Monthly Archives: March 2015

Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award

Based in Cape Town, PRAESA (Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa) 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.

In 2014, PRAESA received the Asahi Reading Promotion Award, a prize instituted by the International Board on Books for Young People, IBBY.

PRAESA will accept the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award at the Stockholm Concert Hall on June 1, 2015.

More information: Helene Andersson, Communications Officer

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.

UNESCO Open Access modules

UNESCO’s Open Access Curriculum is Now Available
The complete set of five Open Access (OA) modules for researchers and four OA modules for library schools is now available online. These curricula will soon be converted into self-directed e-learning tools, which will enable users to self-assess their knowledge on Open Access and take a learning pace that is initiated and directed by the learners themselves. UNESCO also aims to translate the OA curricula into several languages to increase reach and impact. 

Canadian Sources for Children’s Literature Reviews

CM Magazine: Canadian Review of Materials, University of Manitoba

Online publication, open access:

Canadian Children’s Book News: Canadian Children’s Book Centre

In print (subscription) with archived issues online:

Quill & Quire: Key Publishers Co.

In print and online, subscription only – some content available from the website:

Jeunesse: Young people, texts, cultures

Centre for Research in Young People’s Texts and Cultures – University of Winnipeg

Open access – editorials, forums & reviews:

Resource Links: Connecting classrooms, libraries & Canadian Learning Resources

Print subscriptions only:

The World Through Picture Books, 2nd ed.

The IFLA Section for Libraries for Children and Young Adults. publication of the expanded second
edition of The World through Picture Books, enriched with sixteen new annotated country selections and with ideas on how to use them at the  library. This new, illustrated edition features fifty-two country lists of picture books recommended by librarians. That means 500 books in 37 languages!  All books are described in the language of publication and in English and  are available for purchase.
You can download the information at:

Research on libraries and literacy

Does having a library help make a child more likely to read for pleasure at school? And what about at home? Does having a library impact a child’s attitude towards reading?  Room to Read commissioned a research team to examine their libraries in Laos, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Zambia, and South Africa.  Find out in their report, a summary of which is available at