Reading for Social Peace project launched

We’re delighted to announce that the Reading for Social Peace Project is now up and running.

Inspired by a National Library of the Maldives reading campaign, we’ve teamed up with Yarra Plenty Regional Library in Victoria to create a project that encourages kids to read with a questioning and open mind, and to use their reading to stimulate thought and discussion about social peace.

What’s social peace? It’s peace in our families; among our friends; in our communities, towns, cities or country; it can mean the absence of conflict and war; it can also mean how we can better live together.

At the launch of Reading for Social Peace (from left): YPRL Director Christine Mackenzie, with author Davide Cali, YPRL’s Blaise van Hecke, Councilor Mary Lalios and Wilkins Farago’s Director, Andrew Wilkins.

Ultimately, this project is about helping kids arrive at their own definition of social peace, by exposing them to books that get them thinking. Then, it’s over to them to respond in a creative way: through a piece of writing or art, a video or song: anything that makes sense to them.

Reading for Social Peace has its own wiki space page where you can find out about the first four books chosen for the project:

  • The Bear with the Sword by Davide Cali and Gianluca Foli
  • The Red Piano by André Leblanc and Barroux
  • The Enemy by Davide Cali and Serge Bloch
  • Empty Fridge by Gaetan Doremus (to be published in August)

There’s also a space for kids to post their own creations.

This is not just a project for those within the area serviced by Yarra Plenty Regional Library. Libraries and schools across Australia—or indeed around the world—are more than welcome to get involved now. All you need to do get started is pick up one of the four books above and get reading!

Reading for Social Peace is a National Year of Reading project.

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‘You’ll laugh, sigh, giggle and be challenged’: Digital Orthodoxy

An enthusiastic review of Davide Cali and Anna Laura Cantone’s What is this thing called love? from Darren Wright at Digital Orthodoxy, which is a terrific resource for those looking for kids books with substance:

Together with her family Emma begins a search for Love, you’ll laugh, sigh, giggle and be challenged by the questions she asks and the beautifully honest answers her family gives her.

Darren also makes some general comments about our rising star, Davide Cali:

Davide Cali’s stories are beautifully written, innovative, simply structured, deep and touching tales, A Dad Who Measures Up (also written by Cali and illustrated by Cantone) had me at hello while The Enemy and The Bear With The Sword show a different side to Cali’s talent and the power of picture books.

Encouragingly, he also suggests the book isn’t just for kids:

I read this to a few adults over a fortnight ago and it’s already been used in two weddings, I hope I get the book back soon …

If you’d like a special gift-wrapped hardcover copy of What is this thing called love? for a wedding gift, drop us a line.

Cali ‘like a magician’ with kids: Melbourne’s Herald Sun

Some of the highlights of Davide Cali’s Australian tour have been the memorable sessions he’s done with school kids in Adelaide, Geelong, Melbourne and Sydney.

Melbourne’s Herald-Sun published a vivid description of one of Davide Cali’s Melbourne workshops yesterday in its ‘Learn’ section (click on the image to have a read). Says reporter Blanche Clark:

European author and illustrator Davide Cali is like a magician, keeping 100-odd preppies at Albert Park Primary School entertained with his hand-made books.

Her write-up makes you think you’re in the room with him. She also asked Cali about the message behind many of his books, to which he replied:

The thing I like to tell the children is that no matter how different you are, no matter how alone you may feel, there is a place for you; there’s someone just like you.

‘Working with somebody is cool’: blog tour day 10

The Enemy

Davide Cali’s and Serge Bloch’s The Enemy

DAY TEN. Today, we’re talking with Davide Cali about kids picture book illustration, thanks to Australian illustrator Ann James. She chats with Davide on her Books Illustrated blog about how he works with illustrators, his celebrated collaborations with French illustrator Serge Bloch and which other writers and illustrators inspire him. Says Cali:

The first time they asked me to give one of my texts to illustrate to someone else, I felt a little confused. I was used to working all alone, not sharing with anybody. Then I discovered that working with somebody is cool, I can write even more stories than before, sometimes just inspiring me towards another illustrator’s personal universe.

It’s a great example of two experienced creators talking about the craft of picture book making.

Books Illustrated is a centre for children’s literature in Melbourne, Australia. It specialises in exhibitions and sales of original book illustrations, limited edition prints and signed picture books. Its showroom is open by appointment and for advertised events.

The Davide Cali blog tour is taking place from 1 to 15 May, as a countdown to Davide’s first visit to Australia from 16 to 28 May. Every day, some of Australia’s most interesting book bloggers will be posting interviews with him, reviewing his books, offering giveaways and maybe giving a sneak peak of his award-winning new book, 10 Little Insects.

You can check out the full blog tour here.

Davide Cali’s 2012 Australian tour is an initiative of the National Year of Reading

Reading for peace and the storyteller’s craft: blog tour day 8

DAY EIGHT. Halfway through the Davide Cali blog tour and we have exciting news of a new reading project for kids, Reading for Social Peace, which Davide Cali will be launching in Melbourne on 24 May during his visit to Australia. Also, popular children’s author and blogger Dee White examines Davide Cali’s approach to creating picture books on her DeeScribe Writing blog.

Reading for Social Peace is a National Year of Reading project devised by Yarra Plenty Regional Library in partnership with book publisher Wilkins Farago.

Inspired by a similar program by the National Library of the Maldives, it aims to use stories to encourage conversation in young people about issues that cause conflict, such as war, cultural differences, and bullying. Two of the texts being used in the program are Davide Cali’s The Enemy (illustrated by Serge Bloch) and The Bear with the Sword (illustrated by Gianluca Foli). As Davide himself puts it:

In both these story there is an enemy. In The Bear with the Sword, the enemy never comes, in The Enemy he’s just there, but in both cases we don’t know him, he’s somebody unknown in some way. The two stories have a similar moral: in the end, the worst enemy is often in us.

For details of the launch on 24 May, which is open to the public, visit the Yarra Plenty Regional Library blog.

Also today, children’s writer Dee White looks at Davide Cali’s craft as a writer on her DeeScribe Writing blog. She pays particularly attention to The Enemy and What is this thing called love?, concluding

I highly recommend Davide Cali’s books as great examples of original, thought-provoking, moving, simple picture books with a complete story arc and strong endings.

The Davide Cali blog tour is taking place from 1 to 15 May, as a countdown to Davide’s first visit to Australia from 16 to 28 May. Every day, some of Australia’s most interesting book bloggers will be posting interviews with him, reviewing his books, offering giveaways and maybe giving a sneak peak of his award-winning new book, 10 Little Insects.

You can check out the full blog tour here.

Davide Cali’s 2012 Australian tour is an initiative of the National Year of Reading

Clunes Booktown Festival Top 10

Why? by Lila Prap

Lila Prap’s hilarious ‘Why?’ suggests why animals look and behave the way they do.

Here are the top selling Wilkins Farago books at last weekend’s Clunes Booktown Festival:

  1. Why? by Lila Prap
  2. Sam and His Dad by Serge Bloch
  3. Waiting for Mummy by Tae-Jun Lee and Dong-Sung Kim
  4. 3 Wishes for Pugman by Sebastian Meschenmoser
  5. Kampung Boy by Lat
  6. Teaching Kids to Read by Fay Tran
  7. I Love Kissing You by Davide Cali and Serge  Bloch
  8. The Bear with the Sword by Davide Cali and Gianluca Foli
  9. What is this thing called love? by Davide Cali and Anna Laura Cantone
  10. The Enemy by Davide Cali and Serge Bloch

Davide Cali: the banner

ANNA HAS JUST completed a natty looking promotional banner for Davide Cali, who is touring in May.

The banner, which emphasises Cali’s enormous reputation across Europe, has been starring at the Leading Edge Books annual conference this past weekend, and we’ll be using it at events throughout Cali’s visit.

It’s also served to remind us just how many books we’ve published by this innovative, thought-provoking and witty author over the past five years. We’re typesetting a new book right now too – of which, more anon!