to reach the target of £6,500.00.  Please donate what you can to support -

IBBY UK Christmas Cards on sale!

Jan Pienkowski: I Saw Three ShipsIBBY UK are delighted to announce this year’s IBBY UK Christmas Card featuring a new design by Jan Pienkowski. Entitled I Saw Three Ships, his illustration marries the traditional carol with Jan’s own experience as a refugee coming to the UK after the Second World War. Commissioned earlier in the year, it is sadly prescient of the current refugee crisis.

Jan writes: “I sailed to Britain in the Winter of ’46, having come from Poland via Vienna, Rome and finally Calais, where we herded in a storm onto a beat-up old channel ferry.”

Our first IBBY UK Christmas Card featured an image from Jan’s Christmas, and has been our most popular card. We are pleased and proud that he has now specially designed a card for us that, while being very personal, expresses the Christmas message so eloquently and connects it to IBBY’s commitment to human rights and internationalism.

  • Jan’s card is available now to order at £6 (inc. postage and packing) for a pack of ten.
  • Previous card designs by Axel Scheffler and Jackie Morris are also available as individual packs of ten.
  • There are also multipacks of ten with two cards each of five of our previous designs by Axel Scheffler, Jackie Morris, Shirley Hughes, Jane Ray and Michael Foreman. 

You can now purchase our range of Christmas cards at IBBY UK's new online shop


Catherine Johnson joins the Little Rebels...

Catherine JohnsonThe Alliance of Radical Booksellers (ARB) is thrilled to announce that the Little Rebels Children’s Book Award for radical children’s fiction is back for its 4th year. The Little Rebels Award recognises children’s fiction which promotes social justice and social equality. The award is given by the Alliance of Radical Booksellers (ARB) and is administered by specialist children’s booksellers, Letterbox Library. The closing date for nominations is January 11th 2016. 

This year, author Catherine Johnson will be joining the Little Rebels Award judges. Speaking about the award, Catherine said, “I am so looking forward to being on the judging panel. Of course there are more and more awards and more and more books every year but there is something completely different and very important about Little Rebels. The books shortlisted are all incredibly special books that encourage radical ideas as well as fabulous storytelling. Stories that aren’t afraid of topics that might include race and sex and class. Important and wonderful books. I cannot wait”.

Catherine Johnson is the author of 14 novels for children and young adults. In 2013, she won the Young Quills Best Historical Fiction prize for Sawbones (Walker 2013) and her latest novel, The Curious Tale of the Lady Caraboo (Corgi Books/Random House UK 2015), has been nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2016. Catherine also writes for screen and TV, including the drama Bullet Boy (2004) and Holby City

Catherine Johnson was one of the speakers on The Diversity Manifesto panel at the Stoke Newington Literary Festival in June this year. Nor is she new to the world of radical children’s literature. Attending a panel at the London Radical Bookfair back in 2014, she said, “I think the best children’s literature always has a bit of radical about it - from Dr Seuss and Philip Pullman to Malorie Blackman - the best stories are always pushing at the boundaries”. 

Catherine Johnson will be joined by last year’s Little Rebels Award judges: award-winning children’s author, Elizabeth Laird, who is also one of IBBY’s current nominations for the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award; Bookstart co-founder, editor and Eleanor Farjeon Award recipient (2006), Wendy Cooling; Professor of Children’s Literature at Newcastle University and author of Radical Children’s Literature (Palgrave MacMillan: 2010), Kim Reynolds.

The Little Rebels Children’s Book Award is a sister award to the Bread & Roses Award, which recognises radical adult non-fiction published in the UK . Both awards are the inspiration of the Alliance of Radical Booksellers, a network of radical booksellers in the UK . Both prizes will be presented at the 4th London Radical Bookfair on Saturday May 7th 2016. 

Publishers are being invited to submit children’s fiction for readers aged 0-12 which promote social justice and which were first published in 2015. Full submission guidelines can be found at

HCA Award Event with Chris Riddell and Elizabeth Laird

HCA flyer updateIBBY UK are delighted to invite you for an evening with Children's Laureate Chris Riddell and award-winning author Elizabeth Laird to celebrate their nomination for the prestigious international Hans Christian Andersen Award. In conversation with Nicolette Jones, Children's Books Editor, The Sunday Times.

Wednesday 4 November
Waterstones - 203 Piccadilly, London W1J 9HD

6.30pm Elizabeth Laird
7.15pm Drinks, light refreshments & book signings
8.00pm Chris Riddell
8.45pm Book signings, reception continues

Tickets £6, £4 for IBBY members


Elizabeth Laird at the Edinburgh International Book Festival

Edinburgh International Book FestivalOnce Upon a Time with Elizabeth Laird and Daniel Hahn

 Sun 22 Nov 3:00pm - 4:00pm 

Dindy and the ElephantIBBY UK’s nominated author for the 2016 Hans Christian Andersen Award, Elizabeth Laird, will be speaking in Edinburgh on Sunday 22 November. Laird, whose experiences in living and travelling all over the world have strongly influenced her writing for adults with such books as The Lure of the Honey Bird: The Storytellers of Ethiopia as well as for children with The Fastest Boy in the World, and her latest fiction Dindy and the Elephant, will be in discussion with author, translator, critic and editor of The Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature, Daniel Hahn.  The event is part of the Edinburgh International Book Festival’s Booked! programme which is supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.  Laird and Hahn will explore writing, work in translation, the migration of stories and the lasting legacy of Hans Christian Andersen in a discussion suitable for adults, young adults and teenagers.

The Read Quarterly (TRQ) launches

The Read QuarterlyLaunching in January 2016, The Read Quarterly (TRQ) will be a forum in which global children’s literature can be discussed and debated. Created by children’s literature enthusiasts, each with a wealth of experience in the publishing industry, Sarah Odedina and Kate Manning, this quarterly magazine aims to provide an environment in which both writers and readers can share their enthusiasm, introduce new ideas and challenge old ones.

The Read Quarterly (TRQ) has revealed its first issue cover and announced that it will contain an original four part Eoin Colfer story, Holy Mary, to be published through the first year. TRQ have also announced details of how to support the first issue of the magazine via Kickstarter with support from Neil Gaiman.

IBBY Honour Book nominations 2016

IBBY UK committee is delighted to announce that the following titles have been nominated as the UK Honour Books for the 2016 list.

Phoenix by SF SaidWriting:  S F Said Phoenix 
David Fickling Books, 2013 (hardback); Corgi Random House, 2014 (paperback)


The Promise by Laura Carlin Illustration: Laura Carlin The Promise (author Nicola Davies)

Walker Books, 2013


Anton and PiranhaTranslation: Chantal Wright Anton and Piranha (author Milena Baisch)
Andersen Press, 2013



All three nominated books explore issues that are relevant to IBBY’s overall aims. Phoenix skilfully integrates comments about our contemporary world - on war and peace, prejudice, borders and barriers to migration, political and moral questions  - into a fast-paced and exciting science fiction narrative.  The Promise locates its strong environmental message within a worldwide context and offers a message of hope based on individual activism. Anton and Piranha explores issues of friendship and fitting in with the lightest of humorous touches in a delightful translation.

The books will become part of the 2016 collection alongside works from more than seventy member countries. These will be introduced at the IBBY Congress to be held in New Zealand in August 2016 when diplomas will be presented to the nominated authors, illustrators and translators. A catalogue of the collection will also be produced.


IBBY Honour List 2014 on display!

 Picture books from the IBBY Honour List 2014 are now on display from 14 September - 4 October 2015, along with some reproduced illustrations, at The Hive, Worcester. 50 countries are represented in this exhibition which is an International Centre for the Picture Book in Society (ICPBS) initiative.

The IBBY Honour List is a biennial selection of outstanding, recently published books, honouring writers, illustrators and translators from IBBY member countries. There are the three categories for submission - a writer (novel), illustrator (illustrated book) and a translation. The IBBY UK choices were The Unforgotten Coat by Frank Cottrell Boyce, Azzi In Between by Sarah Garland and In the Sea There Are Crocodiles by Fabio Geda (translated from Italian by Howard Curtis). It has been a pleasure to see these three titles rubbing shoulders with books from around the world.

BIB Grand Prix - British illustrator Laura Carlin!

In the 50th year of the existence of the Bienniel of Illustration Bratislava (BIB) competition, IBBY UK are thrilled to announce that British illustrator Laura Carlin was awarded the Grand Prix for Iron Man and A World of Your Own 0n 4 September 2015. The record number of 12 UK entries this year is a result of a combined effort by IBBY UK and the International Centre for the Picture Book in Society (University of Worcester) who are the official nominating bodies in the UK.

This competition, the largest and most important of its kind, is being supported by the International Board on Books for Young People; The Slovak Minsitry of Culture and UNESCO.

355 Illustrators from 50 countries entered 2,426 published books to be considered for the prizes. The prizes are: Grand Prix (over-all winner); 5 Golden Apples; 5 Bronze Plaques and three Honorary mentions to publishers and a children's jury award.

Levi Pinfold, another UK illustrator, received one of the 5 Bronze Plaques for his books Greenling and Black Dog.

The jury was: Roger Mello, Hans Christian Andersen Winner (Brazil); Piet Grobler (UK); Anastasia Arkhipova (Russia); Helen Bergendahl (Sweden); Nazan Erkmen (Turkey); Karol Felix (Slovakia); Maria Jesus Gil (Spain); Agnes Gyr (Rwanda); Yukiko Hiromatsu (Japan); Frantisek Skala (Czech Republic); Nina Wehrle (Switzerland)

Here is what the jury had to say about Laura Carlin's work:

A World Of Your OwnThe Iron Man and A World of Your Own are two diverse narratives, both created in a confident and highly-skilled personal visual language in a variety of media.

Laura Carlin moves with ease, yet with great care between different moods, demonstrating both sensitivity and a sense of humour.

The smallest vignettes as well as double-paged illustrations are composed with care and the pages are paced to perfection. Innovative design-features are always functional, never applied in a flippant or gimmicky manner.

With a sense for detail as well as a clear view of the ‘whole’, these books are brilliant examples of a dialogue between technique and medium and an extensive frame of reference.


Right to Life, to Justice, to Dignity and to Books!

Over a year ago, IBBY UK called upon the children's book community to speak out against the relentless bombing and invasion of Gaza. During this time, two of IBBY's libraries in Rafah and Beit Hanoun were heavily bombarded by Israeli military and destroyed. IBBY responded by launching the Gaza Appeal. We are very pleased to share these photos and message of thanks from IBBY Palestine President, Jehan Helou:

It is around one year now since the Israeli horrendous attack on Gaza and the complete destruction of IBBY al-Ataa library and the damaging of al Shawka library.

The sad reality is that our people in Gaza did not get the opportunity to mourn their dead, heal their wounds and build their houses. The infrastructure is still damaged and the destroyed houses are still rubbles! The Israeli occupation (1967) goes on and the siege is ongoing since 2006 accompanied with the Egyptian closure of Rafah crossing into Egypt; thus making Gaza the largest prison in the world!

Conflicts in modern times marginalize Child Rights Convention; civilians, and children in particular, are the main victims of the horrors of high tech weapons. Palestinian children's suffering is ongoing, it did not stop with the dreadful loss of more than 551 children  and the  wounding and displacement of thousands; till this date,  thousands of children including  the children of the two libraries are struggling with loss, stress and displacement!

IBBY was up to its Mission and responded quickly to the disaster, in pursue to its vital program ‘Children in Crisis situation’, (Gaza in 2008), and  to its commitment to move forward in supporting Children Rights, launched IBBY Gaza Appeal 2014 expressing its obligation and commitment:

The IBBY community has an obligation to rebuild these libraries, and we will – re-housing and re-stocking them in order to try to bring these children who have lost so much, help and the knowledge that they are not alone, not abandoned as they rebuild their lives once again. Perhaps with time they can regain a sense of safety and belief in the value of dialogue and hope for the future. They will know that we care.

We the PBBY Administrative Committee and members express our thanks to all our dear IBBY Friends. Thank you for your solidarity and for your concern.  Special thanks and appreciation to the National Section, member or friend who contributed to IBBY Gaza Appeal.

Gaza Appeal ($35, 000) facilitated for a temporary replacement library (al-Sikka) in a near-by area of the destroyed library; it was refurbished, enlarged, provided with books, furniture, and equipment; some similar procedures were applied with al-Shawka Rafah library.  

We enclose some expressive pictures of the latest exhibition of the outcome of the children activities at al Sikka library, in the presence of mothers who are sharing the smiles of their children; thus reflecting the struggle and determination of our children and people to their Right to Life, to Justice, Dignity and to Books!

Jehan Helou
President of IBBY- Palestine

IBBY Foundation grants $10k to support reading for migrant children detained in the U.S.

At its April 2015 board meeting, the IBBY Foundation approved a grant of $10,000 to support the U.S. organisation REFORMA. REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking, distributes books and backpacks to unaccompanied refugee children being detained in the southwestern United States through its Children in Crisis Project.

Those being detained are mostly Spanish-speaking children escaping violence in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras and coming to the United States. While recent news coverage of this crisis has focused on the legal, medical, and emergency-response needs of these often-unaccompanied children, there are few if any news stories that report on their social-emotional and information needs. A view of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers shows children waiting in large storage-like facilities with no activities to occupy their minds through learning and play while they are being processed. They frequently have no knowledge of where they are going or if they will reach their families already in the United States.

In response to this current need affecting as many as 70,000 children, REFORMA has implemented the Children in Crisis Project and is actively soliciting donations to support the delivery of children’s books in Spanish to detention centers in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, as well as to shelters and group homes around the country where these children are sent after being processed. In the second phase of the project, REFORMA will be coordinating backpacks containing books as well as paper, pencils, erasers, crayons and a writing journal for children to use during the journey toward their destination. These will be distributed via the caregivers who are providing shelter to these children after their processing.

Chris Riddell, the new Children’s Laureate

Chris Riddell, Children's Laureate 2016Chris Riddell, IBBY UK’s nominee, for the 2016 Hans Andersen Illustrator Award, is the new Waterstones Children’s Laureate (2015-17). His appointment was announced on June 9 at a ceremony at BAFTA. He said that he felt pleased and humbled by the appointment and that he would dedicate his time as Laureate “to exploring interesting ways to bring words and pictures together.” Chris is the ninth Laureate and succeeds Malorie Blackman. He kicked off his term of office by honouring his predecessors in inimitable style with an affectionate caricature of each of them for the Laureate website.

  • For an appreciation of Chris’s career to date, take a look at our dossier submitted to the IBBY international jury for the Hans Andersen Award.

New British addition to IBBY Italia’s Silent Books collection

Out of the Blue by Alison JayAlison Jay’s Out of the Blue, published by Barefoot Books is the latest of IBBY UK’s nominations to be added to the international wordless book collection Silent Books: Destination Lampedusa. There are over a hundred books from over twenty countries in this collection which is administered by IBBY Italia and which was started by them in 2012 partly in response to the refugee crisis in Lampedusa. There are three sets of the collection: one at the documentation and research archive in Rome (Palazzo della Esposizioni), a set delivered to the library in Lampedusa and a further set is part of a travelling exhibition.

Out of the Blue joins eight other IBBY UK nominations in the collection. Raymond Briggs’s The Snowman is one of thirteen books on the collection’s Honour List.



UK entrants for BIB, the Biennial of Illustrations Bratislava 2015 announced

BIB 2015The International Centre for the Picture Book in Society based at Worcester University and IBBY UK are delighted to announce a collaboration to select UK illustrators for the Biennial of Illustrations Bratislava (BIB) 2015.

BIB is one of the oldest international honours for children's book illustrators and one of the more prestigious. Eleven awards are made, including a grand prize for unique and outstanding illustration. The work is displayed in an exhibition in Bratislava from 4 September to 29 October and a catalogue is published. It is an award that is little known in the UK and indeed the last UK winner was John Rowe in 1997. 

As part of their shared commitment to diversity and promoting awareness of the international children’s book world, this collaboration is see by both ICPBS and IBBY UK as a very important step.  IBBY Chair, Pam Dix, says, “ I am very keen to increase awareness of the Bratislava award in the UK particularly because of the status it awards to children’s illustration. I look forward to this being an on-going collaboration between the two organisations.”

Each country can enter a maximum of 15 participants who can then submit up to 10 illustrations from up to 2 books. Piet Grobler, Joint Course Leader for Illustration at Worcester, says, “hard choices had to be made but I am delighted and excited by the UK entries.” Piet, himself an award winner at Bratislava in 2003 and 2009, has just been announced as one of this year’s judges.

The following illustrators and books have been selected for Bratislava 2015, and you can see their work displayed on the Guardian website:

  • Angela Barrett The most wonderful thing in the world - Walker
  • Laura Carlin A world of your own - Phaidon Press
  • Alexis Deacon Jim’s lion - Walker Books
  • Jo Empson Rabbityness  & Never, Ever - Child’s Play
  • Olivia Gill Where my wellies take me - Templar
  • William Grill Shackleton’s journey - Flying Eye Books
  • Chris Haughton (Ireland) Shh! We have a plan - Walker Books
  • Emily Hughes  Wild - Flying Eye Books
  • Jim Kay A monster calls - Walker Books
  • Dave McKean Mouse, bird, snake, wolf - Walker Books
  • Alice Melvin Counting birds - Tate Publishing
  • Levi Pinfold  Black dog & Greenling - Templar
  • Yu Rong Smoke - 21st Century Publishing House, Beijing
  • Salvatore Rubbino  A walk in Paris & A walk in London - Walker Books
  • Viviane Schwarz  I am Henry Finch - Walker Books

Further information:

First granted in 1967 to Yasuo Segawa (Japan), BIB is one of the more prestigious children's book awards today, along with Hans Christian Andersen Award.

Artists are selected by central organisations within each country and an international jury decides the award winners. The original artwork is exhibited in Bratislava, Slovakia.

The winner of the Grand Prix BIB receives a financial award of 3.000 USD; the five Golden Apples BIB receive 1.500 USD each; and the five BIB Plaques receive 1.000 USD each.

BIB is sponsored by UNESCO and the Ministry of Culture, Slovakia.

The exhibition includes a programme of events, including a seminar for artists from developing countries.


Postgraduate research studentships – Jacqueline Wilson Scholarship

The University of Roehampton is pleased to make its annual Jacqueline Wilson Scholarship open to a general call for research topics in the field of children’s literature. This will be awarded to a postgraduate PhD student working in the field of children’s literature or creative writing for children. The Jacqueline Wilson Scholar will be based in the award-winning National Centre for Research in Children’s Literature (NCRCL) with access to the Children’s Literature Collection and archives, and will join a lively community of researchers, writers and students. This fully funded scholarship will cover home/EU fees of £4052 for Home/EU students and maintenance of £16,057 p.a. in 2015/16 for 3 years full-time subject to satisfactory progress.

The scholarship is open to new students only and preference may be given to proposals that build on the research interests of the NCRCL. These include, but are not limited to: philosophy; theory; historical fiction; landscape; domestic spaces; memory; reading. Applicants are encouraged to identify potential supervisors as part of their application.

The Department of English and Creative Writing with over 600 students and 33 academic staff, has a growing international reputation for its research and teaching excellence. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), 80% of all our research publications were ranked as "world leading" or "internationally excellent" for their impact. The successful candidate will become part of an active and growing community of postgraduate scholars in a vibrant research culture, established external collaborations with London institutions and a very good track record of student success.

The Department is looking for candidates of the highest quality, capable of submitting a Ph.D. thesis within 3 years. Applicants should have completed an MA degree in a relevant subject, such as children’s literature, reading or memory, prior to the start of the studentship. Applicants should also be able to demonstrate strong research capabilities and fluency in spoken and written English that meets the university’s entrance criteria for doctoral study. 

The University of Roehampton is set on a beautiful, traditional campus in south-west London. The University provides its students with exceptional facilities, high quality teaching and a close-knit, collegiate experience. It has a diverse student body and a cosmopolitan outlook, with students from over 130 countries.

Deadline for applications: 3rd July 2015

Interviews will be held on 8th July 2015

For further information or for informal discussion please contact Professor David Rudd: d.rudd[at]

Little Rebels Book Award winner announced at the London Radical Book Fair

Little Rebel's Award ShortlistLetterbox Library, our 2014 nominees for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, administers the Little Rebels Book Award, now in its third year and designed to recognise a rich tradition of radical publishing for children in the UK. 

‘Radical’ is defined widely to include books informed by inclusive/anti-discriminatory concerns or those which promote social equality or social justice. The judges are Elizabeth Laird, IBBY UK’s author nominee for the 2016 Hans Christian Andersen Award, Wendy Cooling and Kim Reynolds, both of whom were instrumental in reviving IBBY UK in the 1990s.

The winner was was Scarlet Ibis by Gill Lewis (Oxford University Press), the story of one girl’s fight to keep her family together while drawing attention to the situation of many children who are placed in the position of being carers. 


Newcastle Children’s Literature Master Classes 2015 - applications open

In August 2015 the Children’s Literature Unit in the School of English at Newcastle University will be hosting a series of children’s literature Master Classes concentrated in two days. The classes will be led by a distinguished, international team of children’s literature scholars. The overall subject will be ‘The Future of the Subject’, with a particular focus on Archives. This reflects the recent archival turn in literary studies and will focus attention on the fascinating material in the archives of Seven Stories, the UK’s national centre for children’s books, based in Newcastle and co-hosting the Master Classes. Participants will have the opportunity to work directly with material from the Seven Stories archives, and will be trained in some of the skills they will need as emerging scholars in the field of children’s literature.

The Master Classes are designed principally for high-level undergraduates and graduate students (master’s and doctoral), although anyone at an early stage in a career involving research in children’s literature is welcome to apply for a place. The Classes will be delivered to a maximum of 14 participants, and selection will be competitive.

Applications for the 2015 Master Classes are now open - deadline 31 May.

IBBY UK Annual General Meeting at the House of Illustration

House of IllustrationThis year's AGM will take place on Tuesday 12th May at the House of Illustration, 2 Granary Square, Kings Cross, London N1 1FA . 

People who attend will be able to look round both current exhibitions (Mac Conner: A New York Life and Hattie Stewart: Adversary) from 5.30pm, free of charge.  The AGM will take place from 6.30pm to 7.15pm and will start with a presentation by Colin McKenzie, Director of the House of Illustration.

The meeting will be followed by drinks at 7.15pm, ending at 8pm.   

  • If you would like to come, please email j.f.dunne[at] to reserve your place. 
  • Non-members welcome - come and find out more about IBBY UK! 

IBBY UK Bursaries to attend the 35th IBBY World Congress 2016

IBBY World Congress 2016

Following our successful bursary programme for the Mexico Congress in 2014, IBBY UK is once more offering two generous bursaries to IBBY UK members to enable them to attend the next World Congress in Auckland, New Zealand, August 18-21 2016. The theme of the 2016 Congress is Literature in a Multi-Literate World.

The bursaries will cover the Congress registration fee and pay a maximum of £1,500 towards flight and accommodation costs.  One bursary is intended for post-graduate students of children’s literature or those working towards a qualification in illustration for children; the other is for anyone with an established interest in children’s books and literacy or the work of IBBY. It is intended that at least one bursary will go to an applicant aged under 35; and special consideration will be given to applicants who are intending to offer a paper or poster session at the Congress.


International Children's Book Day 2015

International Children's Day on 2 April 2015Since 1967, on or around Hans Christian Andersen's birthday, 2 April, 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 has the opportunity to be the international sponsor of ICBD. It decides upon a theme and invites a prominent author from the host country to write a message to the children of the world and a well-known illustrator to design a poster. These materials are 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.

  • Read our latest our latest blog from IBBY UK member Ann Lazim - celebrating International Children's Book Day, the importance of 'silent books' and IBBY Italia's project in Lampedusa. 
  • The sponsor for International Children's Book Day for 2015 is UAEBBY. Download their poster and message here.

PRAESA receives the 2015 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award

Story PowerWe are pleased to announce that PRAESA, Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa, has been awarded the 2015 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.

PRAESA, based in Cape Town, is an organisation that has worked to promote reading and literature for children and young people in South Africa since 1992. The Jury’s Citation reads:

With the joy of reading as its compass point, PRAESA opens new routes into the world of books and literature for young readers in South Africa. Through innovative reading and storytelling projects, PRAESA brings people together and brings literature in multiple languages alive. PRAESA’s outstanding work shows the world the crucial role of books and stories in creating rich, full lives for our children and young people.

For more than twenty years, PRAESA has made powerful, innovative moves to highlight literature as a key component of both personal and societal development, always grounded in the specific conditions of South African society and culture. Its work focuses on encouraging children to read for enjoyment, building their self-esteem, and helping them connect to their native language through reading and story. 

PRAESA has three core goals: to provide children with high-quality literature in the various South African languages; to collaborate with and foster new networks among publishers and organisations that promote reading; and to initiate and carry out activities that can help sustain a living culture of reading and storytelling in socially vulnerable communities. PRAESA works in constant dialogue with the latest research and in collaboration with volunteers at the grass roots level.

To encourage children to read in their native languages, PRAESA produced the Little Hands books, a series of short books in different African languages. Another project, the Vulindlela Reading Club, combined oral storytelling with reading, singing games, and dramatizations, and led to the formation of many more reading clubs in Cape Town and other provinces. The national reading promotion initiative Nal’ibali is a network of reading clubs that uses media campaigns to encourage children to read and inspire parents, grandparents, and teachers to read with them.


LBF International Excellence Awards 2015 - shortlist

International Excellence AwardsThe London Book Fair International Excellence Awards, which are held in partnership with The UK Publishers Association, celebrate success in 18 categories, representing the breadth of the international publishing industry.

We are delighted that Pam Dix on behalf of IBBY UK has been shortlisted for the work that IBBY UK has done to support the market focus, Mexico, at this year’s fair. Other IBBY colleagues / friends make up the shortlist in this category: Daniel Hahn, Director of the British Centre for Literary Translation and Adam Freudenheim, Pushkin Press.

Pam Dix, Chair of IBBY UK, said: "It was a revelation to see the quality and range of Mexican publishing for children when many of us from IBBY UK were in Mexico in September 2014 for the IBBY Congress. We were able to meet many of the publishers and we were determined to ensure that there was a wide audience to meet them in the UK during the London Book Fair. We are delighted to be working with our Mexican colleagues on the seminar programme." 

Elizabeth Laird and Chris Riddell are IBBY UK nominees for Hans Andersen Awards 2016

IBBY UK is proud to announce its two nominees for the Hans Christian Andersen Awards, the most prestigious awards in the international children’s book world and uniquely awarded for a writer’s or illustrator’s whole body of work.

Elizabeth Laird has been a speaker both at IBBY UK /NCRCL conferences and at the London World Congress in 2012. Her novels examine the impact of social and political conflict on young people and show her commitment to human rights and international understanding. A much-travelled writer, she has retold African and Near Eastern traditional stories for English speaking children; and, between 1997 and 2001, in a remarkable series of journeys across Ethiopia, she collected tales from traditional storytellers, which she adapted into simplified English readers for Ethiopian young people.

Chris Riddell is well-known not only for his award-winning children’s books but for his work as a political cartoonist for The Observer. He is the creator of his own picturebooks and the illustrator of fantasy books for older children that he has co-authored with Paul Stewart. He is among the few illustrators for children who have won the CILIP Kate Greenaway Award more than once: for Pirate’s Diary in 2001 and Gulliver’s Travels in 2004.

Pam Dix, the Chair of IBBY UK said, “We are very proud to nominate two such distinguished creators of children’s books. Elizabeth Laird’s books offer young people compassionate insight into some of the world’s thorniest human conflicts and Chris Riddell’s imagination, sharp wit, and drawing skills make him one of our most exciting illustrators for children and indeed for adults.”

The nominees of IBBY’s other national sections will be announced at the Bologna Book Fair at the end of March this year and the winners will be announced there next year. The Awards will be presented to the winners at the next biennial IBBY World Congress at Auckland, New Zealand, in 2016.

Previous UK winners of the author award are: Eleanor Farjeon (1956), Aidan Chambers (2002) and David Almond (2010). Last year’s winner was Nahoko Uehashi (Japan).  Previous British winners of the illustrator award are Anthony Browne (2000) and Quentin Blake (2002). The 2014 winner was Roger Mello (Brazil).

2015 CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Shortlists

The 2015 CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway shortlists were announced on 17 March 2015. Many of the names are well-known to IBBY UK members as having presented at their conferences, AGMs or the London 2013 International Congress, been our nominee for an Hans Christian Andersen Award, or at one time or another been members of the branch. These include current Hans Christian Andersen Award nominees for 2015 - Elizabeth Laird and Chris Riddell - as well as Shaun Tan and Geraldine McCaughrean.

The list looks very exciting, particularly the illustrators representing a wide variety of styles.

The winners for both medals will be announced on Monday 22 June 2015 at a lunchtime ceremony at the British Library in London. The winners will receive £500 worth of books to donate to their local library and the coveted golden medals. The winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal will also be awarded the £5,000 Colin Mears Award cash prize.

2015 UKLA Book Awards Shortlists

For the first time in the awards’ history, three authors have a chance to win a UKLA award for an unprecedented second time. Philip Reeve with his collaboration with Sarah McIntyre for Oliver and the Seawigs and Gill Lewis, with Scarlet Ibis are battling it out on the shortlist for the 7–11 award and Elizabeth Wein is shortlisted in the 12–16 category for Rose Under Fire, the sequel to Code Name Verity, which won the category two years ago. There will also be a tough battle in the 3–6 category with a recent Red House Book Award winner, The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers, up against a past Kate Greenaway medal-winning author Mini Grey with Hermelin the Detective Mouse.

The UKLA Book Awards are the only awards to be judged by teachers. This year 66 teachers from schools in Nottingham, Leicester, Derbyshire, Coventry and Birmingham are judges for the awards. Their shortlists in the three age categories show the fresh perspective that class teachers bring to the judging process. In their search for books that can ‘enhance all aspects of literacy learning’, as required by the criteria, they have included international authors, debut authors and books in translation in preference to many more established names on the longlists.

The submitted publications could be fiction or nonfiction, novels or picture books as long as they had writing that offered language rich in layered meanings, imaginative expression and exciting vocabulary. Where present, high-quality illustration was also an important feature.

The nominated representatives from each panel now form the final judging panel and have the task of reading all the shortlisted books in all three age categories. The three winners will be announced at a wine reception on 10 July during the 51st UKLA International Conference at the National College for Teaching and Leadership, Nottingham.

  • Find out more here on the UKLA website.
  • The awards are sponsored by Micoro Librarian Systems.

Congratulations to IBBY UK supporters honoured in IPA shortlists

Alanna Books and Frances Lincoln are two of the four publishers on the shortlist for the Alison Morrison Diversity Award, which is one of the twelve categories in the 2015 IPG Independent Publishing Awards.

The Award honours the memory of Alison Morrison, the founder of the Diversity in Publishing Network (Dipnet), who died in tragic circumstances last year.

Frances Lincoln is an established children’s book publisher and the founder of its own Diverse Voices Children's Book Award in 2008. It is a previous IPG winner, and this year’s judges saluted in particular its important wider work on diversity with NGOs and charities and commented, “Frances Lincoln’s commitment to diversity runs very deep.”

Alanna Books was founded in 2006 by writer, publisher and diversity campaigner, Anna McQuinn. This year is its first appearance among the IPG shortlists. The judges admired its efforts to make its books commercial as well as critical successes, and liked its imaginative partnerships and events. “Alanna Books is small but perfectly formed, and committed to diversity in everything it does.”

Both publishers are IBBY UK members and Anna is an IBBY UK Committee member.

The two other publishers on the Alison Morrison shortlist are Carcanet Press and Shade 7 Publishing.

The publishers shortlisted for the IPG Children’s Publisher of the Year are Bloomsbury Publishing, Nosy Crow, Usborne Publishing and Walker Books.

IBBY Children in Crisis

Bookbird,  IBBY's international journal of children's literature,  has announced an auction to benefit IBBY Children in Crisis. Hans Christian Andersen Award winner 2014 Roger Mello has donated the cover artwork from the latest Bookbird.

Roger Mello"Mello’s eclectic style borrows from different trends and schools. Influences can be found from plastic arts, literature, cinema, theatre, urban life, technology, philosophy and history, but especially from popular culture and legends. In his dialogue with popular culture, the icon, an element of significant presence, especially in the North and Northeast Regions of Brazil, is portrayed in a manner that leans towards Cubism and Op-Art."


Waterstones Children’s Book Prize

New Faces, Women and Mysteries feature in the Shortlist for Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2015

The shortlists for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize have just been announced. Awarded to new and emerging writing talent, and chosen by Waterstones staff, there are six contenders in each of three categories. Women authors are well represented in each category, including former accountant Sally Green. She is shortlisted in Best Book for Teens for Half Bad, her tale of a teenage boy caught in a war between two witch factions, which attracted a six-figure publishing advance and comparisons to the Twilight and Harry Potter series. Crime fiction takes pride of place in the shortlist for Best Fiction for 5-12s and exploration and travel themes are prominent among those contesting the Best Illustrated Book category.

The winners will be announced at an evening reception at Waterstones Piccadilly on Thursday 26th March, with the three category winners then vying for the overall title of Waterstones Children’s Book of the Year 2015.

A Place at the Table turns diversity talk to action

Inclusive MindsMore than 50 representatives of the book industry, including publishers, booksellers, librarians and teachers, met on the 28th January at the Publishers Association to discuss a new diversity charter for children’s publishing.

A Place at the Table was organised by Inclusive Minds, the Publishers Association, the IPG and EQUIP. It took the form of highly innovative workshop aimed at helping the children’s book community to agree a clear way forward in terms of achieving real inclusion.

The event was facilitated by the organisers together with a team of children’s book writers and illustrators with particular interest and experience in the subject – James Dawson, Jane Ray, Ken Wilson-Max, Susie Day, Pippa Goodhart and Anna McQuinn.

Speaking at the event, Anna McQuinn, author, IBBY UK Committee member and publisher of Alanna Books, said “We used to be ahead of the curve. But in 2013 there started to be a feeling that demand has got ahead of us. People want diverse books and we’re not quite ready yet. That’s disappointing.”

To address this, the artists posed a series of questions to the participants to discuss around tables.  Questions ranged from the importance of access to inclusive and diverse books, to ideas for practical and commercially sound strategies to ensure that more books are produced. They voiced a vast range of experiences and ideas, and were evidently united in sharing a commitment to ensuring books reflect a more diverse society. 

It was agreed that the A Place at the Table event represented a valuable step forward in the move towards real inclusion in children’s books. 

The final draft of the proposed charter, ‘Everybody In’,  is to be announced in The Bookseller in late February or early March. Versions are also being developed for booksellers, libraries and schools and anyone interested in feeding into the charters or discussing the next steps for this activity should contact Beth Cox and Alexandra Strick at Inclusive Minds.

Longlist for the 2015 Branford Boase Award announced

The annual Branford Boase Award celebrates the most promising book for seven year-olds and upwards written by a first-time novelist and, uniquely, also highlights the importance of the editor in the development of new authors.

This year the judges are librarian and Chair of IBBY UK Pam Dix; Sue Jones, children’s books consultant; Clare Maltby, bookseller from P&G Wells in Winchester; and C. J. Flood, author of Infinite Sky, winner of the 2014 Branford Boase Award. The panel is chaired by Julia Eccleshare, children’s books editor of The Guardian.

The shortlist for the Award will be announced on 4 May 2015.  The winner will be announced in early July at a ceremony in London.

Winner of Marsh Award announced

The Adventures of SholaWinner of Marsh Award announced: Kevin Crossley Holland calls for more children’s books in translation.

The Adventures of Shola, published by Pushkin Children’s Books, translated by Margaret Jull Costa, and written by Bernardo Atxaga was announced as this year’s winner of the Marsh Award at the English Speaking Union on January 21.

The Marsh Award is for a translated children’s book. In his presentation address, Kevin Crossley Holland called for a real commitment to publish more books in translation in the UK, suggesting that publishers establish an annual target for the proportion of books in translation that they will publish.


Creative Europe Funding for Literary Translation

The EU’s new Creative Europe programme offers funding opportunities for the translation of European fiction. Publishers and publishing groups can apply for up to €100,000 for the translation, production and promotion of European fiction.

The aim of this funding strand is to promote the transnational circulation of high-quality literary works in the European Union and beyond and to reach new audiences.

Deadline: Tuesday 3 February 2015

Sharjah (UAE) International Children’s Book Awards

Sharjah Children's Reading FestivalSharjah (UAE) Announces 2015 International Children’s Book Awards

Sharjah, one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates, has just announced the opening of entries for its 2015 international awards for recently published children’s books. Under new criteria, the Sharjah Children’s Book Award invites nominations in three categories: books in Arabic for ages 3-7; books in Arabic for ages 7-13; and international children’s books for ages 7-13. The Sharjah Children’s Book Award for Visually Impaired Children invites nominations of tactile books for any age of child. Each award carries prize money of 20,000 AED (about £3,500). Entries close on 15 March and the winners will be announced in a ceremony at the opening of the 7th Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival, which will be held from the 22nd April - 2nd of May 2015 at Expo Centre Sharjah.

Sharjah’s Children’s Reading Festival is the largest in the Middle East. In 2012 the Sharjah government, in cooperation with UAEIBBY and international IBBY, set up the Sharjah-IBBY Fund. This supports reading projects in North Africa and Central Asia with children whose lives have been disrupted by civil conflict or natural disaster. Four new projects were announced at last year’s Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival including the ‘Tell me a Story’ project from Lebanon, which aims to host reading sessions and workshops at clinics; and a project that establishes small libraries in schools in Tunisia for disadvantaged children.


UK children’s titles selected for IBBY Disabilities List 2015

Six UK children’s titles have been selected for IBBY’s List of Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities 2015.

This unique international list is compiled every two years from nominations received from IBBY national sections. It includes books from across the world that are published for children with disabilities and those that feature them in an inclusive role.

IBBY UK nominated thirteen titles for the 2015 list, and is pleased to announce that the following six have been chosen:

Off to the Park! by Stephen Cheatham (Child’s Play)

Max the Champion by Sean Stockdale, Alexandra Strick and Ros Asquith (Frances Lincoln)

Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Haughton (Walker Books)

Freddie and the Fairy by Julia Donaldson and Karen George (Macmillan)

Klaus Vogel and the Bad Lads by David Almond (Barrington Stoke) and 

Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner (Hot Key Books)

        Off to the Park! Max the Champion Shh! We have a plan Freddie and the Fairy Klaus Vogel and the Bad Lads Maggot Moon

IBBY UK would like to thank the authors, illustrators and publishers of all our nominated titles and to offer our congratulations to those that have been selected.

The final list for 2015 has been compiled by the IBBY Documentation Centre of Books for Disabled Young People in Toronto. The full international collection and a printed catalogue will be unveiled at the Bologna Book Fair in March. A reference collection will then be housed in Toronto and a touring ollection will be available for book fairs and other events.

For further information about the IBBY List of Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities and details of previous lists visit IBBY's international website.  

International Children's Book Day

ICBD 2015Get ready for International Children's Book Day on 2 April 2015! "Many Cultures, One Story"

Sponsored by IBBY United Arab Emirates - download the poster and brochure here



an international initiative by IBBY Italia

Thanks to the valuable contribution of the IBBY National Sections, an international collection of wordless books were created in 2013, including 111 selected books from 23 countries. The books have been used for the following initiatives:

  • The creation of the international travelling exhibition Silent books. Final Destination Lampedusa
  • The creation of an historic archive of wordless books housed in the art library of Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome, which is the largest interdisciplinary exhibition area in Rome with a special emphasis on contemporary art. The archive is accessible to the public as well as to researchers.
  • The creation of the first stock of books for the planned children’s library of Lampedusa as a way of helping and supporting both the island's own children and the children arriving at the Centre for First Aid and Reception.
  • Download the English version of the catalogue here.

Shortlist announced for the first ever YA Book Prize!

The Bookseller's YA Book Prize have shortlisted 10 fantastic books for the 2015 prize, with a mixture of romance, realism, dystopia, horror and fantasy.

The ten books are:

  • A Song for Ella Grey by David Almond 
  • Salvage by Keren David
  • Say Her Name by James Dawson
  • Lobsters by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison
  • Half Bad by Sally Green
  • Finding a Voice by Kim Hood
  • Only Ever Yours by Louise O'Neill 
  • Goose by Dawn O'Porter 
  • Trouble by Non Pratt
  • The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick 

The winner will be announced at a ceremony at Foyles Charing Cross, London, on 19 March 2015.

Young People’s Book Prize

Eye Benders: The Science of Seeing and Believing, by Clive Gifford, has won the Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize 2014.

Each year the Royal Society awards a prize to the best book that communicates science to young people. The prize aims to inspire young people to read about science and promotes the best science writing for the under-14s

The 2014 Children’s Literature in Education Emerging Scholar Award

During its long history, Children’s Literature in Education has often benefited from the refreshing ideas and original approaches of young and new scholars in the field of children’s literature. In the current academic climate, the Humanities are under financial pressure in various countries. The competition for (post)doctoral scholarships is keen and tenured positions are becoming rare. CLE, with the support of its publisher, Springer, therefore launched the Children’s Literature in Education Emerging Scholar Award (CLEESA) in 2013, which will run annually.

We are pleased to announce that the 2013 Children’s Literature in Education Emerging Scholar Award has been presented to Niall Nance-Carroll, a doctoral candidate at Illinois State University, for his essay titled, “Innocence is No Defense: Politicized Childhood in Antonio Skármeta's La composición /The Composition,” which will be published in the December 2014 issue of CLE.

Each year, the prestigious winner receives a prize of $500 (or sterling equivalent) and their article is published exclusively in Children’s Literature in Education, with an appropriate acknowledgement of its award-winning status. Excellent essays that do not win the award will still be considered for publication in CLE.

  • Applicants must submit an essay of 6-8,000 words to the Children’s Literature in Education website before 31 December 2014 ( For anyone unfamiliar with the journal, details and a preview can be found there, together with a PDF guide to the journal’s house style: All submitted articles must conform to this house style.
  • Submissions must be original works that have not been published previously (including in conference proceedings) and that are not currently under consideration with another journal or edited collection.
  • For the purpose of eligibility for this award, an Emerging Scholar is defined as someone who meets the following criteria:
    - has not defended a Ph.D. before 31 December 2011
    - has not published books, chapters or peer-reviewed articles on children's literature before 31 December 2009.

Submissions should be accompanied by a brief note indicating that the article is to be considered for the Emerging Scholar Award, and affirming that the author meets these criteria.

Polka Theatre wins Eleanor Farjeon Award

Polka Theatre has won the 2014 Eleanor Farjeon award, established by the Children's Book Circle, which recognises an outstanding contribution to the world of children’s books by an individual or organisation.

The 2014 shortlist included The Story Museum, Tall Stories, Union Theatre, Pegasus Theatre and Little Angel Theatre.

Previous winners of the Eleanor Farjeon Award include David Almond (2013), Quentin Blake (2012), Seven Stories (2010) and current children's laureate Malorie Blackman (2005).

The award was presented at a ceremony at Penguin’s headquarters in London on 24 November.

A Place at the Table

Inclusive Minds, the Publishers Association, the IPG and EQUIP are delighted to announce that booking is now open for A Place at the Table on the afternoon of January 28 2015.

A Place at the Table is a highly innovative discussion-based workshop that will give participants the unique opportunity to come together in force to show their commitment to achieving real inclusion and diversity in children’s books.

The discussion will range from the importance of access to inclusive and diverse books, to identifying the barriers, to ideas for practical and commercially sound strategies to enable the children’s book world to move forward.

The event will take the form of simultaneous round-table discussions. Each table will be made up of participants from different industries and an author or illustrator with a commitment to achieving authentic inclusion will facilitate the conversation. These will include Verna Wilkins, James Dawson and Anna McQuinn. There will be the opportunity to continue the discussion and network over drinks after the main event.

Find out more here

Little Rebels Award for Radical Children's Fiction 2015

Alliance of Radical BooksellersThe Alliance of Radical Booksellers (ARB) is pleased to announce that the Little Rebels Award for Radical Children's Fiction is back for its third year - and submissions are now open! The closing date for nominations is January 12 2015.


Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation

The ESU and Marsh Christian Trust are pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2015 Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation. 

The shortlist:

  • Wafflehearts (Walker Books) translated by Guy Puzey, written by Maria Parr
  • The Letter for the King (Pushkin Children’s Books), translated by Laura Watkinson, written by Tonke Dragt
  • My Brother Simple (Bloomsbury Children’s Books), translated by Adriana Hunter, written by Marie-Aude Murail
  • The Good Little Devil and Other Tales (Pushkin Children’s Books), translated by Sophie Lewis, written by Pierre Gripari
  • Anton and Piranha (Andersen Press), translated by Chantal Wright, written by Milena Baisch
  • The Adventures of Shola (Pushkin Children’s Books), translated by Margaret Jull Costa, written by Bernardo Atxaga

The winner will be revealed at an awards ceremony in January 2015.

Axel Scheffler Christmas card 2014

IBBY UK's 2014 Christmas card is now available on sale! This year we have a card designed exclusively for us by Axel Scheffler on the theme of giving books for Christmas and we are especially grateful to him for providing such a lovely illustration.

Last year’s card by Jackie Morris is also available as a separate pack. All the previous years’ cards with seasonal images from books by Jan Pienkowski, Michael Foreman, Jane Ray, Shirley Hughes and John Burningham are also for sale. These come as single illustrator packs or as a multi-pack with two cards from each of the five illustrators.

The cards will also be on sale at the IBBY/NCRCL Conference on November 8th where, because no postage is involved, they will be £5 a pack rather than the usual £6 by post


Diverse Voices - 50 of the best but we need many more like this.

Diverse Voices

IBBY UK Honour Book Award winners Frank Cottrell Boyce (The Unforgotten Coat) and Sarah Garland (Azzi In-between) have been listed on Seven Stories’ list of the 50 best culturally diverse children's books available in the UK from 1950 to the present day. Resources and activities for schools and libraries will be available from Thursday 16 October –

Kate Edwards, CEO Seven Stories, National Centre for Children’s Books said:

“Children’s books shape our earliest perceptions of the world and its cultures, building understanding, empathy and tolerance. Despite this there is still a lack of representation of children from different cultural backgrounds – especially as main characters. By drawing attention to some best loved and well-crafted children’s books, our Diverse Voices season will curate an exciting and diverse list of books that will help to inform the choices of librarians, teachers, booksellers and readers when they pick books to recommend, stock, read and enjoy. Britain’s rich and diverse cultural heritage is something to be celebrated and championed.”

At IBBY UK, celebrating and promoting diversity is at the core of what we do – so take a look at the list, and get reading!

2015 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award

The list of nominees for the 2015 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) has been announced at the Frankfurt Book Fair. The list includes 50 first-time nominees among a total of 197 candidates from 61 countries. 

IBBY UK was delighted to nominate Letterbox Library - a pioneering campaigner for diversity in children’s books. In an era of narrowing choice and increasing commercialisation of children’s books, Letterbox Library ensure that children have access to a wide range of alternative narratives which respect who they are.

Other UK nominations include David Almond, Michael Rosen, Patrick Ness, Allan Ahlberg, Raymond Briggs, Melvin Burgess, Aidan Chambers, Susan Cooper, Michael Foreman, Neil Gaiman, Grace Hallworth, Shirley Hughes, Michael Morpurgo and Meg Rosoff. Aidan and Nancy Chambers and Margaret Meek Spencer are nominated for their work in promoting children’s reading. 

The 2015 laureate will be announced on 31 March 2015. 

IBBY Palestine Appeal October 2014

Since IBBY UK's call for peace in Gaza, with over 90 signatures from leading figures in the children's book world, IBBY International have announced their Children in Crisis Appeal for for the reconstruction of IBBY’s Gaza libraries.

"The IBBY community has an obligation to rebuild these libraries, and we will – re-housing and re-stocking them in order to try to bring these children who have lost so much, help and the knowledge that they are not alone, not abandoned as they rebuild their lives once again.  Perhaps with time they can regain a sense of safety and belief in the value of dialogue and hope for the future.  They will know that we care."

IBBY UK in Mexico City

IBBY UK attended the 34th International Congress in Mexico City from 10-13 September.  Authors, illustrators, librarians, teachers and academics from across the world are joining together to reflect on the stereotypes in children’s literature, on the role of literature in building an inclusive culture and on the creation of art and literature from a standpoint of diversity. 

Dylan's Great Poem

Dylan's Great PoemTo celebrate Dylan Thomas’ centenary, Literature Wales is inviting children and young people from around the world to take part in Dylan’s Great Poem. Anyone aged 7–25 can enter this international online event to help the Developing Dylan 100 project write an epic, 100-line poem in the spirit of the famous Welsh poet. The finished bilingual (English/Welsh) poem will be broadcast on BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru and published online.

Dylan’s Great Poem will be edited by acclaimed Welsh poets Owen Sheers and Mari George. Two-times Wales Book of the Year Award winner and 2012 WRU (Welsh Rugby Union) Artist in Residence, Owen Sheers, will edit Dylan’s Great Poem in English; while Mari George, who has worked as a script writer for the BBC’s Pobol y Cwmand has published her second collection of poetry this year, will edit in Welsh. will be open for contributions to Dylan’s Great Poem for 24 hours from 9.00 am GMT on National Poetry Day, Thursday 2 October 2014. The finished poem will be published online on Monday 6 October. Owen Sheers and Mari George will provide updates on their progress editing Dylan’s Great Poem on Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag #GreatPoem

For more information go to:

Latest news from IBBY Palestine

IBBY Beit Hanoun library completely destroyed

As news reaches us of  the continuing devastation and shelling of schools in Gaza, shocking the international community, we would like to share news from our colleagues at IBBY Palestine. 

The entire community centre (al Ata’a) in Beit Hanoun, which hosted one of the IBBY libraries, has been completely destroyed.  At the beginning of 2014 a second library was opened in the centre.  According to a report by the Guardian “scores of homes were pulverised, roads were blocked by wreckage and power cables dangled in the street” in Beit Hanoun neighbourhood.  The librarian has moved out with her family, as have the children who used the library and their families. 

There is no clear news from the library in Rafah as it is a military zone and no one is allowed to go there.  The Rafah librarian, his family and all the children of the library with their families had been displaced earlier.

On Monday, the roof of the building and the upper floor of the building where the PBBY (IBBY Palestine) coordinator and her family live, was bombarded and damaged.  Many buildings in the neighbourhood have been destroyed or damaged.  There is no water as the tanks on the roof were destroyed and the electricity supply is now almost non-existent.

There are now reportedly 182,604 internally displaced people in 82 UNRWA shelters in Gaza. Last week, the United Nations noted with alarm that a child was dying every hour.



IBBY UK and British writers and illustrators for children and young people protest the effect on children of the latest Israeli assault in Gaza

At IBBY UK, we are proud to be part of an international organisation of people dedicated to children’s literacy and literature and to the promotion of international understanding through children’s books. 

Children at a PBBY Library

As members of the IBBY global family, we are horrified by the relentless bombing and recent invasion of Gaza by Israel and the attacks on ordinary civilians and families with children. The fatal shooting of four boys playing football on a beach prompted us to express our dismay and outrage.

Since 2008 the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) has been supporting two new children’s libraries in the Gaza Strip. The two IBBY libraries in Rafah and Beit Hanoun have been heavily bombarded by Israeli military and thousands of Palestinians living there have been displaced. The two areas are now military zones after the Israeli land invasion. PBBY (Palestinian Board of Books for Young People) received this message from the librarian, Abla Hassan, in Beit Hanoun about the situation there before she was displaced:

“The al-Ata’ community based centre that hosts the library has been targeted and very badly damaged. The children's courtyard has been destroyed as well as books, computers, windows and walls. As to the houses of the children who use the library, three houses have been completely destroyed and thirty houses partially destroyed. The number of children or their family members killed is not known yet.

No known news about the library in al-Shawka – Rafah. All families are displaced including the librarian Mahmoud who left two days ago and described the situation, 'it was horrific - tens of civilians killed and tens of houses destroyed - no specific news about the situation of the children using the library and the library building.'”

Last year, a delegation including our International President and Executive Director were able to visit the libraries for the first time. In Rafah, parents and children told the IBBY delegation that at least inside the library they felt safe. In Beit Hanoun in the north, the children were more agitated and on edge. They spoke about how frightening it was to hear drones overhead and of the people they knew who had been killed or injured in Israeli air strikes.  There are no bomb shelters in Gaza.  They talked about the choice they had to make when the bombing started: to stay in the house or go out into the street? Either way they might be killed.

It is impossible to imagine what it is like for young people just to live from day to day in Gaza under such constant pressure. We are shocked by the numbers of dead and injured children. Fatalities include eight cousins of Beit Hanoun’s librarian.

Gaza has long been a place under siege, its borders closed, with frequent shortages of food, water and electricity. In such circumstances the space for children and young people to grow, learn and dream is hard to find. That is what our libraries sought to provide – and now they are gone.

IBBY UK and the following writers and illustrators for young people, lecturers, teachers, librarians and storytellers call on the British Government to do all in its power to influence the government of Israel not only to cease its present assault but to lift its blockade of Gaza and its occupation of other Palestinian territory and to work in good faith towards a lasting peace in the region. 

Signed: Pam Dix (Chair of IBBY UK), Anne Fine OBE (author and former Children’s Laureate), Michael Rosen (author and former Children’s Laureate), Philip Pullman CBE, FRSL (author), Jackie Kay MBE, Debjani Chatterjee MBE (poet), Anne Marley MBE (librarian), Alan Gibbons (author), Gillian Cross (author), Bali Rai (author), Beverley Naidoo (author), Bernard Ashley (author), Rina Vergano (playwright), Candy Gourlay (author), Elizabeth Laird (author), (author), Jane Ray (illustrator), Helen Cowcher (illustrator), Jeremy Strong (author), Geraldine McCaughrean (author), Julia Eccleshare (writer and editor), Matthew Kay (film maker), Kerry Mason and Fen Coles (Letterbox Library), Julia Jarman (author), Linda Newbery (author),Lynne Reid Banks (author), Catherine Johnson (author), Nicholas Tucker (author and critic), Piet Grobler (illustrator and lecturer), Rose Impey (author), Prodeepta Das (photographer), Vivien French (author), Sophie Hallam, Mary Hoffman (author), Chris Stephenson, Carol Thompson (illustrator), Pamela Lewis, Ferelith Hordon (librarian and editor), Charles Forrest, Val Edgar (author), Margaret Bateson-Hill (author and storyteller), Rachel Johnson, Mary Green (author), Margaret Chamberlain (illustrator), Nicki Cornwell (author), Evelyn Arizpe (lecturer), Anne Harding (librarian and lecturer), Ann Lazim (librarian), Anna McQuinn (author and publisher), Laura Cecil (literary agent), Nicola Collins, Tricia Adams (librarian), Pat Pinsent (author and lecturer), Clive Barnes (librarian), Lesley Delaney, Alexandra Strick (book consultant), Rebecca Butler (student), John Newman (bookseller), Enid Stephenson, Eve Tandoi (student), Jean Burke, Karen Argent (teacher and lecturer), Nikki Marsh, Ollie Alden, Beth Cox (book consultant), Sheila Ray (librarian and lecturer), Shirley Hobson, Zoe Toft (book consultant), Sarah Lawrence, Diana Kimpton (author), Kay Waddilove, Anne Walker, Susan Bailes, Bridget Carrington, Sue Mansfield (librarian), Jane Nissen (editor), Shereen Pandit (writer), Dianne Hofmeyr (author), Marjorie Coughlan (editor), Frances Simon, Karen AbuZant, Marion Brettle, Judith Philo, Annemarie Young, Gillian McClure, Penni Cotton, Charlotte Rolfe, Georgia Byng, Yan Zheng and Osman Coban.  

For press or further information, please  contact:

Pam Dix, Chair of IBBY UK
Mobile: 07855 327 556
Email: pam[at]

You can get involved by:

For more information:


Libraries are the beating heart of schools

A new report The Beating Heart of the School  calls for all schools to have a good library to ensure children develop essential literacy and digital literacy skills in order to fulfil their potential.

The report includes findings from research about secondary school head teachers’ attitudes to school libraries. A survey was carried out by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) which showed that headteachers were overwhelmingly positive about the impact of school libraries on teaching and learning, and the overall importance of the library to the school. 

Lord Graham Tope, Chair of the Libraries APPG, said:

"We live in a world awash with digital information, where literacy skills are essential for most jobs and our daily lives, yet one in six adults in the UK struggle with literacy.

We must make sure that children in our schools are encouraged to read, have access to exciting books and reading materials, and are taught research and digital literacy skills.

If every school has a well-resourced, properly staffed, fit for purpose library that is a key part of their strategies it will make a huge contribution to young people’s educational attainment."

Schools Minister David Laws said:

"The school library is an incredibly important way to ensure that children have a good choice when choosing books, a dedicated space for reading, and effective encouragement and stimulation from librarians to develop their literacy skills. I welcome the interest the Libraries All Party Group is taking in this important subject."

The Beating Heart of the School report recommends:

  • The Department for Education starts collecting figures about the number of schools that have a library and librarian
  • The Minister for Schools examines the full contribution that school libraries make to children’s education and development
  • Ofsted includes libraries in their inspections
  • The Department for Education has a lead staff-member for school libraries.

The report has been supported and brought together by the Chartered Institute for Library & Information Professionals (CILIP), who provide the secretariat for the Libraries All Party Parliamentary Group.


Book awards galore! Jon Klassen wins again at the UKLA Awards

Jon KlassenOver the last few weeks we have seen the children's literature world alight with book awards. First we had the prestigious Carnegie and Greenaway Awards (judged by librarians), followed by Booktrust's Best Book Awards (judged by children) and now the UKLA Awards (judged by teachers).

Jon Klassen's This is not my Hat has won for the second time in as many weeks - winning the Kate Greenaway Medal and now the 3 to 6 years category for the UKLA Awards. The UKLA award winners also include The Story of the Blue Planet by Andri Snær Magnason, translated by Julian Meldon D'Arcy and llustrated by Áslaug Jónsdóttir in the 7 to 11 years category; Now is the Time for Running by Michael Williams, published by Tamarind Books in the 12 to 16+ years category and, for the first time, the judges also presented a Highly Commended 3 to 6 Award to Open Very Carefully by Nick Bromley, illustrated by Nicola O’Byrne.

Alayne Ӧzturk, President of UKLA, said "UKLA is committed to the importance of a diverse range of literature for children and young people. We know that literature broadens the reader’s experience of the world and sense of the possible and thus should have a central place in classrooms and educational contexts. The exceptional quality of the shortlists this year and the truly outstanding winners shows that there are many gems to be found amongst the smaller presses and we are proud to be celebrating international authors and illustrators at our 50th International Conference” 

The awards were made at a ceremony held on 4th July in Sussex.

  • Read more and see the shortlists for this year’s awards on the UKLA website.


Happy endings: congratulations to Kevin Brooks and Jon Klassen

Jon Klassen - winner of the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal for his book This Is Not My Hat - and Kevin Brooks - winner of the CILIP Carnegie Medal - together with their medals

Congratulations to CILIP Carnegie Medal winner Kevin Brooks, who picked up the award yesterday for his dark and sinister tale The Bunker Diary, a fictional diary of a kidnapped boy held hostage in a bunker. Brooks defended his story which has been accused of having little hope, and certainly no happy endings:

 “As readers, children – and teens in particular – don’t need to be cossetted with artificial hope that there will always be a happy ending...To be patronizing, condescending towards the reader is, to me, the worst thing a Young Adult fiction author can do.”

The CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal was awarded to Jon Klassen for This is not my Hat, a wonderfully humorous story of a tiny fish and his little blue hat. Klassen summarises his ideas of community and shared enjoyment in children's literature - whether it has a happy ending or not...

"Storytelling is an act of community, of looking at one another afterward and agreeing that we enjoyed it or not. Whether the story itself portrays happiness or doom, the hope is found when we agree we liked it, and I'm so glad you liked this one."


Read our guest blog by Andrew Roads

Thanks to all who came to our fantastic IBBY UK  event with Walker Books in celebration of Vango Book Two: A Prince Without a Kingdom by Timothée de Fombelle, translated by Sarah Ardizzone. Our panel included both author and translator; Lydia Syson, author of That Burning Summer and A World Between Us;  Jane Winterbotham, Publishing Director at Walker and Alex Strick of Outside In acting as chair. It was a moving and fascinating discussion on war in children's literature.

Thank you to all of our panel, Walker and Tales on Moon Lane. 

Congratulations to Barbro Lindgren

Barbro LindgrenCongratulations to Barbro Lindgren who accepted the 2014 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award on Monday evening before a crowded audience in the Stockholm Concert Hall. H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria presented the award, and Minister for Culture Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth hailed Lindgren for her literary achievements:

Barbro Lindgren is a brave and innovative author. She gives her readers courage and is not afraid to describe the world as it really is. Loneliness, setbacks, and even death are all part of life. Lindgren does not try to protect children; instead, her honesty, humor and openness strengthen children to think and talk about difficult things for themselves.

IBBY UK nominates Letterbox Library for the ALMA 2015

Letterbox Library

IBBY UK is delighted to nominate Letterbox Library for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award 2015. The Award is one of the most distinguished international honours in the children’s book world and is made to authors and illustrators for lifetime achievement, and to organisations for long-term sustainable work in promoting reading.