Photos from today's IBBY World Congress

This is just a hurried photo run-down of an outstanding day. With thanks to the hardworking organizers of the IBBY World Congress 2012 for inviting me to speak. IBBY stands for International Board of Books for Young People - it's an international network committed to bringing books and children together. The congress' theme for 2012 is Translations and Migrations. 

Now I know what that creature in Shaun Tan's Arrivals book is - according to Shaun it's a tadpole with legs! I always thought it was a mini walking beluga whale.  Sarah McIntyre (who was given the job of introducing Shaun at his keynote today) made a tribute arrival card featuring Shaun's tadpole:

Harvested from Sarah's Tumblr Instagrams - view her IBBY photos here
Here's Shaun giving his wonderful talk -

When he finished, the packed auditorium gave him a long, long round of applause.

I wish someone would post the talk online - Shaun is a quiet man with a powerful message. I was inspired to incorporate some surreal drawing into my note-taking. Sarah McIntyre took a snap of my notes for her instagram Tumblr:

I'm hoping Sarah got a nice snap of me and her - my pictures of her came out terribly blurred! Boo.

The wonderful Verna Wilkins, founder publisher of Tamarind Books (now an imprint of Random House), had the slot before mine. She told the story of her struggle to redress the balance of diversity in children's books. I blogged about Verna in 2008 - have a look.

My talk followed Verna's - I wrote a brand new presentation just for the Congress titled 'Motherless Nation?' ... named after a BBC Radio 4 documentary I made in 2005 about the social consequences of the Philippines' migration phenomenon.  The talk was a bit rushed because all the timings became squished, but hopefully I will have the time to post a meatier version of my talk on this blog later.

Random House sponsored Verna and my events at the Congress - but quite independently, Ibby's Pam Dix contacted me several months ago to request my help in creating a film to celebrate the IBBY Honour List of authors, illustrators and translators - a biennial honouring of outstanding books put forward by IBBY's member countries.

Pam worked with children of diverse backgrounds from three North London schools, sifting through the Honour List and discussing books that caught the children's attention. I then met the children and filmed them talking about the books they chose.

Seeing the children up there on the big screen was wonderful - I was so pleased to be part of Pam's project. Thanks, Pam! We are hoping to obtain permission to bring the film to a bigger audience. Watch this space!

After the film was screened, Honour List authors, illustrators and translators who had managed to attend the Congress came up to receive a certificate. Marcus Sedgwick's Revolver was one of the chosen - here he is receiving his certificate.

I was thrilled to see that SCBWI pal Sheena Wilkinson was there, chosen by IBBY Ireland for her book Taking Flight ...

Here are Honour List winners from all over the world!

I hung out with Dee Shulman at the signing table during the coffee break. That's Louise Yates in the background.

I also managed to catch a talk on immigration in picture books - I've been working on picture book texts lately and it was utterly inspirational. I sketched out plot ideas as I listened!

One of the speakers was Susanne Gervay who I'd met at a Bologna conference when I was still a desperate-to-get-published author. Here she is talking about her autobiographical picture book Ships in the Field.

Dee very kindly took a photo of me. I often forget to get a photo of myself at happenings like this because I'm so busy taking photos of other things. Thanks, Dee!

That's all for now as I'm rushing around tonight. Thought I'd post these photos before events overtook me again. See you again soon!