A child-friendly award ceremony

When Eugene Trivizas, best-selling children’s author and chairman of the jury for the 2004 children’s literature awards, promised to have a child-friendly awards ceremony, nobody knew quite what to expect. True to form, the storyteller famed for a boundless imagination did not disappoint. Last Monday at the Athens Concert Hall, along with the prize-winning authors and illustrators and the usual grownups – ministers, speechmakers and officials – there was a large audience of children and entertainment to suit. Kathimerini English Edition brought along 8-year-old Clio Takas as an assistant. Pupils from multicultural schools in Athens and Thrace and from schools for children with special needs enjoyed a program that leavened the necessary formalities with music, theater and fun. Even the formal bits were spiced with Trivizas’s successive revelations about the favorite reading of Deputy Culture Minister Petros Tatoulis, Education Minister Marietta Giannakou and President Costas Papoulias, who each presented awards. The prize-winning work of Sofia Filntisi, Petros Hadzopoulos, Vassilis Papatsarouchas, Eleni Dikaiou and Vassilev Svetlin (reviewed here on February 3) and the other candidates in each category was presented on a large screen and with a brief introduction. The Orchestra of Colors played between the presentations, actors read extracts from the books, and dancers performed. Singers Dionysis Savvopoulos, Savina Yiannatou, Fivos Delivorrias, Spyros Sakkas and Evdokia Xadzioannou joined the Hadzikyriakou Foundation children’s choir to sing «A Hymn to Books,» penned by Trivizas and set to a catchy tune by Giorgos Kouroupos. The fun didn’t stop there. Clowns and cotton candy were waiting for the youngsters outside the auditorium. That’s one adult’s viewpoint, but what did the event seem like to a child? «The best bit was when they acted out scenes from some of the books – it was really well done. And the free candy floss wasn’t bad either,» commented Clio.

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