By Ogova Ondego
Published January 15, 2016
The winner of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) for young readers shall be announced in April 2016.
The laureate shall come from among 215 nominees from 59 countries. The candidates consist of authors, illustrators, storytellers and child literacy promoters.
ALMA is a US$6 million prize that is given annually. It is touted as the world’s largest award for children’s and young adult literature.
ALMA rewards authors, illustrators, oral storytellers and and promoters of reading among young people.
The list of nominees, announced on October 15, 2015, was said to have been proposed by 111 nominating bodies worldwide.
The Swedish government founded ALMA in 2002; it is administrated by the Swedish Arts Council.
Designed to promote interest in literature for children and young adults, ALMA is founded on the UN convention of the rights of the child.
A jury of experts selects the laureate(s) from candidates nominated by institutions and organisations all over the world.
African countries that nominated candidates for ALMA 2016 include Algeria, Angola, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia.
The immediate past winner of ALMA was South Africa’s Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa, PRAESA (2015).
Other previous winners include Barbro Lindgren, Sweden (2014); Isol, Argentina (2013); Guus Kuijer, Netherlands (2012); Shaun Tan, Australia (2011); Kitty Crowther, Belgium (2010); The Tamer Institute, Palestinian Territories (2009); Sonya Hartnett, Australia (2008); Banco del Libro, Venezuela (2007); Katherine Paterson, USA (2006); Ryôji Arai, Japan, and Philip Pullman, United Kingdom (2005); Lygia Bojunga, Brazil (2004); and Christine Nöstlinger, Austria, and Maurice Sendak, USA (2003).
Ulrika Stuart Hamilton, Chair of the Swedish Arts Council, and Alice Bah Kuhnke, Minister for Culture and Democracy in Sweden, shall preside over the event in the Swedish capital, Stockholm, on April 5, 2016.