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Children’s literature 2022: what the Peruvian child reads, the importance of illustration, public libraries and more

The little ones at home deserve to enjoy literature and this 2022 has been full of news for them. In the context of difficulties in the face of a progressive return to face-to-face classes, parents have options to instill the habit of reading. In contrast to the typical, books related to content creators such as ‘youtubers’ and ‘gamers’ continue to be of interest to children; without leaving aside the Harry Potter saga, a classic. Here is a review of everything that happened in this literary genre during the last twelve months.

industry movement

The literary industry was also affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Taking into account that the children spent more time at home than in the classroom, this somewhat affected the acquisition of books in the reading plan. However, what has been seen in this 2022 is a return to the ‘regular rhythm’ of sales. According to figures from Librerías Crisol, children’s literature increased its sales by 14% between the second quarter of 2019 and the second quarter of 2022.

As for what the little ones in the house consume the most, when they are purchased by their parents, they are books oriented towards education in values. in conversation with Trade, the editorial manager of Planeta, María Fernanda Castillo, stressed that this is the topic with “more demand, for parents, above all. In addition, the other topic that began to move, especially after the second half of the year, is related to mental health designed for boys: emotions, feelings, all the content that has to do with it. I think it is due to the reality that we live during the pandemic.

The panorama changes when talking about children from the age of 8: they are the books related to internet content creators. The trend, as confirmed by the Planeta publishing house, is marked in relation to ‘youtubers’ and ‘gamers’. “Trends change, readers move quickly and, as I was saying, we started with ‘youtubers’ like Rubius, who was basically a photocopy of what he did on his channel, caricatured and turned into a book. Then we move on to the ‘gamers’ who are still going now”, highlighted Maria Fernanda Castillo.

She was joined by Fiorella Bravo, a representative of Penguin Random House, who stressed that these types of books are working well. “It’s a trend that has worked because 12 to 13-year-old boys love it because they are very attached to streaming, but they also really enjoy these stories told through characters. So, next year we are going to continue betting on these types of books”.

New proposals

Although not everything stops there, but this year the creativity of Peruvians has also come to light to invent fantastic and imaginary universes for the least. From the national editorial Pichoncito there are new proposals. What is remarkable? They include various aspects of Peruvian culture among their pages. Books such as “Atlas del Perú”, “ABC”, “Cabecita de jardín” and “Dinosaurs and prehistoric animals of Peru”, as well as the specials of Pintores Power are the publications of this year.

“We have worked on a very special alliance with the Lima Art Museum, through which we are publishing biographies in the children’s section about the most important Peruvian artists that have ever existed”says Adriana Roca, manager of Pichoncito. “The idea is that children grow up knowing not only Picasso, but that they grow up knowing the Peruvian identity.” Thus, they have illustrated books about the Peruvian artists José Sabogal and Elena Izcue.

The role of illustration also comes to the fore at this point because, to tell the truth, children are easily guided by drawings. And many of the children’s books are full of these. In this sense, the Peruvian writer Micaela Chirif, author of works such as “Inti Sol Killa Luna” and “A Sleepless Night”, agrees that this aspect is extremely important; although it is not everything.

“Sometimes we think that illustration is everything and can replace a bad text; that is not so either. The illustration plays an important role because the text and the image work together to tell a story. They need each other”says Chirif.

award-winning talents

Perhaps it is due to lack of visibility, but Peru during this 2022 has managed to stand out in relation to children’s literature. Not only for book sales, but also for international recognition of our authors. The first on the list is Micaela Chirif who, shortly after the publication of her book “A Sleepless Night” (2022), was ranked in the Top 10 of the best books in Spanish for children from the New York Public Library. York. She was also recognized by the Chen Bonchui International Literature Award Selection (China).

The next on the list were recognized in 2022 for their works published last year, such as Andrea Gago with the Fundación Cuatrogatos Award (United States) for “El bolso de mamá” and Fabiola Anchorena with the Compostela International Book Album Award (Spain). for “Waiting for the dawn”; as well as Karina de la Vega and Fátima Ordinola, as writer and illustrator respectively, for the Contest A la orilla del viento – Fondo de Cultura Económica (Mexico) for “La reina de la torre”.

Andrea Gago (left) and Fabiola Anchorena (right) are some of the Peruvian authors of children's literature awarded this year.  (Photos: Courtesy)

This shows the great talent that exists in our country in terms of children’s literature; what is really needed is to spread it among the little ones at home. “It is unprecedented, I believe in Peruvian children’s literature it realizes that a job is being done. There is also a need for more support from the State for this to continue, there is talent, there are people who are doing things there, but there is a need for more public purchases, there is a need for more public libraries because the book also has to reach the readers, and sometimes the books are expensive. So, we urgently need more public reading spaces, more school libraries”emphasizes the writer Micaela Chirif.

Source: Elcomercio

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