The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) revealed the shortlist for the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Award. The list includes six authors and six illustrators chosen from among 58 candidates. Jacqueline Woodson, the American award-winning author and recipient of the 2006 Margaret A. Edwards Award, is among the shortlist contenders. Also named is legendary picture book creator from the U.K., John Burningham.
The award, launched in 1958, is considered the most prestigious award in international children’s literature and is given biennially to an author and an illustrator, both whose complete works have made lasting contributions to children’s fiction. 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 things that are 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
Stay tuned to find out the winners on Monday, March 24.