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Milly, Molly runner-up in Italian literary award

4 December 2007

Milly, Molly runner-up in Italian literary award

Gisborne author Gill Pittar has been named runner-up in the prestigious Grinzane Junior Cavour literary award for her book Milly, Molly and Alf.

Published in Italy as Milly, Molly e Milos, the book tells the story of an orphaned refugee who triumphs over adversity. The award, won by Italian writer Emanuela Nava, is dedicated to children’s fiction promoting multiculturalism.

The multicultural nature of the Milly, Molly series, sold to 109 countries and published in 30 languages, fits well in Italy.

“Some schools in Rome have up to 38 children of different ethnicities in one classroom,” Gill Pittar says. “A lot don’t speak Italian. Milly, Molly is a wonderful teaching tool for them since they have few books promoting the acceptance of diversity.

“The experience was humbling. Many people expressed their appreciation of my work and having hundreds of Italian schoolchildren cheering for Milly, Molly was very emotional.

“There was genuine gratitude for a product that teachers and librarians find useful.”

Gill Pittar was flown to award ceremonies in Turin and Rome and presented with a handmade replica of the Italian version, illustrated and compiled by Italian schoolchildren.

“I applaud the Italian effort to embrace their multicultural society. I too believe world peace can be attained through the education of our children and am delighted Milly and Molly can help pave the way.”

Publishers EDT srl. were quick to tout the success of the book, promoting Milly, Molly e Milos with an interactive CD featuring the story in 12 languages.

EDT bought the Italian language rights to the series in 2004 and now publish 28 titles.

Milly, Molly will screen on television around the world next year. A television series produced by an international consortium including Milly Molly Group Holdings was launched at Cannes in 2006. TVNZ and major international networks bought the 13 half-hour episodes currently in production. A second series of 13 episodes will follow.


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