The day began (for me as there was an early bird session I didn’t attend) with the one and only Shan Tan. He spoke about critical literacy, how feelings and ideas go hand in hand in good art. “Don’t try to figure out what the author/illustrator was trying to do. It is irrelevant.” Shan feels strongly that the reader/viewer is the decider, not the artist and doesn’t expect viewers to know his references. He just wants readers to have an emotional response, whatever one is the correct one for that individual. He asks, “do we respond with compassion, hostility, or incomprehension?”
After lunch I went to hear the outstanding Candy Gourlay who spoke with passion and intelligence about issues of contemporary immigration, in particular that of those coming from her homeland, the Philippines. Unfortunately, I didn’t take notes, but she was fantastic; if you get the chance to hear her — go!
The afternoon featured the IBBY Honour List 2012 presentation which was lovely, lovely, lovely as it really gave you a sense of the range of books being published throughout the world.
The day ended with the Gala Reception and Presentation of the 2012 Hans Christian Andersen Awards at the Science Museum.
There was this band that looked like all it needed to complete it was a barbershop quartet (and why they chose it for this no one seemed to know):
But the space was amazing with rockets and airplanes overhead!
Below is María Teresa Andruetto, the winner of the writing award, giving her speech in the shadow of a big rocket.
And here is Peter Sis giving his speech.
Another view of the crowd at the reception.