Veteran children’s author, Kala Keerthi Sybil Wettasinghe passed away at the age of 93

Veteran children’s author, Kala Keerthi Sybil Wettasinghe passed away at the age of 93

Veteran children’s author, Kala Keerthi Sybil Wettasinghe passed away at the age of 93

Written by Pavani Hapuarachchi

01 Jul, 2020 | 12:23 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st): Veteran Children’s author, Kala Keerthi Sybil Wettasinghe passed away on Wednesday (July 1) at the age of 93, while receiving treatment at the Sri Jayawardenapura Hospital.

Final rites of Late Kala Keerthi Sybil Wettasinghe will be conducted at 3:00 pm on Friday (July 3).

Remains of Late Kala Keerthi Sybil Wettasinghe will be laid at her residence located at Dias Place in Pepiliyana Road, Nugegoda, from 4:00 pm on Wednesday to 10:00 am on Thursday.

The remains will then be moved to a funeral parlour in Borella for the public to pay respects.

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

A former student of Gintota Buddhist College and Holy Family Convent in Bambalapitiya, Sybil Wettasinghe was involved in creative writing for leading newspapers and magazines since the age of 15 years.

In 1952, she produced a narrative called ‘Kuda Hora’ for the children’s page of a newspaper; her first attempt to write stories.

The story of ‘Kuda Hora’ eventually developed into a book that was critically acclaimed both locally and internationally; the book was translated into seven languages including English, Chinese, and Japanese.

Inspired by the success of ‘Kuda Hora’, Wettasinghe applied herself to writing as well as illustrating and has published over 200 children’s books over the course of her career.

The book ‘Wonder Crystal’ written by Sybil Wettasinghe was recently recognised as a Guinness World Record for the most number of alternate endings.

The book was launched on 5th March 2020, to coincide with the World Children’s Day.

Hoity the Fox, The Umbrella Thief, Child in Me, Sooththara Puncha, Kirihami, Run away Beard and Little Granny, are some of her renowned children’s books.

During her career, Wettasinghe won much international acclaim 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.

Kala Keerthi Sybil Wettasinghe, most dearly addressed as “Sybil Nanda” by Sri Lankans of all age groups, dedicated her life to nourish the children of Sri Lanka and across.

Her work of literature will be appreciated for generations to come.

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