Awards

Nadine Kaadan’s ‘Tomorrow’ Nominated for Kate Greenway Medal

Nominations have been published for the UK’s oldest children’s book awards, which recognize “outstanding writing and illustration in books for children and young people”:

The CILIP Carnegie Medal is awarded annually by CILIP for an outstanding book written in English for children and young people; and the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal is awarded for distinguished illustration.

Syrian author-illustrator Nadine Kaadan’s Tomorrowtranslated by the author and published by Lantana, is one of the latter.

According to organizers, 254 books have been nominated for the 2019 Medals; 137 books are in the running for the CILIP Carnegie Medal and 117 for the Kate Greenaway Medal. Books can be nominated by CILIP members, BookTrust, CLPE, Commonword, IBBY, Inclusive Minds, National Literacy Trust, and RNIB.

What next? According to prize organizers:

Each nominated book is read by every member of the judging panel − 14 children’s and youth librarians representing all regions of CILIP’s Youth Libraries Group − who volunteer their time as judges.

From these nominations the judging panel will decide the long and shortlists and finally, the 2019 Medal winners, based on the official Medals criteria. The long and shortlists identify a range of outstanding books for children and young people, recognising excellent literature and illustration from new and established authors and illustrators.

The awards shadowing scheme engages thousands of children and young people in schools and libraries in the UK and overseas through reading groups that ‘shadow’ the judges as they read and engage with the shortlists. Shadowers critically and creatively explore the shortlisted books, through group participation and online engagement: posting reviews, blogs, artworks, videos, exploring human rights and participating in visual literacy based creative activities.

The winners’ ceremony in June will see one book from each shortlist awarded the first children’s choice prize, voted for and presented by shadowers, alongside the winners of the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals.

The longlist will be announced February 18, 2019, with the shortlist following on March 18, and the winner June 17, 2019.

More at the Carnegie Greenaway website.

 

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Chapter Books

‘Mama, My Classmate’: A Charming, Funny Story About Embarrassment, Parents, and Learning New Things

ArabKidLitNow! recommends Lubna Taha and Maya Fidawi’s chapter book, Mama, My Classmate:

Awards: WINNER of the 2018 Etisalat Prize for Arabic Children’s Literature in the “Best Text” category

Author: Lubna Taha

Illustrator: Maya Fidawi

Publisher: Salwa Books

Reading ages: 6-9

Contact: info@arablit.org, rights@alsalwabooks.com

Buy in Arabic: From Al Salwa Books

This charmingly relatable eight-chapter book is told from the perspective of young Noora, who — spoiler alert — is also the book’s author. Noora has lots of nightmares, but the worst of all is one that comes true when her mom decides she wants to improve her English.

Noora’s intrepid, fearless mom isn’t just the sort to change her own tire at the side of the road, which is embarrassing enough. She also wants to learn English, and so she comes to sit in on Noora’s very own English class.

Noora is understandably mortified by this development, especially when one of the other girls — Rana — realizes the new grown-up student, Abeer, is Noora’s mom.

Big-mouth Rana tells everyone the new student is Noora’s mom….

Even worse, Noora’s mom is good at English class, and she makes friends with the other girls. Noor’s mom wants to work together on their homework, but ugh! Noora is having none of it. Anyhow, she has other subjects, too.

Then one day, when Noora’s mom is out sick, and the other girls genuinely miss their friend Abeer, Noora comes to appreciate her mom’s presence. In the end, her mom even helps her to write this book.

Mama, My Classmate is a wonderful story about a mother’s continuing education and the very relatable embarrassment this brings to a young girl, and how she (slowly) gets past this embarrassment. It’s relatable for any reader (since all our parents are embarrassing, at some time or another!), but especially for kids whose parents are language learners.

Sample from Chapter One:

Do you ever have nightmares about school?

There is one nightmare where you find yourself in the middle of the school playground. You’re wearing your pajamas, and all the other kids are gathered around, laughing meanly.

Or there’s one where you accidentally fart in the classroom. Everyone knows you’re the one who did it, and they’re all pointing at you and giggling.

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Or there’s the nightmare where the other kids steal your shoes, and you have to walk all the way home barefoot.

Or the one where you suddenly fall asleep in science class. When you wake up, you’re surrounded by kids who are mimicking the sound of your snore:

Khkhkhkhkhkhkhkhkhkhkhkhkhkhkhkhkhkhkhkhkhkhkhkhkhkhkh

Or… or… or… or… I mean…

Aaaahhh! I’ve had all these nightmares so many times. And honestly, they really scare me!

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But the biggest and most dangerous nightmare is one that appeared to me all of a sudden. This nightmare was worse than you could possibly imagine.

Yes, this was the worst nightmare that can happen to any person. It’s a nightmare so scary I couldn’t even believe it.

The title of this nightmare is:

Mama Is My Classmate.

Waaah!

And yes, what I’m saying is true. My mom is now in class with me!

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Additional material available upon request.

Awards

Congratulations to 5 Etisalat Award Winners

The winners of the 2018 Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature were announced this morning, at the opening of the Sharjah International Book Fair:

Children’s Book of the Year

Homesick (الحنين), by Aisha al-Harthi, illustrated by Hassan Manasra, from Dar al-Alam al-Arabi.

Young Adult Book of the Year

The Secret of Oil (سر الزيت), by Walid Daqqa, from the Tamer Institute. (Review from Al Monitor!)

Best Text

Mama My Classmate (ماما بنت صفي), by Lubna Taha, illustrated by Maya Fadawi, from Al Salwa Books. (Recommended title!)

Best Illustrations

Think of Others, by Mahmoud Darwish, illustrated by Sahar Abdullah, from  Tanmia Publishing House. (Recommended title!)

Best Production

Koozy (كوزي) by Anastasia Qarawani, illustrated by Maja Kastelic, from Al Salwa Books. (Recommended title!)

Find the full shortlist here at ArabKidLitNow!

Picture Books

‘Koozy’: Etisalat-winner for ‘Best Production,’ A Story of Loss & Cats & Love

ArabKidLitNow recommends Koozy (كوزي), which was shortlisted for the 2018 Etisalat Prize for Arabic Children’s Literature in three categories (best book, best illustrations, best production) and won the “best production” prize:

Awards: 2018 Etisalat Prize for Arabic Children’s Literature, best production

Author:Anastasia Qarawani

Illustrator: Maja Kastelic

Publisher: Al Salwa Books

Contact: info@arablit.org, rights@alsalwabooks.com

Buy in Arabic: Available at Al Salwa Books

This is a story of love and loss, friendship and honoring those who are gone, warmly and richly illustrated by Maja Kastelic. Since kids know better what they like, we enlisted two small people to give their impressions of the book.

The two reviewers, ages 10 and 7, asked for their names to be redacted:

R 10: It’s about a kid whose cat “disappears,” maybe dies–

R 7: Don’t say that.

R 10: –and so he’s really sad, and his cat doesn’t come back. And his mom tells him when cats go away, they go live in the stars at a certain time, and she tells him that his cat Koozy is up looking at him every night. And then there’s this girl that he sees, and her cat “went away” too, and he is friends with her and she likes cats, and he tells her about the star thing, and she tells him that if you write a letter, your cat will come and read it and know what you said.

R 10: I like how it feels real.

R 7: It was very emotional. I was crying.

R 10: I wasn’t crying. I was crying on the inside.

R 7: The drawing sort of reminded me of an actual child’s drawing, and that made me think that the child was writing this, and this was his life story.

R 10: I like how the art style is smooth. It feels like a movie.

R 10: I’d read it again.

R 7: I would re-read it because I love cats.

Picture Books

‘Think of Others’: Mahmoud Darwish’s Moving Poem Illustrated by Award-winning Sahar Abdallah

ArabKidLitNow recommends Think of Others (فكر بغيرك), the text of Mahmoud Darwish’s classic poem, illustrated by award-winning artist Sahar Abdallah:

Awards: WINNER of 2018 Etisalat Prize for Arabic Children’s Literature, illustrations category

Author: Mahmoud Darwish

Illustrator: Sahar Abdallah

Publisher: Tanmia Books

Contact: info@arablit.org, info@saharabdallah.com

Buy in Arabic: Available on Jamalon

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This picture book brings together the moving and popular poem “Think of Others” by Mahmoud Darwish with charming illustrations by award-winning Egyptian-Canadian illustrator Sahar Abdallah.

There are a number of adequate translations of Darwish’s poem floating around online. This one is by Mohammed Shaheen, from Almond Blossoms and Beyond, published by Interlink Books in 2009. Certainly a fresh translation could be done for the picture book:

As you prepare your breakfast, think of others
(do not forget the pigeon’s food).
As you conduct your wars, think of others
(do not forget those who seek peace).
As you pay your water bill, think of others
(those who are nursed by clouds).
As you return home, to your home, think of others
(do not forget the people of the camps).
As you sleep and count the stars, think of others
(those who have nowhere to sleep).
As you liberate yourself in metaphor, think of others
(those who have lost the right to speak).
As you think of others far away, think of yourself
(say: “If only I were a candle in the dark”).

Tanmia also brought out another poem of Darwish’s with Abdallah’s illustrations, So Said the Neglected Tree:

Get rights in your language before they’re gone!