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2018.04.19 "Process for becoming a little bear" Wins Silver in Leipzig
The handcrafted, special edition of a Japanese picture book, "Process for becoming a little bear," won a Silver Medal in the 2018 “Best Book Design from all over the World” competition, held every year in Leipzig, Germany. The book was also the recipient of the Chairman Award in the 51st Japan Book Design Awards in 2017, run by the Japan Federation of Printing Industries. At the Leipzig Book Fair (March 15-18, 2018), the award ceremony for the "Best Book Design from all over the World" competition took place on March 16, and books nominated for the competition were showcased at the fair.

The “Best Book Design from all over the World” competition began in 1963, judging a book’s beauty in its totality including design aspects as well as binding techniques. This year, there were over 600 nominated books from 33 countries. Of these, 14 were selected under the following five categories, in order from the highest: the Golden Letter award; one gold, two silver, and five bronze medals; and five honorary appreciations. The book selected for the top honor of 2018 Golden Letter was "Heimat, Handwerk und die Utopie des Alltäglichen," from Switzerland. The other Silver Medal this year went to China’s "The Art of Gardening."

"Process for becoming a little bear," by Nana Inoue, was published in November 2016 by be Nice Inc., a small publishing firm based in Minato Ward, Tokyo. Published at the same time as a paperback edition, each of the special edition books are crafted by the artisans of Misuzudo Bindery and have individual serial numbers. Concentric circles are sunk into the front of the book, covered by yellow fabric, representing the plate that features in the story. 

Only books that have won an award in a national design competition, or have alternatively received a recommendation by an expert panel, are accepted in the "Best Book Design from all over the World" competition. Considering its success in a highly competitive field, and although it is currently out of stock, it may be worth getting hold of the special edition "Process for becoming a little bear" when the chance arises, to see what it is about.

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