15 December 2015
Trickery at the Crocodile Pool and Other Children’s Stories from Papua New Guinea, a book of short stories by Papua New Guinean authors, will be distributed to local schools and libraries starting early next year.
Last week, editor and publisher Ben Jackson announced the launch of the children’s book featuring 33 of the best children stories entered in the 2015 Crocodile Prize.
The children’s anthology is an initiative spearheaded by the Crocodile Prize Organisation in collaboration with Paga Hill Development Company (PNG) Ltd who sponsored the publication of 1000 copies following the overwhelming number of entries in the Crocodile Prize Paga Hill Development Company Writing for Children category.
Ben Jackson said that the selection of stories for the book was challenging given the number of high quality entries. He advised that the aim is to distribute the storybook to as many local schools and libraries as possible. “More than 200 copies of the children’s book have been ordered for distribution with the majority of copies to be distributed in January and February 2016,” he said.
Co-founder of the Crocodile Prize Keith Jackson said Papua New Guinea has a long tradition of storytelling for children and it forms an important part of their development by presenting useful information, norms and ideas in an entertaining way. He said that this special edition children’s book would certainly inspire young Papua New Guinean readers. “The book features prominent local authors who bring a sense of real quality to the project.”
Paga Hill Development Company CEO Gudmundur Fridriksson said: “I think it’s a wonderful thing for children to read stories from their own country. The stories are ideal for school aged children.”
In his foreword for the short storybook, Gudmundur said, “The storytellers in this book are in many ways educators, sharing experiences, cultural values, lessons and wisdom. Every story offers a child an opportunity to learn.”
The Crocodile Prize was established in 2010 to encourage creative writing in Papua New Guinea and increase access to original literature. The national writing contest is now a permanent part of the literary landscape of PNG. The best entries from the 2015 submissions have been published in the annual Crocodile Prize Anthology which is available for purchase online from Amazon.
While the 2016 Crocodile Prize competition is expected to officially launch in January 2016, Paga Hill Development Company has already committed to continuing its sponsorship next year. Lawyer and Director of PHDC Stanley Liria said: “It’s been a great experience sponsoring the Crocodile Prize and the separate children’s book. We encourage other corporate sponsors to get involved in these worthy initiatives which encourage creative and critical writing and the publication and distribution of books in PNG.