30 April 2007

International Grimm Award—Who Knew?

This morning, via the Child_Lit listserv, I read for the first time about the International Grimm Award for Research into Children's Literature. It was established in 1986 and is given every odd year, thus alternating with the Hans Christian Andersen Award.

The Grimm Award goes not to an author or illustrator, however, but to someone who's contributed to the study of children's literature:

One who has performed outstanding work in research into children's literature and picture books, or one who has contributed remarkably to such research and to the promotion of such research.
And where does this award, named for the brothers Grimm, come from? Japan.

Specifically, the International Institute for Children's Literature in Osaka grants the award, based on a fund established by the Kinran-kai Foundation, the alumni association of Osaka Prefectural Otemae High School. The prize is a million yen.

So now I have to revise two of my beliefs about the field of children's literature. First, that the US is unique in naming its major awards after people with no connection to the country. Second, that there's no money in it.

Incidentally, this year's Grimm Award winner is Prof. John Stephens of Macquarie University in New South Wales, Australia.

No comments: