New project to promote reading creates inroads into Nordic children’s literature

Children reading books in the Nordic Culture Point's library.

The Nordic bookworm (Den nordiska bokslukaren) is a new project to promote reading that provides inroads into the world of Nordic children’s literature. By producing educational support material for current Nordic picture books, the project puts children into contact with the treasure trove that is Nordic literature, with the help of adult readers. 

The aim of the project is to promote the reading of Nordic children’s literature in all the Nordic countries, and to raise awareness of and profile children and young people’s literature for both adult readers and children. Nordic Culture Point in Helsinki has initiated and is running the project, which has been granted three years of funding from the Nordic Council of Ministers.

“The idea with the Nordic bookworm is that we build a model that promotes reading among children aged 0 to 12. The project is one of a kind in that it includes books from across the Nordic Region and disseminates its results to professional reading promoters across national and language borders,” says project manager Mikaela Wickström, children’s librarian at Nordic Culture Point.

The support material is produced by a Nordic working group consisting of children’s librarians, illustrators, authors, educators, a reading ambassador, and other reading promoters who meet up and collaborate digitally. The material is built around picture books that are nominated for the Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize. The first set of support material will be distributed to relevant stakeholders throughout the Nordic Region in early 2022.

“The educational material for a book consists of six questions of varying degrees of difficulty. These provide inroads to discussion about the book with young children and children of primary school age,” says Mikaela.

All the support material will be available in Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian, Danish, and Icelandic, as well as in Sami, Faroese, and/or Greenlandic for selected books. The distribution of the materials will be entirely digital.

In a separate module, the Nordic bookworm is aimed at Nordic illustrators through an open call to be announced in the autumn of 2021 with the task of creating a Nordic bookworm figure. The winning figure will feature in the marketing of the project, and the final entrants will be shown at an exhibition at Nordic Culture Point in 2022.

The impact of the project will be evaluated in a follow-up research project, with the final report expected in May 2023.

For further information, please contact:

Mikaela Wickström
project manager and children’s librarian at Nordic Culture Point

Heidi Orava
Head of Communications at Nordic Culture Point