National bookseller Exclusive Books has announced the winners of its bi-annual IBBY SA Award, a competition aimed at recognising the best South African children’s book writers and illustrators, and, for the first time, best translator.
The Exclusive Books IBBY SA Award is endorsed by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), a non-profit organisation which represents an international network of people from all over the world who are committed to bringing books and children together.
To be considered for the award, the writer, illustrator and translator must be South Africans and the book must be an original work written in any of the official South African languages. The book must also have been published in SA. The winners each receive R10,000 cash.
Lebohang Masango’s title, Mpumi’s Magic Beads, took the award for Best Writer. Mpumi’s Magic Beads is a delightful story about friendship, self-esteem, discovery and beautiful hair in the big city of Joburg. It follows the sudden adventures of Mpumi, Asante and Tshiamo as they see the world around them from new heights and realise all of the fun waiting to be discovered outside of their classroom. This story is a great read for the whole family, especially children aged between five and 10.
The stunning picture book, South African Animal Portraits A-Z, saw Nicolaas Maritz win the prize for Best Illustrations.
The vivid and charming illustrations allow you to meet the mammals, reptiles, insects and birds which populate the veld, desert, forests and ponds of SA. From the ant-eating aardvark to the zebra spitting cobra, there is a new friend on every page.
The superb translation of Maryanne and Shayle Bester’s Elders at the Door, by Xolisa Guzula, won her the prize for Best Translation.
Iinkonde eMnyango, the isiXhosa translation, is a fable which is told across the continent and belongs to all of Africa and its people. Although the setting and characters are quintessentially African, from the rhythms of their speech to the patterns on their clothes, the message is universal.
Says Colleen Whitfield, Exclusive Books’ children’s book manager: “Exclusive Books believes in nurturing a love of reading in children from an early age. The primary objective of the Exclusive Books IBBY SA Awards is to recognise talent, to encourage more South African authors and publishers to make story books available for children and to develop this genre of literature in South Africa.”