Discoveries at IYL: Brundibár

During their stay, our fellows make all kinds of discoveries. Let’s see what Thomas Crisp, Assistant Professor at Georgia State University, found:

What did you discover?
A copy of Brundibár signed by both Tony Kushner and Maurice Sendak

Brundibar, signed copy

What should readers know about this item? Why is this item significant in children’s literature?
Kushner and Sendak created the picturebook version of Brundibár at the same time in which they were involved in staging a production of the opera (written by Hans Kráska) at the Chicago Opera Theater. Sendak, who was working on the designs for the opera, requested Kushner write an English-language adaptation of Adolf Hoffmeister’s libretto and, later, the text for this picturebook. Weiterlesen

Guten Tag, lieber Feind! Intercultural and shared reading

“If the war really is over,’ I said, ‘if one is to believe in peaceful coexistence, the first messengers of that peace will be these children’s books. Help me with this experiment. I promise you, you’ll never regret it.’”– Jella Lepman, A Bridge of Children’s Books. p.34.

This memory of Jella Lepman’s points to the philosophy which survives in one of her major legacies: the Internationale Jugendbibliothek / International Youth Library in Munich, Germany. Lepman’s vision for the library was borne, at least in part, from her experience of danger and displacement due to war. The current exhibition curated by the library Guten Tag, lieber Feind! Bilderbücher für Frieden und Menschlichkeit / Hello, dear enemy! Picture Books for Peace and Humanity takes up these issues, and brings together a collection of picture books which explore conflict, community, and the importance of empathy for others. Weiterlesen

Guten Tag, lieber Feind!  A suitcase filled with stories

That, to me, is the focal point of the exhibition ’Hello, Dear Enemy’. A suitcase surrounded by beanbags, inviting children to gather around, sit down, take a moment to relax and reflect on the wealth of picture books they have encountered. To share their thoughts with their friends, so they will, hopefully, one day be able to sit down with people they may now consider their enemies. Because reconciliation, dialogue, and mutual understanding, that is what this exhibition is all about. Weiterlesen

Letterally different – travelling exhibition in Slovenia

Our travelling exhibition „Letterally different“ was shown in Koper, Slovenia.
We cordially thank Urška Bonin for her report!

Unusual alphabet books from around the world
6.10.2014 – 7.11.2014

The entire exhibition was exposed in two separate departments of the Srečko Vilhar Public Library of Koper, Slovenia, namely the Children and Adolescents department and Adult readers department between the 6th of October and the 7th of November 2014. All of the books were exposed in glass showcases, so none of them were open to touch to the general public. However we organised many guided tours where children could browse the books under supervision. Weiterlesen

Guten Tag, lieber Feind! A thought-provoking exhibition

In the aftermath of World War II, one of the guiding principles of Jella Lepman, founder of the International Youth Library (IYL), was to promote peace, tolerance and intercultural understanding through children’s books. The current children’s and young adults’ picture book exhibition ‘Guten Tag, lieber Feind’ (Hello, Dear Enemy), celebrated its homecoming to the IYL on 15 November 2014,  having travelled throughout the world to great acclaim since 1998 and it most certainly subscribes to this ethos of promoting values of peace and international understanding. It also raises awareness about the tragic effects of war, the loss of family, home and security, particularly on children. Weiterlesen

Guten Tag, lieber Feind! An offer for reflection

A few windows, high underneath the attic roof, allow a little light to seep into the small space we now occupy. Rough wood walls are daubed with paint, and the tattered remains of posters hang desolately. Other brighter posters offer information. Propaganda perhaps? We understand little of what they say. Rope dangles emptily from the beams – for what purpose has it been placed there? A suitcase lies open, the contents spilling out, and in a corner it seems that someone seeking a little privacy has placed some sheets of cardboard around a few ragged cloths. Weiterlesen

Guten Tag, Lieber Feind! Impressions of the Exhibition

Who or what is your biggest enemy? Is it war and the inevitable destruction that
follows? Perhaps it is a fear of those that appear different – speaking a foreign
language, wearing unusual clothes, or representing a divergent ethnic or racial

From caged tigers and gun-toting cats to masked giants and unnamed governmental forces, the updated exhibition Guten tag, Lieber Feind! examines this concept through a menagerie of international picture books. Each of the books helps children understand either how to live peacefully with the “enemy,” or explores the consequences of conflict. The work of Jella Lepman and the International Youth Library has been to build bridges of understanding through children’s books. Weiterlesen