Six authors and six illustrators have been selected from 58 candidates submitted by 33 national sections of IBBY for the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Award. The award, launched in 1958, is considered the most prestigious in international children’s literature. It is given biennially by the International Board on Books for Young People to an author and illustrator whose complete works have made lasting contributions to children's literature. The winners will be announced Monday, March 24 at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. The six short-listed authors in alphabetical order are:
- Ted van Lieshout from the Netherlands. Lieshout uses a dialogue of words and images. With his original and visual writing style he observes the world with a different perspective every time. He is always looking for new styles and techniques to shape both words and pictures.
- Houshang Moradi Kermani from Iran. Kermani has been writing creative humanistic works for children and adults for over four decades. Nature, village, family, and poverty together with self-respect, peace and mutual understanding are the most frequent subjects of his work.
- Mirjam Pressler from Germany. “Without books the world remains a confining place and limits what we can imagine and consider doing,” says Pressler. “We need many different books. Books provide us with perspectives. A certain book can acquire an important, world-changing meaning.”
- Nahoko Uehashi from Japan. Uehashi tells stories that are replete with imagination, culture and the beauty of a sophisticated process and form. Her literary subjects are based on ancient Japanese mythology and science-fiction fantasy that are deeply rooted in human reality.
- Renate Welsh from Austria. Welsh focuses on children’s social reality therefore enabling them to cope with their own lives. Family crisis and social injustice, illnesses, social exclusion, violence at home and at school, isolation and identity conflicts are depicted with remarkable honesty.
- Jacqueline Woodson from the USA. Woodson often features African-American characters in her books because she feels strongly that children need to see themselves reflected in books. Each book she writes is a new experience, a way to learn something new or engage with a different subject that matters to her.
The six short-listed illustrators in alphabetical order are:
- Rotraut Susanne Berner from Germany. We can find figures dancing, houses that float and fish that fly in her drawings. She succeeds in creating a picture-book world where big things can be small, and small things big.
- John Burningham from the UK. Burningham is a great celebrator of imagination. The style of his picture books is spontaneous though the textures are very carefully worked. His works are full of life, poetry and personality.
- Eva Lindström from Sweden. Lindström has a highly personal technique that mixes water-colour, gauche and pencil. Her characters express the child’s inventiveness, energy and unconditional delight in life, while in other works she evokes a very adult sense of loneliness.
- Roger Mello from Brazil. Mello creates original handcrafted metaphors and allegories. His concern for social themes is reflected in his works, where we can also find something that is ceremonial and magical.
- François Place from France. Place’s work is characterized by a distinct line between documentary and fiction. It offers the reader a fascinating view of historical and geographical realities as well as imaginary worlds.
- Øyvind Torseter from Norway. Torseter has intuitive and innovative work, which he constantly renews combining both traditional and digital techniques. He also experiments with graphic effects and three dimensional paper clippings.
A full list of candidates can be found at www.ibby.org
The ten members of the 2014 Jury, led by Jury President María Jesús Gil from Spain, are: Anastasia Arkhipova from Russia, Fanuel Hanan Díaz from Venezuela, Sabine Fuchs from Austria, Sangwook Kim from the Republic of Korea, Enrique Pérez Díaz from Cuba, Deborah Soria from Italy, Susan M. Stan from the USA, Sahah Tarhandeh from Iran, Erik Titusson from Sweden and Ayfer Gürdal Ünal from Turkey. Elda Nogueira from Brazil represented IBBY and Liz Page acted as Jury Secretary.
The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) is a non-profit organization that represents an international network of people from all over the world who are committed to bringing books and children together. It represents countries with well-developed book publishing and literacy programmes, and other countries with only a few dedicated professionals who are doing pioneer work in children's book publishing and promotion.
# # #