Wednesday, 24 March 2010

ALMA Award 2010

What an incredible emotion!

The winner of the 2010 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award is


The awarding ceremony, that just took place at the Fiera del Libro di Bologna, with the announcement coming directly from Sweden. This wasn't an emotion for Kitty Crowther alone, but for all of us who were present.
For me in particular, because I deeply esteem this author and illustrator, for the difficult themes she treats, for her unique genius, for the highly sensible and ironic glance that characterizes all her stories.

Last year Kitty Crowther had already received the Baobab Prix, during the last Salon de Montreuil for the picture book

"Annie du Lac", texts and images by Kitty Crowther, Ed. Pastel, Octtober 2009

Annie du Lac is a story on loneliness and sadness because, as a song very dear to Nick Hornby used to say: "no man is an island"... in this book, in fact, the islands are three! Though these are not just islands: they are giants, good giants (reminding of the vigorous kindliness of Dahl's BFG) who will take Annie to a new life, towards that same world flowing just out of Annie's empty and sad house.

Though the book by Kitty Crowther I prefer is

 La visite de Petite Mort, texts and images by Kitty Crowther, Ed. Lutin Poche, December 2005

Death is a very difficult topic to face, especially when you have to explain it to kids: the main difficulty lays much more in our pain and embarrassment than in real lack of understanding for kids part. This picture book has lots to teach to everyone, maybe this is even truer for adults that it is for children.

Crowther's sensitivity in approaching topics like death and illness, the gentleness she has in touching the very feelings of those suffering, can be fully understood only when you live those experiences on your own skin. The comfort you can find in this book and the lesson you can learn are timeless.

My personal thanks to this special woman, for the emotions, the smile, the joy and comfort she gave me.

For more information on Kitty Crowther, please go to:

Let me signall a very nice article, followed by an in-depth interview with Kitty Crowther, that appeared on the last number of the Magazine Hors Cadre[s], n. 6, mars-septembre 2010, pages 26-29.

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