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Iranian Nominees for 2016  Astrid Lindgren Award
Art And Culture

Iranian Nominees for 2016 Astrid Lindgren Award

Veteran researcher and co-founder of the Children’s Book Council (CBC), Tooran Mirhadi, has been nominated by the Institute for Research on the History of Children’s Literature in Iran, for the 2016 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA).
For several years in a row the institute has nominated Mirhadi for the award, presented annually by the Swedish government, ISNA reported.
Mirhadi has devoted over 50 years of her career to development and innovation of children’s literature and education in Iran.
Along with 40 eminent personalities, she established the Children’s Book Council of Iran (CBC) in 1962. The council has played an important role in the creation of many institutions active in children’s literature, education and rights in Iran.
CBC began to write ‘The Iranian Encyclopedia for Young People’ in 1979. It is the first colored and illustrated encyclopedia written for children in Persian and is meant as a reference work for 10 to 16-year-old children.
Five researchers first contributed to the project. Today, over 300 are involved in its writing.
Fourteen volumes of the encyclopedia have so far been published and the 15th volume has been sent to the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance for the publication license.
The council plans to publish the encyclopedia in 24 volumes through which children can find information on their motherland, culture, art and people.
Mirhadi has also published several books on children’s education.

 Background
Born in the northern city of Bandar Anzali in Iran, Mirhadi, 88, studied biology in Tehran University. She continued her studies in Europe in educational sciences and psychology.
However, the sudden death of her younger brother, Farhad, had a deep effect on her. At that time, she was studying in France’s Sorbonne University. She decided to return home.
Mirhadi launched a kindergarten with two classrooms in 1955, naming it after her brother. She believed that Iranian children have high mental potential and talent which could be improved further through proper education. She also established a school two years later. The educational complex ran until 1980 with 1,200 students.
Today, many graduates from Farhad School have become successful university professors in Iran and abroad. Many of them gather in Mirhadi’s house on the first Monday of every month to share their experiences and views.

 Other Nominees
Earlier this month, Iranian veteran authors Mostafa Rahmandust and Hushang Moradi-Kermani and illustrator Pejman Rahimizadeh were also introduced to the jury of the award.
While Rahmandust was nominated by the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults (IIDCYA), CBC nominated Moradi-Kermani and Rahimizadeh.
So far, during his 30 years of professional career in children’s literature, Rahmandust, 65, has published 160 books with 5.5 million copies.
Moradi-Kermani was nominated for the same award in 2007 and 2008. He was also a finalist for the 2014 international Hans Christian Andersen Award, known as the Nobel Prize for children’s literature.
The 71-year-old writer won the 1992 Hans Christian Andersen Honorary Certificate of Honor and the University of San Francisco’s 2000 Book of the Year award.
He is known for his masterful presentation of social issues, and many of his books have been translated into 20 languages and published in several countries. Several Iranian movies and TV-series have been based on his books.
Rahimizadeh, 45, is also one of the most successful figures of book illustration in Iran, and has illustrated over 65 books for children and young adults. He is known for his use of Iranian motifs, innovative techniques and solid designs and has won numerous national and international awards, including the honorary diploma of the Asian Illustrators’ Competition in Japan and the appreciation award of the second biennial of Posters for the Islamic World.

 Swedish Prize
The prize, five million Swedish kronor in cash, is awarded to one or more recipients including authors, illustrators, storytellers and promoters of reading. It is the richest award in children’s literature and the third richest literary prize in the world.
Administered by the Swedish National Council for Cultural Affairs, the award was established in 2002 to commemorate Swedish writer Astrid Anna Emilia Lindgren and to promote children’s and youth literature from around the world.
Lindgren (1907–2002) was the world’s 25th most translated author whose works have sold over 140 million copies worldwide. She was a writer of fiction and screenplays. She is best known for children’s book series featuring ‘Pippi Longstocking’ and her fantasy novel ‘The Brothers Lionheart’.

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