The project Our Little Library was aimed to promote reading culture and new European children’s authors and illustrators who are well known at home but not necessarily in other European countries. KUD Sodobnost International, as well as the publishing houses Ezop from Poland and Nieko Rimto from Lithuania, succeeded in expanding our literatures beyond our national borders. The project Our Little Library promoted reading among school children in an inventive and amusing way. Each publishing house participated with two of their best children’s books. This resulted in six high quality books, presenting 10 authors (writers and illustrators) in all three languages. The chosen works were included in the Activity book which was printed in Slovene, Polish and Lithuanian. Activity books were distributed free of charge and motivated school children to read high quality books and increased their knowledge of other European countries and cultures. All together 29.000 children in schools and public libraries were having fun with inventive tasks. The project was enriched by different promotional and creative activities by each partner. Ezop Publishing House cooperated with Lalka Theatre and prepared several theatre events and workshops that were a great success as 2.200 children visited the theatre; Nieko Rimto organized a presentation of the project to Lithuanian readers at the Vilnius Book Fair where 1.500 visitors showed interest in the books from the project. The moving exhibition of beautifully illustrated suitcases promoted the illustrators. It was exhibited in all three countries and seen by 2.000 children. The award for promoters of reading was bestowed in 2015 and 2016 and attracted a lot of media attention in Slovenia. In 2016 the award was presented under the honourable sponsorship of the Slovenian president, Mr. Borut Pahor. A substantial part of promoting reading culture and European children’s authors and illustrators were also several art workshops. Children got the opportunity to meet the authors and illustrators and create with them. All together more than 4.000 children took part in these activities in all three countries. Foreign authors also enjoyed extensive media attention. The 3-day International seminar in Ljubljana was dedicated to the problems of publishing industry in changing circumstances and to looking for new exchange opportunities, together with a meeting of participating publishers from Latvia, Serbia, Estonia, Croatia, Turkey and the three partners countries.
The books: Anton’s Circus by Peter Svetina, Scary Fairy in the Fearful Forest by Jana Bauer, The Little Winter by Kęstutis Kasparavičius, The Story of the Little Warrior by Ingrida Vizbaraite, Oven, Sunhat, Pudding and The Dream that Ran Away by Anna Onichimowska were published in Slovene, Polish and Lithuanian languages.
Peter Svetina: Anton’s Circus illustrated by Damijan Stepančič
Jana Bauer: Scary Fairy in the Fearful Forest illustrated by Caroline Thaw
Kestutis Kasparavičius: The Little Winter
Ingrida Vizbaraite: The Story of the Little Warrior illustarted by Marija Smirnovaitė
Anna Onichimowska: Oven, Sunhat, Pudding illustrated by Agata Dudek
Anna Onichimowska: The Dream that Ran Away illustrated by Krystyna Lipka Sztrabałło
Interesting and funny creative exercises on the topic of all six books were created and gathered in Creative Workbooks. They were translated and published in Slovene, Polish and Lithuanian languages. Creative Workbooks have motivated children to read the high quality books included in the project with pleasure and along the way get to know the diversity of our common European heritage.
Six illustrators whose illustrations were part of the six books included in the project created illustrated suitcases. They used old and interesting suitcases and covered them by their illustrations in different techniques.
The suitcases travelled to Slovenia, Poland and Lithuania and in each country they were exhibited in public libraries and other venues where there are a lot of children. Several workshops were organised to present the work of an illustrator to children. Postcards with illustrations were distributed as well and children wrote their comments on the books from this project.
A lot of postcards from children with best wishes for the project were inserted to the suitcases in all three languages, which made the exhibition interactive and allowed to have feedback from children from all three countries. In Lithuania the exhibition has visited four Lithuanian cities (public libraries for children or culture centres). The most important one was the Lithuanian Railway museum, which allowed the entrance for families on the day of the opening for free (to allow the opportunity for children from families at social risk to visit the museum and learn about trains and railways). In Poland, the Illustrated suitcase moving exhibition was held in Warsaw from 29th of January till 6th of April. The exhibition was presented in Museum of Childrens Book and in Lalka Theatre. It was available for all the visitors. In Slovenia, we cooperated with Public Library Ljubljana where the workshop was organised at the opening of exhibition. The exhibition moved to different cities and visited several school libraries. All together 2.000 people visited the exhibition in all three countries.
The 3-day International seminar
The 3-day International seminar in Ljubljana was dedicated to the problems of publishing industry in changing circumstances and to looking for new exchange opportunities, together with a meeting of participating publishers from Latvia, Serbia, Estonia, Croatia, Turkey and the three partners countries. During the seminar in Ljubljana many interesting ideas were created. We presented the project and its main objectives to the foreign publishers together with our most important authors. We have also discussed specifics of our markets and created some important new connections.
Author's and illustrator's vistis
In Slovenia, Poland and Lithuania 29.000 children participated. The children read the six selected titles, solved creative work taskas in the Activity books and participated in several additional activities.
KUD Sodobnost International hosted the authors: Kęstutis Kasparavičius, Anna Onichimowska, Agata Dudek, Maria Smirnovaite and Caroline Thaw.
Nieko rimto hosted the authors: Anna Onichimowska, Agata Dudek, Krystyna Lipka-Sztarballo, Jana Bauer and Peter Svetina.
Ezop hosted the authors: Anna Onichimowska, Peter Svetina, Jana Bauer and Kęstutis Kasparavičius.