IBBY, Matilda, Beatrix, and Me

I’m heading to London next month post-Olympics for IBBY*’s annual International Congress. While I’ve long known of this remarkable annual event this is the first year I’ve been able to attend and I’m very excited indeed.  Here’s how the theme “Crossing Boundaries” is described:

London – a city of many cultures – provided the early inspiration for the theme of this congress.  Within this one vibrant city, communities from Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa, the Middle East, China, Greece and Latin America have made their home.  And so it is in cities and countries all over the world.  People and cultures migrate, travel and resettle and with them go their stories.  The old traditional stories that have been passed down from generation to generation, as well as the new stories that they have created on their journeys.

In the 2012 congress, we will explore how books and stories for children and young people can cross boundaries and migrate across different countries and cultures. The congress will look at issues such globalisation, dual-language texts, cultural exchange and the art of translation and we will explore how literature for children migrates and translates in all its forms.

As for what else I’ll be doing, first and most important (as I’ve been yearning to see it) I’ve got a ticket to the musical “Matilda” and can’t wait for that. Having had relatives and close friends in London I’ve been visiting since very small, but somehow never did much literary (other than anything Carrollian). This time I’ve got a yen to do some Dickens stuff so hope to make it to Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, the Inns of Court, Dennis Severs’ House, and other such places.  If you know of a hidden gem I should visit please let me know!  As for traveling outside of London, I’m going on a pre-Congress “Swallows, Amazons & Peter Rabbit” tour of the Lake District and will spend a couple of days in Oxford before coming home.

Do let me know if you will also be at the Congress.

*International Board on Books for Young People

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