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An International Award for "Dve ciklami" (Two Cyclamens)
Schwanenstadt, Austria, 4. july 2009
For their traditional international children and youth literary competition, the Austrian municipality of Schwanenstadt chose as this year’s theme “To Live Together – You with Me and Me with You”.

The jury, consisting of the representatives from four Central European countries, reviewed 151 books by renowned authors from Slovenia, Austria, Italy and Germany. Benka's picture book  Dve ciklami ali Na svetu je dovolj prostora za vse  (Two Cyclamens or The World Is Big Enough for Everyone) was awarded Special Jury Recognition. In their evaluation, the judges commented “The jury gives a special award for taking into account the harmonious perspectives in illustrations, which are appropriate for the child, and invite the reader to see the world from numerous points of view. From the didactic viewpoint, this book facilitates the young reader's approach to connecting the subjects within nature that are accountable for cohabitation to happen. The book strives to set an example by showing that one can manage one's own crises.”

Benka, whose book began entertaining the youngest readers only half a year ago, was all smiles: “I prefer foreign awards. In Slovenia, all too many awards have that unpleasant aftertaste because everyone is supporting their favorites. There is too much lobbying; it's a ‘who-knows-who’ thing. I find it quite telling when, accompanying the greatest literary awards in the country, I listen to a few bitter remarks from true experts.”


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