Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hans Christian Andersen Award

The national committee of British IBBY announced that author David Almond from the United Kingdom and illustrator Jutta Bauer from Germany have been announced as winners of the 2010 Hans Christian Andersen Awards. Presented biennially by the International Board on Books for Young People, the awards are recognised as the most prestigious prizes in the children’s book world. They are awarded for the entire body of an author and illustrator’s work.

David and Jutta will receive their medals and diplomas at the international IBBY congress in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, in September.Each of IBBY’s national sections is allowed to nominate a single name for each of the awards and the winners were chosen by an international jury from nominations from twenty eight countries. Our nomination for the illustrator award was Michael Foreman.

David Almond is only the third British author to receive the Award in the more than fifty years that it has been presented. His predecessors were Eleanor Farjeon in 1956 and Aidan Chambers in 2002. He joins an illustrious roll-call of some of best known names of modern children’s literature from across the world, including Tove Jansson, Astrid Lindgren, Virginia Hamilton, Patricia Wrightson, Martin Waddell and Margaret Mahy.

David Almond has already won many awards in the United Kingdom and, the United States, including the Whitbread Children’s Book Award and the Carnegie Medal for Skellig, his first children’s book. He lives in Northeast England and many of his books are set in and around Felling, in Gateshead, where he grew up. In making the Award, the IBBY international jury recognised his "unique voice as a creator of magic realism"; and his sophisticated use of language that has a wide appeal and, "captures his young readers’ imagination" encouraging children "to read, think and be critical".

IBBY also awarded its biennial IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Awards, for projects run by groups judged to be making a lasting contribution to reading promotion for young people. Two organizations won the award this year: the Osu Children's Library Fund of Ghana, a Canadian-based charity that has built and stocked libraries in Ghana's capital and in more than 150 schools and villages in the country; and the Convenio de Cooperatión al Plan de Lectura de Medellín, Colombia, for its reading activities within the four poorest municipalities of that city.

Details of all the nominees for the Awards and the shortlists are available at http://www.ibby.org/t_blank. Further details of British IBBY from the Chair: Ann Lazim, annlazim@googlemail.com

Details of David Almond at http://www.davidalmond.com/

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