The Crown Princess of sweden presented the award during a ceremony
Guus Kuijer received the Astrid Lindgren Award
On Monday evening, May 28, 2012 the Dutch children's author Guus Kuijer officially received the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) during a formal ceremony at Stockholm Concert Hall.
From Crown Princess Victoria's hand he received the price diploma and 5 million SEK.
He took the opportunity to thank his publisher back in the Netherlands and all publishers abroad who dared to bet on publishing his books, "even though no one can pronounce the name of the author."
Guus Kuijers youth novel "The Book of Everything" had a prominent role during the ceremony. A chapter from the book was performed by actors from Unga Klara and the lines about happiness were projected to large screens on stage.
The main character in "The Book of Everything," nine year old Thomas, is asked what he wants to be when he grows up. He says that he wants to be happy. The old lady, who everyone thinks is a witch, cackles, pleased at the response, and replies: "Do you know where happiness begins? You stop being afraid. "
It was a relaxed and friendly smiling award winner who appeared at the Concert Hall. ALMA award winners are supposed to work in the "spirit of Astrid Lindgren" and that is certainly something Guus Kuijer does in several ways - not only through his books (where the point of departure is often reminiscent of Astrid Lindgren's focus on child abuse). The appearance at the Concert Hall was also a little "Astrid Lindgrenian". She would probably have made similar disarming and clever jokes, and taken the festivities down to earth by her appearance.
Guus Kuijer told the audience that he was on his way to the dentist when in March 2012 he got a phone call that he had received the award, and gave an unexpected piece of advice: "Never miss an appointment with the dentist - because then he might be mad at you and hurt you."
Then he gave a short acceptance speech where he thanked his publisher at home in the Netherlands and all the publishers abroad who dared taking the risk to publish his books, "even though no one can pronounce the name of the author."
He also thanked his wife ("nothing is published without her support") and the ALMA jury "that must have had a difficult time choosing."
- There are so many plausible winners.
Guus Kuijer does not give interviews at the moment and he will not visit any other countries than Sweden with regard to the prize.
- My life is about writing and now I'm going back home to write, he said.
Before he concluded his speech, he also expressed his appreciation that a prize like the ALMA has been established.
- I really want to thank Sweden because you understand the importance of good books for children. That must be a legacy of Astrid Lindgren, he said.
Guus Kuijer has written more than 30 books, including "The Book of Everything" and "Scratches on the Tabletop."
The entire final week in May 2012 he spent in Sweden, participating in various celebrations concerning the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, including several lectures.
The jury had to choose this year's winner from 184 nominated authors, illustrators, storytellers and promoters of reading from around the world.
Among the previous ALMA Award winners are the Australian illustrator and author Shaun Tan (2011) and the Belgian illustrator Kitty Crowther (2010).
The arrangements around the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award are made by the Swedish Arts Council and are being recognized around the world.
The Swedish Arst Council announced on Tuesday, March 20, 2012 that the Dutch author Guus Kuijer is awarded the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) for 2012.