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Publishers in children’s book development

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About 14 publishers under its umbrella body, Book Publishers Association of Malawi (Bpam) and their authors, illustrators and designers are engaged in the development of children’s book titles for ages between 0 and 8 years.

The players started meeting on Wednesday at Malawi Sun Hotel in Blantyre and the meeting ends Friday.

Veteran writer and Bpam executive member Alfred Msadala confirmed news about the meeting.

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Msadala said Bpam was engaged in children’s book development and that this was a Global Book in Action project supported by USaid.

“This has come in timely as it coincides with World Book and Copyright Day which falls on April 23 2022 (Saturday). It is celebratory to us since we are adding 50 titles into the Malawi market and not only that, for early grade reading. These are not school books but target children at home to be read by their parents or guardians,” Msadala said.

He further said that this was deliberately scheduled to precede the day being a book activity and that Bpam could not hold another commemoration.

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World Book Day, also known as World Book and Copyright Day or International Day of the Book, is an annual event organised by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) to promote reading, publishing, and copyright.

The first World Book Day was celebrated on April 23 1995, and continues to be recognised to this day, which this year falls tomorrow but a related event in the United Kingdom and Ireland is observed in March.

On the occasion of World Book and Copyright Day, Unesco, along with the advisory committee from the major sectors of the book industry, select the World Book Capital for one year. Each designated World Book Capital City carries out a programme of activities to celebrate and promote books and reading.

“Last Saturday, Pen Malawi inaugurated African Story Box, a Book Aid International project, and it had to be last week to give a chance to this week’s activity. For your information, Acin will issue a novel by me titled Second Chance on Saturday (tomorrow) and this is deliberate being World Book Day; otherwise, it could have been on Friday (today),” Msadala said.

He said the theme ‘Building Peace in the Minds of Men and Women’ points to a process which requires decision making and auctioning, hence prolonged activities.

“This is just to release the book onto the market and I will hand over the book at Kwa Haraba Art Gallery in Blantyre. It is just symbolic; otherwise, we are arranging for the launch in June this year,” Msadala said.

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