Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Childrens Literature by Shaun Tan Captures Top Prize

"The process of reading is co-creation," notes Shaun Tan, recipient of this year's Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for Children's Literature.  The prize, named in honor of the late Astrid Lindgren, author of the classic "Pippi Longstocking" books, recognizes the very best work for children with the world's largest annual prize:  nearly US$750,000.

Winner Shaun Tan has illustrated more than 20 books, including the entirely wordless and award-winning book 'The Arrival' which aroused considerable international attention.

He has also received an Academy award Oscar for Best Animated Short Film, for 'The Lost Thing'.

According to the Australian-Asian writer Tan, all his readers -- of any age -- are addressed as if they are working alongside him, studying his illustrations to create and tell their own story. This quality has made his work universally appealing.

Tan received the 2011 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) from Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden at Stockholm Concert Hall.

Children are honored as a foundation of Swedish culture, so the mid-May ceremony drew 900 specially invited guests.  Luminaries included the Swedish Minister of Trade, Ewa Bj√∂rling, and General Director of the Swedish Arts Council, Kennet Johansson.

At his acceptance speech (seen in the video below), Tan noted, "The books that children read shape who we become in the world... so many positive things radiate from the pages of a good story."

Just a visit to the Shaun Tan website will convince your family just how special Tan's work is. The 10 major picture books he has produced -- some without words -- are as appropriate for adults to enjoy as for children. His visual form of communication was singled out by the ALMA Jury for its power to transcend any language barrier.

Shortly after the ceremony, Tan traveled to Munich to lecture at the International Youth Library, the largest library in the world of children’s and young adult literature and a great destination for Germany bound travelers.

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