Bellagio Publishing Network  

BPN Newsletter Issue No 28, November 2001 



compiled by Sulaiman Adebowale

Outstanding Books for Young People With Disabilities 2001,
February 2001, International Board of Books for Young People (IBBY), 20pp, catalogue distributed by the IBBY Secretariat, Nonnenweg 12, Postfach, CH-4003 Basel, Switzerland, +41 61 272 29 17 (tel), +41 61 272 27 57 (fax),

This valuable annotated booklist not only showcases the very best of literature for young people with or without disabilities but also covers a range of instruments of communication that `opens the way to understanding and acceptance, and to the inclusion of young people with disabilities in society'.

The catalogue is the third in the series of an IBBY project that started in 1997. The widely distributed 1997 catalogue was followed by the 1999 selection, which was exhibited at various international book fairs and fora around the world. The 2001 collection, selected by a team led by Nina Askvig Reidarson, encompasses a wide variety of literature from a diverse group of publishers in various parts of the world (from Sweden to Iran). It aptly captures the breadth of the differing and complex nature of young people with disabilities. From non-verbal communication tools for people with learning difficulties, to raised picture books for the blind and visually impaired, and to easy-to-read books for those with mental disabilities, the books and picture stories represent a vital resource for the understanding of disability in society.

Two authors from Africa, Ifeoma Onyefelu (Nigeria) and Meshack Asare (Ghana) are included in the collection. Onyefelu's A Triangle for Adaora: an African book of shapes received special mention as being `a pleasant and useful resource for local children' and as a tool that `could open the way for communication between children from different cultures'. In Sosu's Call, Asare uses the story of a disabled boy to tackle issues of `participation, social inclusion and potential, as well as myths and compensation connected with disability'. The book, published by Sub-Saharan Publishers, Ghana, won the 1999 Prize for Children's Literature in the Service of Tolerance.

How to Produce Environmental Education Materials, 2001, Asia/Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU), 152 pp
& Production for Non-Fiction for Young People (Aged 15 and above) in Asia and the Pacific, 2001, Asia/Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU), 108pp.

Asia/Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU), 6 Fukuromachi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-8484, Japan, 3 3269 4435 (tel), 3 3269- 4510 (fax),,

The two volumes are reports of two training courses organised by the Asia/Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU), between October 1999 and December 2000. The organisation has been involved in training courses on book development in the region since 1967 with a view to developing human resources in the publishing industry.

The background to Production for Non-Fiction for Young People is the shortcoming of local publishers to produce quality original local works to meet growing demands for non-fiction titles. According to the ACCU, local publishers in the region tend to focus on fiction or publish translated versions of popular books from abroad, rather than risk non-fiction titles, a policy which tends to have adverse effects on the development of the region.

The handbook focuses on practical knowledge and skills needed to produce high quality material for local readers. The book is divided into three main parts and an appendix. Topics in Part 1 include attempts at inculcating an understanding of the boundaries of `What is Non-Fiction?', war and news coverage, picture books, planning, executing and managing projects to ensure titles are well produced and marketed to the appropriate audience. Part 2: Production, presents the learning outcomes from workshop sessions attended by participants in relation to real life fact-finding missions, for example, a traditional indigo-dyeing trade. Part 3 covers case study reports on the current situation of non-fiction for young people from 19 countries in the region.

How to Produce Environmental Education Materials is a manual for those engaged in the publication of materials on the environment. It seeks to impart hands-on skills and ways to plan and execute a viable publishing project to effectively disseminate information about the environment and sustainable development praxis.

This four-chapter volume engages authors, publishers and other information media actors on various issues impacting on the environment and publishing. Chapter 1 presents an overview of the issues to look out for; Chapter 2 compiles a series of lectures on environmental education and the role of the media, planning and producing environmental education materials, how books can be made to introduce and vitalize local activity on environment, paper and the environment, and needs of local community-based activities for preservation of environment and publication. Chapter 4 contains practical workshop sessions; and Chapter 5 gathers case study reports on publishing, information dissemination and the environment from ten countries in the region.

Both volumes represent a commendable attempt of the ACCU to improve the workings and roles of the publishing industry in the region.

The Ordeal of the African Writer, Charles Larson, 2001,

ISBN 1856499308 (HB) & 1856499316 (PB), viii+ 168 pp, Zed Books Ltd, 7 Cynthia Street, London N1 9JF, UK. +44 (0)207 7837 8466 (tel), +44 (0)2078333960 (fax), Price: 45/$55.00 (HB), 14.95/$19.95 (PB)

This invaluable book explores the realities behind the African writer and writing. It thoroughly examines the pertinent questions shaping the work of African writers - questions such as who are they writing for, in what language should they write, and in what genre should they adopt. It also prods other critical challenges influencing literary writing from Africa - the state of the publishing industry on the continent and the involvement of publishers outside Africa, and the impact of socio-economic and political crises.

African Publishing Review,
ISSN 10297618 1998 APNET, Harare. Annual subscription inside Africa $30/£20 (airmail $35/£25), outside Africa $50/£35 (airmail $60/£40) from APNET, PO Box 3773, Harare, Zimbabwe. +263 4 706196/7 (tel), +263 4 705106 (fax), e-mail:

Vol. 9 no. 5, 2000 Revista das Edições Africanas, the first Portuguese edition of the APR has also been released. The issue explores the book industry in Angola and Mozambique, women writers and APNET's participation at the Gothenburg book fair.

Vol. 10 no. 2, 2001 focuses on using the media and marketing strategies to promote reading and book distribution in Africa, with case studies from Kenya, Mozambique and Nigeria. It also covers articles on the Frankfurt and Bologna book fairs. [end]  [BPN, no 28, 2001, pp 18-19]

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