IBBY Announces the Winners of the 2016 IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award

4 April 2016
Angela Lebedeva (Russia), chair of the jury for the 2016 IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award today announced the winners of the 2016 IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award. IBBY is very grateful to the Asahi Shimbun newspaper company in Japan for their sponsorship of this prestigious award. 

The two winning projects are


Big Brother Mouse, Luang Prabang City, Laos

Read With Me has the objective of making quality books accessible to disadvantaged children in marginal areas of big cities and those living in remote and deprived areas of Iran. The project, nominated by IBBY Iran, provides books and focuses on reading aloud to create a meaningful experience for children; it introduces related art and craft activities, with an emphasis on role-playing and drama as part of reading sessions; it empowers teachers, librarians and volunteers through training workshops and regular mentoring and, as the final phase, it sets up small libraries to ensure sustainability of the work already done. The target groups for this project are children, both boys and girls, from preschool to 16 year olds who are generally at risk because of their living environment. These include street or working children, orphans and those living in remote and deprived areas in Iran. The project is designed to be flexible so that it can be implemented at home, at school, at the library or any place in the community. The content of the project is socially and culturally adaptable to the needs of different target areas. Since 2010, Read With Me has extended to 13 provinces in Iran, including 15 city centers, 6 marginal areas and 75 remote villages. By 2015 it had reached over 13,000 children in the age group 4-16 and more than 500 teachers, preschool tutors and volunteers have been trained through this project. The project is funded by donations and mainly run by volunteers. 

The nomination of Big Brother Mouse was submitted by IBBY Switzerland and endorsed by the IBBY sections of Denmark, France and Germany. Traditionally, books have been rare in Laos. Although the number of children who go to school is slowly but steadily increasing, many children have never read a book outside of school textbooks. Few Lao people think that reading can be fun, can add to their education, or will provide information to improve their quality of life. Very few books are published in Laos, and they never reach the villages where most people live. Many Lao children leave school very early as they are needed to help the family to survive, thus their education is very basic. Big Brother Mouse is based in Luang Prabang and Vientiane and all the planning and decisions are made in Laos, based on and often adapting to the conditions that are faced there. The first books were made in 2006. Some are just in Lao; others are in both Lao and English, making them useful not only for the primary audience – Lao children – but also for people of any age, who speak either English or Lao, and are learning the other language. The project aims to give books, especially children’s books, an important place in Laos as well as make sure that children in rural areas have access to books. They believe that every child should have the possibility to read and enjoy books and that this is important in helping promote reading and fighting against the widespread illiteracy, still found in Laos. 

The award was founded in 1986 and is presented every two years to two projects that are run by groups or institutions.  The winners are selected from among projects nominated by IBBY national sections from all over the world.
The Jury members in alphabetical order by country:
Vagn Plenge (Denmark), Sunjidmaa Jamba (Mongolia), Timotea Vrablova (Slovakia), Serpil Ural (Turkey) and Evelyn Freeman (USA). 

The two winners were selected from eleven nominations made by the IBBY National Sections.

Puntos de lectura para imaginar (Reading points to imagine), Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires, nominated by IBBY Argentina; 
Clube Cultural Dragão Azul (Cultural Club Blue Dragon), Petrópolis, Rio de Janeiro nominated by IBBY Brazil; 
Mother Goose Program, Toronto, nominated by IBBY Canada;
Night at the Children’s Library, Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province, nominated by IBBY China; 
Read With Me, nationwide, nominated by IBBY Iran;
The Reading Honeycombs, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, nominated by IBBY Mexico;
Mundo: a little world library, Antwerp, Belgium, nominated by IBBY Netherlands; 
Duffy Books in Homes, nominated by IBBY New Zealand; 
Library of the Blind and Partially Sighted, Ljubljana, nominated by IBBY Slovenia;
Kelompok Pecinta Bacaan Anak (KPBA), Jakarta, Indonesia, nominated by IBBY Sweden.
Big Brother Mouse, Luang Prabang City, Laos, nominated by IBBY Switzerland, IBBY Denmark, IBBY France and IBBY Germany.

For more information, full descriptions of the winners and information about IBBY, go to: