Ryôji Arai

What has the award meant for you?

I still feel great joy to have been honoured in this way as a much-loved writer whose work has appeal for many readers all over the world! This has been a big confidence booster for a writer like me, few of whose works have been translated into foreign languages. I am delighted that this prize will be a talking point in exchanges with artists in foreign countries.

What are you working on at present?

One thing is picture books, of course, and I am organising workshops, hopefully with the participation of children. These days, I am thinking about doing animations or holding exhibitions that both children and adults can enjoy participating in. But I cannot teach a good way of climbing trees, like Astrid!

Also, I am scheduled to serve on the judges’ panel at the 2012 Bologna Children’s Book Fair Illustration Competition.