Veteran children’s author Sybil Wettasinghe passes away | Daily News

Veteran children’s author Sybil Wettasinghe passes away

Popular children’s author and illustrator Sybil Wettasinghe passed away yesterday while receiving treatment at the Sri Jayewardenepura Hospital.

Her final rites will be held on Friday (July 3).

The remains are lying at her residence at Dias Place in Pepiliyana Road, Nugegoda until 10 am on Thursday. The remains will then be moved to a funeral parlour in Borella for the public to pay respects.

Wettasinghe was born in 1927 and spent the first six years of her childhood in the village of Gintota, in the suburbs of Galle.

Then her family moved to Colombo where she entered the Holy Family Convent. At age 17, Wettasinghe joined the Lankadeepa newspaper. In 1952, Wettasinghe moved to Lake House where she became the main illustrator of the Janatha newspaper. In 1955, she married Dharmapala Wettasinghe, a former Chief Editor of the Daily News.

Throughout her illustrious career, Sybil Wettasinghe earned international acclaim. Her children’s stories secured awards both in Europe and Asia.

In 1965, her story Vesak Lantern won an Isabel Hutton Prize for Asian Women writers for Children. Her first book ‘Kuda Hora’ was chosen for the Best Foreign Book Award in Japan in 1986 and in 1987 it won the Japanese Library Association Award as the most popular children’s book.

‘Kuda Hora’ book was translated into seven languages (English, Norwegian, Danish, Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Swedish). Wettasinghe has held exhibitions of her work in Japan and Czechoslovakia and in 2003, she was invited to Norway for a book festival for well-known authors.

Sybil Wettasinghe’s work has received high acclaim and attention for its distinctly vernacular themes and styles. She also created a world record for the most number of endings in a book.

Wettasinghe is survived by her three children and five grandchildren.

Veteran author Sybil Wettasinghe passes away [01.07.20 9:22]

Kala Keerthi Sybil Wettasinghe, the veteran children's book writer and an illustrator, passed away. She was 93 at the time of her demise. Her books have been translated into several languages She has been writing and illustrating stories for over 70 years.

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