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
background.

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

On with it! – Tbilisi Book Days

Georgia5November in Tbilisi is as grey as it is in Munich. And so the Tbilisi Book Days, first of their kind, were a real splash of colour against the rainy, cloudy city sky: Set on the Expo Georgia space the Book Days invited visitors not only to buy books from various Georgian publishing houses; there was so much more to see, to hear, to discover!

Georgia2Over a period of four days, visitors were invited to have a look at various exhibitions – among them an international picture book exhibition, placed in the middle of the central exhibition hall. There you could not only see picture books lent from the International Youth Library, but also picture books that the Book Art Center Georgia had obtained both for the Tbilisi Book Days and to start an international library in the near future. All the books were accompanied by white gloves that visitors had to put on before taking a book into their hands. – Is there a better way to emphasize the value a book has?

Georgia4Another sparkling highlight: The three illustrators’ exhibitions. Apart from fine Iranian picture book art, curated by Ali Boozari, you were offered great insights into Ukrainian and Georgian art. Illustrations by the Kiev-based group Pictoric plus Lviv’s Agrafka Studio brilliantly pinpointed the rapid, exciting development that young Ukrainian illustration art has been taken within the last three years. And then there was Georgian illustration: Over 30 young illustrators – many of them being part of the Tbilisi-based group Virgam – showed their artwork and thereby made a strong statement about the large potential of illustration from Georgia. Very few of those illustrations have become part of picture books yet (check: Sulakauri publishing!), but they are all featured in a nice catalogue accompanying the exhibitions.

Georgia6More colour splashes? Professional illustrators were invited to attend the three-day workshop conducted by illustrators Renate Habinger and Verena Ballhaus! And all visitors had the opportunity to hear lectures about picture book apps, stereotypes and authenticity in picture books, and the White Ravens Catalogue. Finally an international panel discussion on the current and the future Georgian children’s book market – its challenges and opportunities, impulses and directions – took place.

To cut this long story short: The Tbilisi Book Days have rolled out the red carpet for the Georgian children’s book art and market; but it is still waiting for more people to walk it.

Larry Sipe collection found a new home!

Larry Sipe’s collection of picture books and children’s literature has found a new home at the International Youth Library in Munich. Processing the complete collection of about 4,200 books was no mean feat, but with determination and international help, we were able to complete the cataloguing process in December 2013. Weiterlesen

Anārestān: An Exhibition of Contemporary Iranian Illustration.

Ali BoozariAli Boozari, Iranian illustrator and head of the Iranian illustrator’s society collected the artwork in Iran. In the following article he describes the story behind this unique exhibition and gives us a review of the opening and the accompanying workshops with German schoolclasses.

Located in the historical campus of Blutenburg castle in Germany, the International Youth Library of Munich is the largest library for international literature for children and young in the world.In addition to the unique book collection, the halls of Blutenburg castle host various events. These exhibitions include illustration exhibitions and the display of literary works (past and present) from different countries. Designed for both children and adults, such exhibitions also include the display of literary works and recommended catalogues. Some of these exhibitions travel to the public libraries of schools and various institutes to be displayed again . Weiterlesen