The Fifth Edition of the Festival Bruxellois de la petite enfance (Brussels Festival for Infants), which targets children up to the age of five years, will be held from 1 September to 31 December under the aegis of the Centre de littérature de jeunesse de Bruxelles, the Centre announced on Tuesday. These four months will be devoted to literature for infants through the city’s network of libraries, bookstores and associations, the Magic Mountain Theatre and other cultural venues, which will host 395 events throughout Brussels.
There will be something for every taste: cartoons, expositions for children and adults, shows, and meetings with book creators, while professionals will be able benefit from trainings, study days and meetings to beef up their knowledge. There will also be the first “Salon du livre de jeunesse” (Children’s Book Fair), which will take place on 3-7 October at the Heysel.
The idea is to look at the various possibilities for developing a love for books among infants, since the first years of a child’s life are fundamental for its future and development. For specialists on infancy, books facilitate language-learning and the organization of thought. For example, the stories told in picture books help children to express their emotions and their perception of the world in words.
Moreover, by identifying with the personalities in these stories, which they recognize as “not being me”, infants learn to see themselves as “similar and different”. Finally, books would also encourage infants to develop an awareness of themselves, of others and of the world.
The Centre de littérature de jeunesse de Bruxelles (Centre for Young Literature of Brussels) has invited Belgian creator Michel Van Zeveren, a children’s book specialist) to promote the project by creating a poster and programme that will be available in partnering libraries, institutions and bookstores.
An exposition entitled “The little world of Michel Van Zeveren” will be mounted in many public libraries. For further information, call 02- 428 74 48 or go to www.cljbxl.be . Andy Sanchez The Brussels Times