Announcement of Winners for the 11th and 12th Persian Flying Turtle Book Award

Announcement of Winners for the 11th and 12th Persian Flying Turtle Book Award

Works on Iran Top the List of Flying Turtle Book Award Winners

On Sunday, March 10th, the jury panel for the Persian Flying Turtle Book Award announced the winners of the 11th and 12th editions, awarding the Golden and Silver Flying Turtle statuettes. Additionally, two pioneering figures in children’s and young adult literature were honored with the Special Flying Turtle Award. The announcement ceremony took place at the Central Book City, where Farmaher Monjazi represented the jury and read out the names of the winners.

In these editions, the Special Flying Turtle Award was bestowed upon Iran Gorgin and Mahmoud Bahmanpour. The citation for Ms. Gorgin stated: “We do not forget that if Iranian children and adolescents today have access to a wealth of knowledge and information in the Persian language, it is the result of the efforts of individuals like yourself over many years. We remember that for years you have written about Iran, its myths, and its eminent figures for young readers, and as the editor-in-chief of the Children’s and Adolescents’ Encyclopedia, you have contributed to the expansion of their knowledge.”

The jury’s citation for Mr. Bahmanpour emphasized: “We do not forget that you were the founder of some important institutions and events, including the International Illustrators’ Biennials, and played a significant role in elevating the quality of children’s and young adult literature and transmitting the experiences of past generations. In an era when exclusion and rejection were commonplace, you were among those who facilitated dialogue between the older and newer generations of children’s and young adult book creators.”

In the 11th edition, two works were deemed worthy of the Silver Flying Turtle Award. The first went to Ardavan Zarandian for his book “The Hyrcanian Forests” published by Nardban, which the jury praised for its “creative and artistic approach to the environment and providing an unparalleled opportunity to familiarize readers with Iranian forests, while fostering a sense of responsibility among Iranian children and adolescents towards their country’s invaluable natural heritage.”

The second Silver Flying Turtle Award went to Parviz Bakhtiari for his three-volume series “Bird Watching” published by the Center for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults. According to the jury, this work was commended for “its attention to biodiversity, the importance of birds for the environment, and strengthening the sense of responsibility among Iranian children and adolescents towards the country’s avian species.”

Two works were also named as winners in the 12th edition. Haleh Ghorbani and Farhad Hassanzadeh, the illustrator and author of the book “Not Like Every Day” published by Che Ketab, received the Silver Flying Turtle Award for their “aesthetic attention to the city and artistic use of urban visual elements in creating an engaging picture book, as well as the creative harmonization of text and illustration.”

Additionally, Sudabeh Farazipour and Farideh Shahbazi, the author and illustrator of “Azar in Venus,” a biography of Azar Andami, were awarded the other Silver Flying Turtle for their “artistic portrayal of the life of a hardworking, influential, and lesser-known female scientist, accompanied by artistic illustrations.”

A ceremony honoring the winners will be held in the spring of 2024 at the Central Book City.

Concerns Raised by the Flying Turtle Book Award Jury

At the beginning of this event, Mahmoud Barabadi read out the Jury’s Statement of Flying Turtle Book Award, which emphasized that “this year, for the first time, all our winners are original works, and all are about Iran.”

The statement addressed the rising cost of books, stating: “Due to economic instability and the declining purchasing power of the people, books have effectively been removed from the expenditure basket of many Iranian households and have become a luxury item. This has made access to new and high-quality books impossible or at least difficult for many Iranian children and adolescents.” Based on this, the jury expressed hope that “on the eve of the new year, through public book donations to public libraries in rural areas, suburbs of large cities, and small towns, access to quality books will be provided for all Iranian children and adolescents.”

The statement also pointed to positive developments in Iranian children’s and young adult literature, noting: “We welcome the attention to non-fiction literature with a focus on Iran, its environment and nature, influential Iranian figures, and the country’s history and traditions, especially since this development has been accompanied by the efforts of Iranian illustrators, photographers, and graphic designers in creating realistic visuals of Iran for children and adolescents, resulting in new experiences that have been well-received by children, adolescents, and families.”

The statement concluded with the hope that “in the coming months and years, no child or adolescent will be deprived of their rights, including the right to access good and quality books, and that all Iranians will live with dignity and joy.”

Flying Turtle comprises a selection of top-quality books suitable for children and adolescents, created through the partnership of Book City and The Quarterly Research Journal of Literature for Children and Teenagers. A team of critics, specialists, and children’s authors collaborates to curate this list, aiming to assist children and families in selecting the finest books for their reading pleasure.