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mai 15, 2017

Brazilian children’s books authors receive international award

The Brazilian children’s books author Marina Colasanti and illustrator Ciça Fittipaldi have officially been nominated for the Hans Christian Andersen award, considered the “Nobel Prize” of children’s literature. The nominations were announced on Friday, April 3, during the Children’s Literature Fair in Bologna, Italy. 

Brazil has had three Andersen award winners. Lygia Bojunga, in 1982 and Ana Maria Machado in 2000 won for the text category. Roger Mello, in 2014, became the first Latin American illustrator to win in his category. To date, Mello remains the only Latin American to have done so.

The international award is organized by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY). It is awarded every two years to a writer and an author. This year, 33 authors and 28 illustrators are in the running for the award, which will be decided upon by a jury of 17 people. The winners will be honored at next year’s fair in Bologna. 

The Bologna fair hosts 1,300 stands from 75 countries, with over 26,000 guests. While 10 percent of the publishers are Italian, there are also representatives from every other continent. Brazil sent 15 publishers to Bologna and hopes to earn $320,000 in exports and business deals before the closing of the fair at the end of the week. The Brazilian publisher “Companhia das Letras”, or “Company of the Letters”, is nominated for Bologna’s Best Children’s Publishers of the Year award. The other four publishers up for the award are from Mexico and Colombia. 

Last year, the winners were the Chinese writer Cao Xenxuan and the German illustrator Rotraut Susanne Berner.

Colasanti and Fittipaldi were first nominated by the Brazilian Foundation of Children’s and Youth Literature, which sent in their names to the IBBY. The nomination presents five works from each author, their biographies, previous awards and academic works inspired by their works.

Ciça Fittipaldi was born in São Paulo in 1952 and already holds a number of awards, such as the São Paulo Art Critics Award (APCA) and the Jabuti, the most important literary award in Brazil. This is already the third time Fittipaldi has been nominated for the Andersen. Marina Colasanti has won seven Jabuti awards. Her work “A Brief Story of a Little Love” was chosen in 2014 as the best work of fiction.  Colasanti was born in 1937 in Eritrea and moved to Brazil at the age of 11 with her family.