The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) has named author Nahoko Uehashi (Japan) and illustrator Roger Mello (Brazil) winners of the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Award.
Six authors and six illustrators were 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 were announced on March 24 at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair.
Here are the six short-listed authors:
Winner: 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.
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.”
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:
Winner: 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.
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.
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.
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.