Nicola Clase, Fen Coles, Michael Rosen

Ambassador Nicola Clase, Ms Fen Coles of Letterbox, Professor Michael Rosen, author

Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA)

The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) is the world’s largest award for children’s and young adult literature and was founded by the Swedish government in 2002.Today we organized a breakfast at the residence to highlight the ALMA Award and to talk about trends in children’s literature. The announcement of this year’s winner will be coming live from the international Bologna Children’s Book Fair on March 31 – and it is all rather exciting. There are 197 candidates from 61 countries that have been nominated by organizations worldwide. Among those – and this is quite impressive – 19 are from the UK.

We were very pleased to have professor Michael Rosen with us at the breakfast as he is one of the nominated British authors. I am not exaggerating when I say that I have read his book “We Are Going An A Bear Hunt” a zillion times. My children never seemed to get enough of the book when they were very young.

We also had the nominated organization Letterbox Library represented at the breakfast. This is an organization that works to promote equality and diversity and challenges stereotypes in children’s books.

We all realise the importance of children’s and young adult literature and how important it is to get more of it – translated, read and borrowed. We were especially pleased to have Charlotte Eyre, Children’s Editor at the Bookseller as a moderator of the discussion and enjoyed listening to her reflections. Quite a lot of the discussion during the breakfast came to focus on what makes children want to read and especially what it takes to make more boys enjoy reading books.

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