Panel discussion Visions for children's books

Logo Bibliothekartag 2021 Bibliothekartag 2021

FRI 18.06.2021, 12-13 EET/ 11-12 CET


DRIN at Deutscher Bibliothekartag 2021

This discussion focusses on children's books, since children's books shape our worldview and self-image in the long run. It is important for children to be able to recognize themselves in stories, illustrations and narratives and, at the same time, to learn about the different realities around them.
Current children's literature does not reflect our pluralistic societies. What about the diversity in a German picture book? Which children are at the heart of the stories and depicted in the pictures? Whose stories are not told at all, or if so, only from the white, cis-heteronormative perspective of German majority society?
Who writes the children's books that we find in bookshops and libraries? Some representatives of the book industry think that there are hardly any diverse authors and illustrators and therefore no books. For others, the discussion goes too far and they argue that literature would only deal with political-social issues and the good story would fall by the wayside. Still others challenge the system and ask why exactly the bookshops and libraries offer the books they do...
The participants of the discussion bring their own view of children's book and represent different positions on the topic. On some topics, the perspectives of those who work directly with children differ from those who write about them or work with books.

The panel discussion is organised by the project DRIN of the Goethe-Institut Finnland and its partners in different European countries. The project addresses the need to empower and enable everyone to participate in our societies and has its focus on children's books. DRIN brings together actors, shares knowledge, builds networks of empowerment and supports standards for a more pluralistic children's literature in a European context.  

  • Carolin Graf (Public Library, Bremen)
  • Dr. Stefan Hauck (journalist at the magazine Börsenblatt)
  • Leslie Kuo (Public Library Pankow/ project Powervolle Lesende)
  • Chantal-Fleur Sandjon (Queerformat - Fachstelle Queere Bildung/ DRIN-project)
  • Doreen Tringali (Fischer Verlage)
Moderation: Dr. Élodie Malanda (literary researcher at Universität des Saarlandes with a focus on children's and young adult literature and decolonisation; Humboldt Research Fellowship).

The event is part of the project  DRIN - Visions for Children's Literature.