NewsPublisher of Popular Ethiopian Children’s Books Collaborates With IBBY Ethiopia For Exciting...

Publisher of Popular Ethiopian Children’s Books Collaborates With IBBY Ethiopia For Exciting New International Developments

Nationwide — The Ethiopian Section of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY Ethiopia) and Open Hearts Big Dreams (OHBD) are proud to announce two developments as part of their ongoing collaboration to bring books and children together in Ethiopia and around the globe.

Ethiopia is Africa’s second-most populous country, but tens of millions of people there are without literacy skills, and there is a lack of sufficient quality, culturally relevant children’s books in the local languages.

In one key development, IBBY Ethiopia was featured for the first time at this year’s Bologna Children’s Book Fair (BCBF), from April 8-11. BCBF is an industry-leading event that brings together a global audience. BCBF is continuing their focus on emerging publishing markets by bringing back the Spotlight on Africa Pavilion in 2024. IBBY Ethiopia will be included as part of this dedicated exhibition area that will feature thirty African publishers from all over the continent. These publishers will also take part in networking opportunities and seminars led by international publishing professionals.

In another key development, IBBY Ethiopia released its first Honour List submissions. As IBBY’s website relates, “Important considerations in selecting the Honour List titles are that the books are representative of the best in children’s literature from the country and that the books are suitable for publication throughout the world. The selection provides insight into the diverse cultural, political and social settings in which children live and grow and it can be used by all those involved with developing educational and literacy programmes and publishing initiatives to develop exemplary ‘international’ collections.” The books will be circulated at international exhibitions and housed in several major cities. IBBY Ethiopia also successfully lobbied to add an endangered languages section to the list.

The titles nominated for the Honour List by IBBY Ethiopia for “Writing” included bilingual books in four official Ethiopian languages:
Mothers and Daughters by Ellenore and Leyla Angelidis (Amharic)
A Story of Hope by Worku Mulat (Afaan Oromo)
No One Stops My Dream by Yoseph Ayalew (Somali)
Our Life Is on the Lake by Eyayu Genet and Ellenore and Leyla Angelidis (Tigrinya)

The title nominated for “Illustration” was:
The Boy Who Never Gave Up!, illustrated by Daniel Getahun

The titles nominated for “Translators” included bilingual books in four official Ethiopian languages:
Jember, translated by Beserat Debebe (Amharic)
The Cheetahs of Long Distance Running in Ethiopia, translated by Ahmed Dedo Gemeda (Afaan Oromo)
Yellow, translated by Abdi Mohamed Hassen (Somali)
Monkey in the City, translated by Aklilu Dessalegn (Tigrinya)

The title nominated for “Endangered Languages” was:
The Lonely Nile Perch by Jekap Omod, which is the first book translated by an Anuak speaker and features a folktale from the Gambella region.

OHBD is a Seattle-based, not-for-profit organization that is dedicated to increasing literacy, inclusion, innovation readiness, and leadership skills in Ethiopia and beyond. The organization sponsored the launch of IBBY Ethiopia as a new National Section of IBBY, joining in July 2023. The Ethiopian National Section is focused on increasing access to quality books and creating a love of reading in Ethiopia. Learn more at

For further information:
• IBBY Ethiopia:
• IBBY Honour List:
• Bologna Children’s Book Fair:
• Bologna Children’s Book Fair / Spotlight on Africa:
• OHBD Ready Set Go Books:
• OHBD website:
• Etan Comics:


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