Toronto (October 13, 2023) — The White Ravens is an annual catalogue featuring new and notable titles in children’s and young adult literature from around the world. This year, four Canadian titles—all in English—were honoured.
These days, children's and youth literature is coming under pressure in many countries; it is drawn into controversial discourses about values; and in some places, as is currently the case in the USA, it is even the subject of an open culture war. It cannot be taken for granted that literature is freely accessible and available to young people everywhere. Thus children's literature has also become an indicator of the openness of society.
This makes it all the more important for the International Youth Library/IYL to once again present the independent international book recommendation list The White Ravens, the latest edition of which we are launching today. The catalogue with 200 outstanding new publications from the international children's book market reflects the conviction that children's and youth literature as a messenger of universal values, such as tolerance and intercultural understanding, is of great importance and deserves special attention.
The 2023 White Ravens recommendation list features brief annotations of 200 notable new children’s and young adult books in 39 languages from 57 countries.
They have been selected by the International Youth Library‘s children’s literature experts from the large number of review and donation copies the library received in the course of the past year.
The team, with the support of children's literature experts from all over the world, focuses on titles that might be of particular interest to an international audience because of their literary and pictorial quality and/or the topics they address.
Please note that there will be a presentation of a small selection of The White Ravens 2023 books at the Frankfurt Book Fair.
The Canadian award-winning titles include the following:
Benny the Bananasaurus Rex
Written by Sarabeth Holden
Illustrated by Emma Pedersen
Inhabit Media, 2022
For ages 4+
Family Life | Banana | Dinosaur
"A fun read for all ages published by Inuit-owned Inhabit Media, who are committed to promoting fascinating Inuit stories both traditional and new."
Cultured Donuts: Take a Bite Out of Art History
Written and illustrated by Chloe Tyler
Flowerpot Press, 2022
For ages 6+
Art History | Artist | Donut | Non-Fiction
"Meticulously styled, with font, layout, colours, and small details matching each creator’s style, this idiosyncratic and witty gallery invites young readers on an entertaining trip into the art world."
Orbie, dessine-moi un billibouton
(Histoires de rire)
Written by Frédérick Wolf
Illustrated by Orbie
Éditions Fonfon, 2022
For ages 6+
Creativity | Imagination | Patience | Illustration | Picture Book
"As a parody, this offers much ground for lively discussion and witty illustrations. The playful use of the medium of picture book is quite outstanding."
La nuit sans ZZZzzzz
Written Marianne Pasquet
Illustrated by Marianne Ferrer
Éditions Les 400 coups, 2022
For ages 6+
Bedtime | Sleep Disorder | Creativity | Picture Book
"To convey the nighttime ambience, Marianne Ferrer uses harmonious tones of dark blue, green, and red against a black background. In the end, the girl has not yet achieved the desired clarity of thought, akin to a neatly folded origami. But her tangled thoughts have now been corralled in her sketch of a house, allowing her to finally fall asleep."
"In this empathic middle-grade novel, award-winning author Jodi Carmichael, who herself has ADHD, lets her vivacious protagonist shine without downplaying the hardships of having a differently wired brain that makes every school day a struggle."
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