A great deal of interesting talks and seminars were held. What stands out were talks by Sir Richard Taylor, producer of Lord of the Rings, Katherine Paterson, author of Bridge to Terabithia, Leigh Hobbs, author of Mr. Chicken Lands on London, and many more. Librarians from Australia and New Zealand explained new techniques they used to encourage children to read such as categorizing books according to interest like pets or football. The amount of research and information about the development of children’s literature was incredible.
The 5-day conference concluded with a Gala dinner where all 500 attendees from around the world were in attendance. It was a real pleasure to have the Hans Christian Anderson Award Winner, Chinese Cao Wenxuan, give his remarkable acceptance speech. The winning illustrator, German Rotraut Susanne Berner was regrettably not in attendance, but sent a beautiful, personally illustrated video for all of us to watch as her acceptance speech.
All IBBY member states signed off the week by voting on changes in author and illustrator dossier content and submission requirements. Further details will be announced on the official IBBY site.