A joint project of Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian literary organizations, "Tiny books from Baltic authors", has won the PETITE PEN prize, established by the Catalan Writers' Union and awarded for the first time this year.
The PETITE PEN prize was founded by the Catalan writers' association PEN Català. The winners were announced at the 12th Festival of Children and Young People's Literature and Arts (Festival de literatura i arts infantil i juvenil or FLIC).
PEN Català, the Catalan Writers' Union, promotes literature and stands for the European project "Be (P)Art" that aims to support the European literary sector and its cultural agents to reach young audiences.
The aim of the PETITE PEN prize is to recognize the contribution of a European institution, organization or initiative to the creation of a freer and more diverse literature for children and young people.
According to the jury, "Tiny books from Baltic authors" provides young readers with a reading experience that encourages them to think about human rights and diversity.
The project also promotes children's literature in the Baltic States and encourages collaboration among Baltic children's literature authors by showcasing their work in the Baltic States and around the world.
The winners were chosen by a jury chaired by Gemma Rodriguez.
In addition to the project "Tiny books from Baltic authors," the prize was given to the Hungarian association Labrisz Leszbikus Egyesület.
Ulla Saar, the Estonian coordinator of the project and head of external relations at the Center for Children's Literature (Eesti Lastekirjandus Keskus), said that the prize is a great recognition for the project and makes the team very happy. "It is encouraging to see that both our Baltic authors and our approach to the topic have been noticed and appreciated."
The mini-books will be translated into 15 languages by the beginning of 2023, they will be in the public domain, and our authors' work will thus reach children all over the world, including those who cannot afford to buy books. "Our miniature books are small in size but large in content," Saar said.
Writing and illustrating a good short story takes a lot of creativity and collaboration. The project "Tiny Books from Baltic Authors" was a collaboration between the reading promotion program "Children's World", initiated by a non-governmental Lithuanian organization Center for School Improvement, the Latvian Children and Youth Literature Council (IBBY Latvia) and the Estonian Children's Literature Center. The project was supported by the Baltic Cultural Fund.
Mini-books are short illustrated stories in foldable A4 format that children can download for free, print at home or school and fold into their own books.
The books convey European and Baltic principles on crucial themes and is easily customizable for workshops and educational activities at any school, preschool or home. The aim of the project was to create literature that talks to children about important issues related to human rights and diversity.
Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian writers and illustrators created mini-books on equal treatment, cultural diversity, disability, age discrimination, gender roles and freedom of expression. In addition to the books, comprehensive accompanying materials were developed to help professionals working with children talk about human rights and diversity in the classroom.
Editor: Kristina Kersa