Introductory Video

The video includes a message from author Aidan Chambers created for anyone interested in attending the 2012 Congress, and an overview of some of the highlights of London and surroundings.

Aidan Chambers - Author
Winner of the Hans Christian Andersen Award 2002

IBBY is very important because it is one of the very few gatherings of people interested in children’s books as a whole, which gathers together people from all over the world, without political thoughts to it, but simply to discuss the relationship of literature to children and the way they do things in each of their own countries.

This is a very unusual kind of event which has been going on now for so long that there’s great history behind it. I remember when I got my Andersen Award, the number of people who I’d never met or heard from before and things I learnt about other countries and other people’s literature was an eye-opener and I think that happens every year, every time the congress has happened.

The one in London in 2012 is a particular year because of course it’s the year when the Olympics will be held in London, which will bring together even more people from many different countries than it normally does as a city and there’s so much to see and do there as well as the extraordinary amount of history of children’s books that the English are privileged to have.  And people will be talking about the business of migration and the adaptation of children’s books which is becoming more and more important as people from many countries mix and live together and have to understand each others’ cultures and their backgrounds and their languages.

London schools often have 30, 40, 50 or more different languages being spoken in them and the way that the literature is handled is crucial to people who are there. Understanding their history, their background and how they fit in to not Britain only but to their own history and that’s what the congress will be about.  So it should be hugely exciting and there are speakers from many countries as well as from the UK and I’m looking forward very very much to what will happen there and meeting these people again.

See you in London, 2012.