Icelandic author Andri Snær Magnason is bringing families a wonderful way to pass the time at home with a special reading of his award-winning children’s novel, The Story of the Blue Planet, illustrated by Áslaug Jónsdóttir. Then, on April 29 Andri will host a live Q+A session on Iceland Naturally Facebook page at 4pm ET // 8pm GMT to answer any questions your family has about the book!
The Story of the Blue Planet is about wild children living on a blue planet far out in space, completely free. One day a visitor arrives, and offers them even more happiness. The deal, however, is not all it seems, and leads to the most dramatic and dangerous adventure any child on the Blue Planet could imagine.
The Story of the Blue Planet is the first children’s book to win the Icelandic literary award. Since its publication, it has become a favorite in Iceland and has been published in more than 30 languages. The book has also been adapted into a musical play that has been performed on more than 20 stages worldwide by theatre groups both large and small. The Blue Planet won the UKLA Award for best children’s book of 2014, and was chosen as the best children’s book in China in 2019. It is published in the US by Seven Stories Press and available for purchase here.
As you enjoy the magical adventure of The Story of the Blue Planet, we encourage children and parents alike to draw what they imagine the blue planet, characters and scenes to look like. Share a picture of your drawings on Instagram and Twitter using #INBluePlanet for a chance to win a hard copy of the book! We will randomly select 5 winners across both platforms to receive the prize.
We hope you enjoy Andri’s reading of The Story of the Blue Planet below, and will be able to join us on April 29 at 4pm ET // 8pm GMT for Andri’s special Facebook livestream Q+A. Be sure to share this reading with your friends and let us know what you think in the comments below!
A special thanks to Reykjavík City Theatre where this was filmed!
About Andri Snær Magnason
Andri Snær Magnason is an Icelandic writer, born in Reykjavík in 1973. Andri has written novels, poetry, plays, short stories, essays and films. He is known for his imagination, humour and activism and as a popular public speaker. Magnason’s latest book, On Time and Water, is coming out in 22 languages soon. His book, The Casket of Time was published in English in 2019 by Restless Books. The Casket of Time won the Icelandic Literary Award and was nominated as the best fantasy book in Finland 2016, along with books by Ursula K. le Guin and David Mitchell. His novel LoveStar got a Philip K. Dick Special Citation, the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire in France, and “Novel of the Year” in Iceland. The Story of the Blue Planet was the first children’s book to receive the Icelandic Literary Award and has been published or performed in 35 countries. His book Dreamland, a self help manual for a frightened nation, has contributed to a new energy policy in Iceland and the vision of the Highland National Park in the Central Highlands of Iceland. He also directed Dreamland, a feature-length documentary film based on the book. Known for his unusual approach, his second book of poetry, Bónus Poetry is one of the most sold volumes of poetry in Iceland, published by Bónus Supermarkets. Andri appears in the Oscar Award winning documentary “Inside Job” by Charles Ferguson. Andri Snær Magnason also ran for president in Iceland in 2016 as an independent candidate and came third in the election. He currently lives in Reykjavík with his wife Margrét, and four children.
About Áslaug Jónsdóttir
Áslaug Jónsdóttir studied Visual Arts in Reykjavik and Copenhagen, and works as illustrator, graphic designer, writer and visual artist. She has written and illustrated numerous picture books and children’s plays for The National Theatre in Iceland, where she also was responsible for the stage design.
Áslaug has received many awards for her works that have been published in many languages. She is a two-time winner of the Icelandic Illustrator’s Award and she received the Icelandic Literary Prize 2017 in the category of children and young adult’s fiction for Skrímsli í Vanda (Monsters in Trouble), along with co-authors Kalle Güettler and Rakel Helmsdal. Her works have been selected for the IBBY Honour List for illustrations, nominated for the new Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize, as well as the Hans Christian Andersen Awards and the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. Along with author Andri Snær Magnason she received the West-Nordic Children’s Literature Prize in 2002 and the UKLA Award 2014 for Sagan af bláa hnettinum (The Story of the Blue Planet). In 2008 her first play, Gott kvöld (Good Evening) won The Icelandic Theatre Award as the best children’s production of the year. Áslaug was also nominated for the Nordic Drama Award in 2010 for the same play. Áslaug Jónsdóttir lives and works in Reykjavík.
Featured Image Credit: Anni Ólafsdóttir