IBBY Honour list
The IBBY Honour List is a biennial selection of outstanding, recently published books, honoring writers, illustrators and translators from IBBY member countries.
The titles are selected by the National Sections of IBBY who are invited to nominate books characteristic of their country and suitable to recommend for publication in different languages. One book can be nominated for each of the three categories: writing, Illustration and Translation. For a country where there is a substantial and continuing production of childrenfs books n more than one language, up to three books may be submitted for writing and translation in the different languages of the country.
Part 2: Illustration
||Yacho no zukan
(Wild Birds of Japan)
Ill. Yabuuchi, Masayuki
Text by the artist
Tokyo: Fukuinkan Shoten, 1991, 351p, All age groupsISBN 4-8340-0706-5
This guidebook is the updated and more comprehensive version of the Wild Birds of Japan series that was published ten years ago. There are about 500 different kinds of wild birds inhabiting Japan, and some of them are considered to be gliving treasuresh in Japan. These and some other 235 kinds of Japanese birds are described in the book according to the different categories they belong to, e.g. birds living in gardens or parks, mountain birds, or water birds living close to the sea or to rivers. Simple and concise texts accompany the numerous illustrations.
Masayuki Yabuuchi was born in Osaka. After graduating from high school he worked for a publishing house in Tokyo for some years. He then became an illustrator and his career was highlighted in 1973 when he won a grand prix for his work in advertising. Since then, he has published more than 80 books, including Dobutsuno oyako (Animal Families), Shippo no hataraki (How Animalsf Tails Work), Dobutsu no Okasan (Animal Mothers). The two books Komori (Bats) and Nihon no kyoryu (The Dinosaurs of Japan) have both been given special awards.
||Orewa utada, orewa koko-o aruku
(Oral poetry of the native Americans)
Ill. Akino, Isamu
Text: Kanaseki, Hisao (Translation)
Tokyo: Fukuinkan Shoten, 1992, 56p, Ages 6up
This book contains twenty-five poems transmitted orally among several tribes of the native Americans, and the drawings are inspired by these poems. The theme is gSpiritual communion between the human being and natureh. The poems, beautiful and rhythmic, and the drawings, vivid, varied and delicate, invite the readers to reach directly to the core of the poems. Through his powerful artwork, the artist expresses full understanding of and closeness to the culture of the native Americans.
Isamu Akino was born 1935 in Kyoto, he attended the sculpture class at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. During his six-year stay in India and Nepal, he made illustrations for his first book Punku Maincha (Punkhu Maich, the story of Dhon Cholecha), which won a BIB plaque in 1969. After traveling through European countries, Mexico and Canada for several years, he has been living on a small island at the southern extremity of Japan since the 1980s. Another important book in his oeuvre is Ishi no shishi no monogatari (The story of the stone lion).
||Boku no Robotto kyoryu tanken
(Exploring the dinosaur age with my robot)
Ill. Matsuoka, Tatsuhide
Text by the artist
Tokyo: Fukuinkan Shoten, 1994, 40p, Ages 4-12
Kei-chan and Miyo-chan find themselves exploring in the Cretaceous period, in their robot. They watch dinosaurs in the water, on land and flying above their heads. They also see how dinosaurs breed and feed, and how in the end they must have been led to extinction. A book illustrated with such vigour and excitement that it will trigger childrenfs minds about dinosaurs for sure.
Tatsuhide Matsuoka was born in Niigata Prefecture in 1944, and became a graphic designer in 1967. He began working as a freelance illustrator and has published several picture books. An enthusiast in insect collecting, Matsuoka has observed nature throughout the world, and considers this to be the theme for his lifefs work in the field of picture books. He has received the Award for Cultural Material of Children Welfare and the Award for Science Books for Children for the title Janguru (Jungle).
||Sekaiichi Utsukushii Boku no Mura
(My sweet village)
Ill. Kobayashi, Yutaka
Text by the artist
Tokyo: Poplar-sha, 1996, 39p, Ages 7-12
This book is set in a small village in Afghanistan at the time of the civil war. Yamo goes to the town with his father to sell some plums and cherries. It is the first time in his life that he goes to town. Selling the fruit with his father used to be his brotherfs job, but he has now left the village to join the army. Yamo manages to sell all of the cherries with the help of his donkey, Pomper, and in reward for his good work his father buys him a white lamb. Filled with joy, Yamo and his father go back to their village illuminated by the colours of a beautiful sunset.
Yutaka Kobayashi was born in Tokyo in 1946, graduated in social science from Rikkyo University and went to Europe to study painting. He traveled widely in the Middle East and in Asian countries during the seventies and eighties. His works are mainly based on his experiences during these trips. His second picture book, Boku no Mura ni Sakasu ga Kita (One special day in my village), was published in 1997. He has received several honours for his artwork, including the 43rd Sankei Award for gMy sweet villageh.
(The night of Kagura, sacred music and dance)
Ill. Ono, Kaoru
Text: Waki, Akiko
Tokyo: Fukuinkan Shoten, 1996, 37p, Ages 5up
Okagura is a mask play performed with music and dance to be offered to the gods of the local shrine every year after the harvest in autumn. The story begins with Kunikofs visit to her uncle in the country. The uncle lives in a village which is famous for the age-long Okagura played exclusively by male farmers. Kuniko is excited to be able to follow the whole process of Okagura, shown here in pictures full of interesting details, including even backstage scenes. The medium for the illustrations is gouache.
Kaoru Ono was born in Tokyo in 1930 and graduated from the Tokyo College of Fine Arts, where she studied oil painting. She started her career as a picture book artist in 1950 and has published more than 100 titles. She uses a variety of techniques to suit the texts she illustrates. Her award-winning books Onrokku ga Yattekuru (Come-on Onrock!, 1961) and Mafa no Hataori Uta (Magic rhythms of Mafa, the weaver, 1988) are great favourites among young children. Some of her works have been published abroad, e.g. Les Ponts (The bridges, 1992) in France and Five Little Fingers (1964) in theUSA. Besides picture books she is engaged in creating sculpture and monumental objects. She is a professor emerita of the Tokyo College of Fine Arts.
||Tengu no Ha-uchiwa
(The magical fan of the long-nosed ogre)
Ill. Cho, Shinta 1927-2005
Text: Kouyama, Yoshiko
Tokyo: Kyoiku Gageki, 2000 (2nd edition), 28p, Ages 3up
Once upon a time, there lived a young boy called Monta. One day he was given a red magical fan by the long-nosed ogre. He begins to travel around with his new fan. When he wants to trick someone he can use the fan to make their nose longer or shorter. In the end he makes his own nose so long that it pokes through the clouds. The story is based on the Japanese folk-tale tradition. Children enjoy the bold colourful illustrations and lively portrayal of the characters.
Shinta Chofs talent was first recognized when he was working as a sign painter for cinema. Eventually he began to work as a graphic designer and started to gain attention for his illustrations and cartoons, especially those for the Tokyo daily press. He published his first book in 1950 and has since concentrated on books for children, which are always full of humour and nonsense. He has published more than 400 titles during the last fifty years. In 1974 Oshaberi na Tamagoyaki (The king and his fried egg, by Teruo Teramura, 1972) was nominated for the IBBY Humour List. He was the Japanese candidate for the Hans Christian Anderson Award for illustration in 1998 and 2000. Cho is also well-known for his humorous light essays.
Kaeru no heike monogatari
(The frogs and the cat)
Ill. Saito, Takao
Text: Hino, Kazunari
Tokyo: Fukuinkan Shoten, 2002, 40p, Ages 5up
One night the young frogs of Genji-Pond gather under an old cedar tree to listen to the story told by tan old frog. The story starts one summer night with the sudden attack on the frogs. The frogs think that the monster-like atakker is the Heike cat, a cat belonging to their rival clan. They decide to take revenge. This humorous revenge story is based on the renowned Japanese classic Heike Monogatari. The illustrations have a delicate touch and are similar to the classic Japanese picture scrolls. All children enjoy this book even if they do not know the original classic story. This book is a masterpiece of the combination of the old Japanese technique and the artistfs originality.
Takao Saito was born in Saitama in 1953. He graduated from Taiheiyo Art School. His book Mahotsukai no deshi (text by Maniko Ueda, 1995) won the Shogakukan Award for Childrenfs Book Illustration 1993. Other titles include Gagagaga (text by Kazunari Hino, 1997), Umiga waratteiru (Rintaro Uchidafs Poetical workd, 2000) and Koremo mushi zenbu mushi (Bug bug bug! By Rintaro Uchida). He is also the author of Mokuhanga no naraukata (how to learn woodcut printing).
||Mimizu no Ossan
(The story of the earthworm called Ossan)
Ill. Cho, Shinta
Text by the artist
Tokyo: Doshinsha, 2003, 32p, Aged 3up
Mimizu no Ossan is perhaps the most mysterious and nonsensical of all the picturebooks by Shinta Cho. The readerfs attention is struck by the vivid pink, orange and yellow illustrations, in particular the spread of pages at the very end: a vast orange land that evolves into a primitive green expanse. After a paint factory that produces watercolor paints and crayons explodes, the hero, gOld Man Earthwormh appears and proceeds to eat up the besmirched land. This is an intriguing story that emerges from the fact that earthworms help to make the soil fertile. The book transmits this information, not didactically, but in the form of good entertainment for children.
Shinta Cho (1927-2005) was born in Tokyo. His talent was first recognized when he was working as a sign painter for a cinema. He published his first book in 1950 and has since consentarted on books for children, which are always full of humour and nonsense. He published more than 400 titles during the last 50 years. In 1974 Oshaberi na Tamagoyaki (The king and his fried egg, by Teruo Teramura, 1972) and in 2002 Tengu no Hauchiwa (The magical fun of the long-nosed ogre, by Yoshiko Kayama, 2000) were selected for the IBBY Honour List. He was the Japanese candidate for the Hans Christian Award for Illustration in 1998 and 2000. Cho was also well known for his humorous light essays. He died shortly after his nomination to the 2006 IBBY Honour List. He is one of the most-loved illustrators in Japan.