Maria Helena Melim Borges, librarian and adjunct director of the Service of Education and Grants at Fundaçao Calouste Gulbenkian, insists that the awards created by this institution in children’s and young people’s literature, have managed to create ‘a different perspective on a social level for the authors of children’s books’ in Portugal.
talks to Canal Lector
and underlines that ‘reading has always been a great concern’ at Fundaçao Calouste Gulbenkian
, which has been involved in the promotion of children’s authors and illustrators for the last thirty years.
In the nineties Golbenkian created a prize to the best children’s author and another for the best children’s illustrator to be awarded biennially. Melim Borges believes this balance ensures that ‘those prizes were important support lines for reading’.
Since 2001 they also award the prize Branquinho da Fonseca, in collaboration with the largest weekly newspaper, Jornal Expresso, in tribute to the creator and first promoter of the travelling library in Portugal. This prize is intended to encourage authors between the ages of 15 and 30.