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Sweden to get kids books' "ambassador"

Published onsdag 9 februari 2011 kl 16.03
"They will promote reading for children"
(3:03 min)
Perhaps Sweden's most famous children's writer, Astrid Lindgren. Photo: Yvonne Åsell/Scanpix

Sweden is to get its very own ambassador for Children's literature. Inspired by the British "Children's Laureate", the Swedish Arts Council, announced Wednesday it was to do the same, to try to get more young kids reading.

This country is well-known for its interest in promoting childrens' books, there are several literary prizes handed out annually in memory of Swedish author Astrid Lindgren, for example. Organisers hope that the "Reading Ambassador" will help motivate more children to take up reading.

"Children read less than they did before, and we want to promote reading", says Lotta Brilioth Björnstad from the Swedish Arts Council. She says Sweden has been looking across the North Sea for inspiration for the title, "We thought it was a good idea. We've been inspired by Great Britain, they've had a Children's Laureate since 1999, and two years ago the United States also appointed a national ambassador for young peoples' literature."

The honour can go either to an author or an illustrator, and the Laureate will be selected by a special committee, an announcement is expected during the giant book fair in Gothenburg this Autumn.

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