Monday, August 22, 2016

IBBY Congress celebrates the best of world children's books

It has been an amazing opportunity for supporters of children's reading and writing to have the 35th IBBY Congress here in New Zealand.

The congress of the International Board on Books for Young People brought the cream of international literacy experts, authors, illustrators, librarians, teachers and publishers to Auckland's Aotea Centre for a four-day event that concluded with the Storylines Family Day yesterday.

The New Zealand Publishers stand (above), which benefited
from the enthusiastic presence of IBBY volunteer
Coline Rouge (right)

Oratia was privileged to be a part of proceedings, taking our place alongside seven other publishers on the Publishers Association of New Zealand stand to showcase local books. A number of other publishers also had their own stands.

The congress gave an opportunity to meet with delegates from around the world, as well as the strong contingent of local children's books advocates.

A highlight for us was escorting renowned Brazilian illustrator Roger Mello on behalf of the congress organisers, and seeing Roger in a session on book illustration with Australian illustrator Bronwyn Bancroft and local illustrator Zak Waipara.

Top: Zak Waipara (right) with Bronwyn Bancroft
Below: an image from Māui - Sun Catcher
In his talk Zak featured imagery from our forthcoming publication Māui - Sun Catcher, a picture book retelling of the myth of Māui catching the sun, written by Tim Tipene.

Saturday evening's gala dinner included presentation of the biennial Hans Christian Andersen Awards, the most prestigious awards inchildren's literature.
Cao Wenxuan delivered a brilliant acceptance speech
China's Cao Wenxuan was present to receive the writer's award; Germany's Rotraut Susanne Berner, who was unable to attend, created a delightful video to acknowledge receipt of the illustrator's award.
Oratia publisher Peter Dowling (right) with legendary US educational publisher Kent Brown at the gala dinner
The congress has been a massive, largely voluntary undertaking by the New Zealand IBBY chapter, Storylines. It was great to see congress directors Libby Limbrick and Rosemary Tisdall receive due acknowledgement for their efforts - and to hear unanimous praise from the over 500 delegates.
MC Miriama Kamo (left) toasts congress directors Rosemary Tisdall (centre) and Dr Libby Limbrick

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