Farhad Hassanzadeh, the well-known Iranian writer of over 80 children’s books, including “The Backyard” and “Watermelon with Love”, has been selected by the Children’s Book Council of Iran as a nominee for the 2019 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA). The Award, established in 2002 by the Swedish National Council for Cultural Affairs to commemorate the Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren, is presented on an annual basis by the Swedish government and is dedicated to the promotion of children’s and youth literature in the world, without regard for nationality or language.
In addition to writers and illustrators, the Swedish Prize is also awarded to storytellers, and others active in the promotion of children’s books and book reading. ALMA is given to nominees who demonstrate high artistic quality and human values cherished by Astrid Lindgren.
The Iranian Council has also nominated “Read with Me”, a nationwide plan for promotion of reading, for the Swedish Award. The Plan was initiated in 2011 by the Institute for Research on the History of Children’s Literature with the objective of making quality books accessible to disadvantaged children in the marginal areas of big cities as well as to the children living in remote and deprived areas of the country.
Iran’s nominations for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award are selected every year by the Institute for Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults, the Iranian Association
of Writers for Children and Youth, and the Children’s Book Council of Iran.
In addition to Hassanzadeh and the “Read with Me” Plan, Jamshid Khanian and Hushang Moradi Kermani (writers), Ali-Asghar Seyyedabadi, expert in children’s literature, and a mobile library program that promotes reading in remote regions and villages in the country, have also been nominated for the award by the concerned organizations.