To Be Continued! Kids ProgramBook Arsenal

To Be Continued! Kids Program

Curated by Yuliia Kozlovets

The world is changing rapidly. New technologies appear. Information overload is no longer a novelty. Our life today is hardly comparable to the life of our predecessors. The tried and true recipes of “how to live your life properly”, “how to learn” and “what to read” no longer work.

So, what’s next? To Be Continued! is the special theme of our Kids Program this year.

As we ponder about the future, we seek an answer to a number of questions: What books accompanied us yesterday, are with us today, and will be with us tomorrow? What themes always matter and which artistic tools can speak through time?

Perhaps, it’s the books we remember from our childhood, as parents read them out loud and looked at the pictures with the kids, making up their own continuations of well-known stories. Perhaps, it’s the books that both parents and children can relate to today, helping them overcome their generation gaps and figure out the multifaceted and complex world just a bit better. Perhaps, it’s the books our children will take with them into tomorrow as a foundation for maturing and finding their place in the ever changing world.

These are all part of the Silent Books, a unique collection by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) displayed at the Book Arsenal Festival with the support of the Embassy of Switzerland in Ukraine. We have invited Dr. Evelyn Arizpe, Senior Lecturer at the University of Glasgow (Scotland) and a leading expert in children’s literature, to present the collection of textless books, to talk about how it was compiled, and to show new models of storytelling.

Eva Susso, a well-known writer and illustrator from Switzerland, the author of over 30 books for children and teenagers, will be our special international guest. Her books discuss challenging questions about timeless values and provoke debate. They help the readers find their personal life stance and develop their own opinions.

We are also looking forward to welcoming other international guests, including illustrator and author Emilia Dziubak, and Grzegorz Kasdepke, master of witty and scientifically balanced non-fiction for children, — both from Poland; Gudrun Skretting, an expert in communication and finding ways to understanding one another from Norway, and more.

Another aspect of our special theme this year is the books, genres and formats that prepare children for the future, deliver new knowledge and blur the line between today and tomorrow. These are non-fiction, educational books — including those on alternative educational practices — motivational books and the books that develop skills for the future.

Our French guest Oscar Brenifier, a UNESCO expert, Director of the Paris Institute of Philosophical Practices, and one of the best known specialists in child development,    questions the rightness of the conventional system of education and offers switching to direct dialogue with children.

The Space and biotechnologies, computer science and law, psychology and robotics, history and urban studies — the festival presents new popular science books from various spheres that will help the young audience understand the rapidly changing world, support their interest in education, motivate the readers to get new hobbies, and offer additional knowledge and expertise. Our intention with this choice of themes is to go beyond the framework of the book community exclusively: we therefore encourage educational and popular science projects, civic initiatives and alternative schools to communicate and share thoughts and ideas.

New practices of reading, interactive books, hypertexts, storytelling, and mixing different channels of information sharing — all this is within the thematic framework of our lecture program, workshops and roundtables, presentations and master classes with the top authors and illustrators of children’s books, promoters of science, teachers and librarians.

Our special theme allows us to go beyond the limits of everyday reality. One way to do this is to engage in a project called Meeting Tukoni. Initiated by the Book Arsenal Festival and implemented by the New Cave Media in the VR app format, it is based on the books about the forest  creatures called Tukoni and their magic world by Oksana Bula, published by the Old Lion Publishing House.

Children are the best futurologists. It is through them — adventurous, unimpeded, talented and sincere — that adults can get into the future. Because, while we live in our today, children are already there.

The partner for the Kids Program is LuckyBooks, a charity project for publication and free distribution of popular science literature for teenagers in the Ukrainian language. It is a joint initiative of I Am the Future of Ukraine charity foundation and Lucky Labs IT company.