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The 52nd Bologna Children’s Book Fair, one of the top publishing industry events of the year, kicked off in March 2015 in Bologna, Italy. The fair ranks among the most important children’s book fair which gathers publishers, copyrights agents, authors, illustrators for children's books, booksellers, distributors, librarians and printers from all over the globe.

Golden Baobab, was invited to attend and exhibit as one of the major stakeholders in the African children’s book industry. Here are some highlights from the week long event!

2015 Bologna Children's Book Fair

 

Deborah Ahenkorah, Executive Director and Co-founder of Golden Baobab at the Bologna Fair

 

African Publishers at the 2015 Bologna book Fair

 

Golden Baobab at the 2015 Bologna Book Fair

  

Other Stands at the 2015 Bologna Book Fair

 

Oxford Press at the Bologna Book Fair

 

Other Stands at the 2015 Bologna Book Fair

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Earlier this year Golden Baobab launched with pomp and pageantry in Accra, Ghana, the inaugural Golden Baobab Prize for African Illustrators. This is the biggest and most prestigious prize committed to discovering, nurturing and celebrating talented African illustrators of children’s stories. The $7,500 Prize recognizes two talented African illustrators with the awards: The Golden Baobab Prize for Illustrators and The Golden Baobab Prize for Rising Illustrators.

Debbie Ahenkorah at GBP Illustrators Event Launch

The 2014 Golden Baobab Prizes for Illustrators had an exciting mix of judges who brought diverse perspectives and experiences to the task of identifying Africa’s best children’s illustrator. The judges were:

According to the Executive Director of Golden Baobab, Deborah Ahenkorah, "Golden Baobab is excited to launch this prize to recognize and celebrate talented African illustrators for children stories. Children deserve to have imaginative and captivating illustrations accompany enthralling stories they read. They deserve to not only see themselves represented in those stories but also in the images they consume." 

There were 12 finalists for the 2014 Golden Baobab Prize for African Illustrators. They were:

Here are some of the submitted illustrations from the 2014 finalists.

Collage GBP

The finalists were narrowed down to a shortlist of 3 illustrators: Gyimah Gariba (Ghana), Wesley Van Eeden (South Africa) and Xanele Puren (South Africa). Xanele emerged as the winner of the inaugural Golden Baobab Prize for African Illustrators. No submission for the Golden Baobab Prize for Rising Illustrators made it onto the 2014 shortlist.

Shortlist Collage

 Xanele

Here is some of the fantastic press the 2014 Golden Baobab Prizes for Illustrators has received:

The Golden Baobab Prizes for Illustrators are organized alongside Golden Baobab’s annual literature prizes.

 

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Winners of the 2014 Golden Baobab Prizes poster

 

We are proud to present the winners of the 2014 Golden Baobab Prizes:

  • Portia Dery, from Ghana wins the Golden Baobab Prize for Picture Books with her story, Grandma's List.
  • Mary Ononokpono, from Nigeria, wins the Golden Baobab Prize for Early Chapter Books for her story, Talulah the Time Traveler.
  • Xanele Puren, from South Africa, wins the inaugural Golden Baobab Prize for Illustrators. The Golden Baobab Prize for Illustrators is the biggest and most prestigious prize committed to discovering, nurturing and celebrating talented African illustrators of children's stories.

The 2014 Golden Baobab Prizes for Literature and Illustration received nearly 300 submissions from writers and illustrators across Africa. The longlist for the literature prizes was announced early September and showcased 11 stories, selected from 6 African countries. The shortlist followed late October with 11 stories from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The illustration prizes unveiled 3 shortlisted artists; 2 from South Africa and 1 from Ghana. This year's prize winners represent three countries: Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa.

Congrats Mary, Portia and Xanele!!

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Judges 2014

Golden Baobab has announced the judges for the 2014 Golden Baobab Prizes. Established to inspire the writing and publishing of African stories that captivate the minds of children, the prizes award $20,000 to talented African writers and illustrators. 

The 2014 judges are:

  • Summer Edward, Anansesem Caribbean Children’s Literature Ezine founder and editor, Children’s publishing consultant
  • Nancy Drost, Seasoned international educator, Golden Baobab board member
  • Kinna Likimani, Mbaasem Foundation board member, Celebrated book critic (kinnareads.com)
  • Doreen Baingana, Multiple award-winning Ugandan author, Former chairperson FEMRITE
  • Nonikiwe Mashologu, African children’s literature critic, South African literacy activist
  • Kananengo Diallo, 13-year old Tanzanian winner of the 2013 Golden Baobab Prize for Rising Writers
  • Paul O. Zelinsky, International Award-winning American Illustrator and Writer, Caldecott Medalist
  • Akua Peprah, Early Childhood Educator
  • Kofi Kokua Asante Anyimadu, 8-year old Ghanaian book lover

“We are excited about working with our 2014 judges to discover and celebrate some of the best children’s story writers and illustrators in Africa today,” says the Executive Director of Golden Baobab. “In this 6th year of the prizes, we are proud of the contribution we are making to the children’s literature world and are actively searching for exciting partnerships to expand our reach and impact across Africa. We are seeking major corporate partnerships by our next prize season to further propel our vision of making the heads of children across Africa beautiful places for them to live!”

Full details about the judges can be found here: http://www.goldenbaobab.org/prizes/judges

The winners of the Golden Baobab Prizes will be announced on November 13, 2014

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2014 Shortlist Golden Baobab Prizes for Literature

 

We are delighted to announce the shortlist for the 2014 Golden Baobab Prizes for African Children's Literature.

The shortlisted writers are:

The Golden Baobab Prize for Picture Books

  • Portia Dery (Ghana) – Grandma’s List
  • Shaleen Keshavjee-Gulam (Kenya) – Malaika’s Magical Kiosk
  • Mandy Collins (South Africa) – There is a Hyena in my Kitchen
  • Mike Mware (Zimbabwe) – The Big Ball

The Golden Baobab Prize for Early Chapter Books

  • Bontle Senne (South Africa) – The Monster at Midnight
  • Mamle Wolo (Ghana) – Flying through Water
  • Mary Okon Ononokpono (Nigeria) – Talulah the Time Traveller
  • Hillary Molenje Namunyu (Kenya) – Teddy Mapesa and the Missing Cash
  • Jayne Bauling (South Africa) – The Saturday Dress

No stories from the Golden Baobab Prize for Rising Writers made it onto this year's shortlist. The winners of the 2014 Golden Baobab Prizes for Literature as well as the winners and shortlist for the Golden Baobab Prizes for Illustrators will be announced on November 13, 2014. A hearty congratulations to all writers who have made it this far!

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