JBBY News_12/23_International Lectures

Lectures by experts from abroad

Lecture by Canadian illustrator Sidney Smith
Tara Books founder Gita Wolf, from India (center)

In 2023, JBBY held three lectures by international guests. In July, the Taiwanese researcher, author and translator Yu Peiyun spoke about the history of children’s books in Taiwan. The audience was excited to see how innovative and unusual recent publications are, and to hear about unique initiatives in place in Taiwan to promote excellence in children’s literature.

In September, Canadian illustrator Sidney Smith, invited to Japan by the Itabashi Art Museum, held a special talk event for JBBY. He showed rough sketch images of his acclaimed picture book I Talk Like a River (written by Jordan Scott) and explained the process of how it was made. With the editor of the book’s Japanese translation as moderator, Smith revealed the artistic challenges he faced in representing the inner world of a boy who stutters. The audience, on-site and online combined, numbered 281. In November, JBBY organized an event with Gita Wolf, founder and editor of Indian publisher Tara Books. Tara Books is internationally known for its picture books, which are always beautiful and occasionally handmade. Wolf introduced recently works, including picture books with surprisingly clever gimmicks, those illustrated by budding artists, and others in the style of folk/tribal art. The Japanese audience was inspired and encouraged by the bold book-making promoted by Tara, as well as its philosophy about changing the world for the better through more voices of minority people.

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