Literary works for children honoured with awards

The Vietnam News Agency's The Thao & Van Hoa (Sports & Culture) daily have announced the five winners of the De Men (Cricket) awards.
Literary works for children honoured with awards ảnh 1The award-winning books (Photo: courtesy of The Thao Van Hoa daily)
Hanoi (VNA) - The Vietnam News Agency's The Thao & Van Hoa (Sports & Culture) daily have announced the five winners of the De Men (Cricket) awards.

The awards ceremony was held to celebrate the International Children's Day (June 1) in Hanoi.

The winning works are: Co Ban La Co Ban (Basic is Basic), Biet Doi Tham Tu (Detective Team), Emma Tham Hoa (Disaster Emma), Du Dua Tren Ngon Cay Bang (Swing on Indian Almond's Branch), and a short story collection and picture book Chiec Dep That Lac (The Lost Sandal).

The annual non-profit awards were launched in 2020 to honour the best works by and for children.

The award title is taken from the main character in De Men Phieu Luu Ky (Diary of a Cricket) by To Hoai, one of the most well-known Vietnamese children’s books.

The awards include one grand prize called Hiep Si De Men (Cricket Knight) and five others called Khat Vong De Men (Cricket Desire). 

The Hiep Si De Men award was not given out this year as no entry met the criteria. The 90 entries included poetry, animation films, novels and short and long stories.

"All the shortlisted entries deserve to be recognised and celebrated," said Ngo Van Gia, PhD in literature, one of the jurors.

"The works are easy-to-read stories written exclusively for children and capture a child’s point of view. They also make adult readers think."

The award-winning long story Co Ban La Co Ban is written by Pham Huy Thong, who wrote the story while self-quarantining.

Nguyen Hoang Dieu Thuy won the award for Du Dua Tren Ngon Cay Bang. She is a veteran editor and has just begun to write. Last year, her first work was in shortlist for the De Men Awards.

Belgian writer Geralda De Vos and Swedish illustrator Sofia Holt are the first foreign winners with their bilingual picture book Chiec Dep That Lac. They are living and working in Vietnam. The book was translated into Vietnamese by Kim Ngoc and published by the Kim Dong Publishing House.

The author of the two long stories Biet Doi Tham Tu (Detective Team) and Emma Tham Hoa (Disaster Emma) is Quyen Gavoye. She is a heritage expert living in France. The stories are set in France but the author is skilful in popularising Vietnamese culture.

Quyen Gavoye said: "I wrote these two works with the wish of providing children a pleasant and happy time when reading. Through witty and funny stories, I would like to help them build up their dreams and enrich their knowledge of daily life."

Her books have won favour with a wide range of readers, which is a great inspiration for other authors to create quality and valuable works for children.

Meanwhile, Belgian writer Geralda and Swedish illustrator Sofia Holt said they were "super happy" and "super honoured" to receive the award.

Sofia, who spoke from Sweden, said that all the illustrations in the book were drawn from her experiences and fascination with the beautiful country of Vietnam.

A short stories collection earned Nguyen Vu An Bang the award. She is nine years old from the Quynh Loi Primary School in Hai Ba Trung district, Hanoi. She becomes the youngest winner of the award.

"Children at present are talented," said Tran Dang Khoa, vice president of Vietnam Writers Association and chairman of the jury panel.

"Some of them are talented in music or science, but not in literature. We need to promote and encourage children to write because they will build and develop contemporary literature in the future."/.

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