“A Smiling Banana” selected for IBBY 2021 Collection for Young People with Disabilities 

August 11, 2020 - 18:50

TEHRAN – The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) has selected the Persian story “A Smiling Banana” for its 2021 Collection for Young People with Disabilities, the Children’s Book Council of Iran announced on Tuesday.

The book has been written by Hamidreza Shahabadi based on a plot by Hassan Musavi, who is also the illustrator of the book. 

“Simplicity at its best is manifested in this picture book,” the Pol Literary and Translation Agency, a Tehran-based institution that translates Iranian books and presents Persian-language publications around the world, has written about the book.

“The contrasting beauties of nature mingles with the imagination of author and illustrator, and creates a story children won’t forget easily,” it added.

“The happy banana changes the life of a gorilla and shows him another way of life. Others badger the gorilla because of his affection towards a banana, and they are forced to leave that part of the jungle in search of peace and quiet. They are united with another gorilla who has a smiling apple friend. The main message of the book is what has caused struggle and frustration for many: change, and the acceptance that change is necessary and most likely, fruitful, in every aspect of the word!”

Ofoq, a major publishing house in Tehran, which released the book in 2017, has congratulated Shahabadi and Musavi for the IBBY choice.

Every two years experts working with the IBBY Collection for Young People with Disabilities select outstanding titles for and about children and young adults with disabilities from around the world.

The IBBY headquarters is located in Basel, Switzerland. 

Many young people with disabilities cannot read or enjoy a standard book, or they cannot find a suitable book among the many publications available, IBBY has said.

Therefore they need specially produced books or selected regular books of literary and artistic quality that meet their special needs regarding design, language, plot structure and pictures.

The IBBY collection located at the Toronto Public Library features a large international selection of books for and about young people with disabilities.

The books are chosen by the IBBY National Sections, as well as by independent experts and publishers.

In 2019, “Plants” by Iranian writers and designer Samaneh Naderi was selected for the IBBY Collection for Young People with Disabilities.

Eight different plants and their edible fruits are highlighted in this handmade book that explores two questions: what are the different parts of a plant and how do plants grow?

Photo: Front cover of “A Smiling Banana” by writer Hamidreza Shahabadi and illustrator Hassan Musavi.


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