Anna Pauner, executive editor of Cruïlla, spoke at the event, highlighting that the two winning works are “a perfect reflection of completely different ideas. Predestinats is a perfect cycle of perfectly intertwined events, while Madame Esvelt is a fun story, with rhythm and an endearing and moving atmosphere."
For her part, Nuria Melgosa, director of Cruïlla, explained that these awards “want to be an incentive for children to enjoy reading. These types of events reinforce our ideas regarding Children's and Young People's Literature as a speaker of social, ethical and human values. As a cultural reference, we want to give the importance it deserves to an area as fundamental for our education and personal growth as literature."
El Barco de Steam 2023 Award: Madame Esvelt
The jury of the 2023 El Barco de Vapor Prize has chosen Madame Esvelt by Carles Sala as the best work of children's literature for being “a story that engages from beginning to end. The archetypal characters are very well constructed and the names chosen by the author are very eloquent. The turns of phrase are also very funny. References to classic stories are evident and this can help the reader connect more quickly with the text so that they are some of their cultural references.”
“A good writer friend told me “awards are important, above all, because they remember you.” Well, a well-known award like the Steamboat is a very good reminder!”
Carles Sala is a trained teacher, although since 2008 he has been professionally dedicated to literary creation. The novel is 120 pages long and has illustrations by Anna Baquero. It is aimed at children between 8 and 10 years old.
Madame Esvelt has settled in the Caserón, a mansion in the town of Sano Repunt that had been abandoned for many years. She is a stuffy, romance-laden baroness who treats everyone with contempt. Madame's obsession is to be thin and wear a new outfit every day. When Arlet talks to Mau, her best friend, she notices that he behaves in a very strange way. That's why she decides to investigate and discovers that Mau and many other children from the town sleepwalk every night and go to the Mansion, where Madame makes them eat some mysterious meatballs that leave them enchanted. Arlet, with the help of his violin teacher and two very special globetrotters, will try to ruin the baroness's evil plans in any way possible and free her friends from that strange curse.
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Gran Angular Award 2023: Predestinats
The jury's decision to award the 2023 Gran Angular Prize to the work of youth literature Predestinats by Jesús Castillón is explained as “a perfect circle that opens with a very shocking event and that closes giving meaning to everything that happens in the story.” . The structure is surprising and it hooks you from the beginning.”
Aurora lives in a future where men have become extinct and society is made up exclusively of women. When it comes time to choose her university studies, she chooses the Visitors School, a college shrouded in secrecy. According to the official version, the students there are preparing to find a remedy that will allow them to have male children again. She soon discovers the center's strange rules, one of which is not to fall in love. Aurora is not very good at following rules. What she does not suspect is that, by failing to comply with them, she can change the destiny of humanity.
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Since 1984, Cruïlla has been dedicated to publishing books for children and young people, focusing on both educational and literary aspects.
Today, in these two areas - education and literature - Cruïlla maintains the same commitment to the Catalan language, culture and education: in school, through research and adaptation, in its publications, of new content, formats , pedagogical resources and methods; in literature, with a deep commitment to quality, the promotion of reading among young people and literary creation in Catalan.
Cruïlla's commitment to the language is reflected in its editorial line and its extensive catalogue. Cruïlla supports Catalan authors of children's and youth literature through the annual call for the El Vaixell de Vapor Literary Awards for children and Gran Angular for adolescents and young people.
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