International books for children

Dear colleagues,

I am honored and excited to be the GLLI guest editor for March 2018.  I have been a public and school librarian for many years. My daughter is from India and now lives in New Zealand.  For her 21st birthday we visited Japan, her favorite place in the world.   In 2011, I spent six months on sabbatical researching international picture books. I am co-editor of the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY) newsletter, Bridges.  I believe that international peace begins with children understanding the world through books.  For my first post, I want to take you to the International Youth Library near Munich, Germany.

Here is their link, published in both German and English. International Youth Library.

The IYL is the largest library for international children’s and youth literature. Founded in 1949 by Jella Lepman, it is now a world renowned center for research and study.  I had the good fortune to take a graduate class at the University of Maryland, where we traveled to Germany and worked in this Library for three weeks.  If you do not know the biography of Jella Lepman, please treat yourself to reading about her.  She has a wonderful connection to The Story of Ferdinand, the classic picture book from Spain.

The IYL offers fifteen fellowships for librarians, educators, publishers, authors and others who are keen to “research in the field of international children’s and youth literature and illustration, and to promote academic exchange and international cooperation.” It is financed by the Foreign Ministry of the Federal Republic of Germany.  The length of stay can range from six weeks to three months.  The deadline is September 30th for the following year.

If your library is searching for the best international youth literature worldwide, please look at the White Ravens catalogue and annual publication in English (linked below).

White Ravens 2017

Throughout the year, the language specialists at the IYL select recently published books that “deserve a wider reception on account of their universal theme and/or their exceptional and often innovative artistic and literary style and design.”








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