April 2 is International Children’s Book Day or “Internationaler Tag des Kinderbuchs”. It’s sponsored by IBBY (the International Board on Books for Young People), a non-profit organization “committed to bringing books and children together”. The overarching IBBY group and it’s local national groups use this day to promote reading and inspire a love of reading in children. So pick your favorite book and go read with your child!
IBBY also presents the Hans Christian Andersen Award, a biennial award “given to a living author and illustrator whose complete works have made a lasting contribution to children’s literature”. Nominations come from over 70 countries, and are winnowed down to five finalists in the two categories. In 2014, two of the five author finalists were from German speaking lands: Mirjam Pressler (Germany) and Renate Welsh (Austria). Rotraut Susanne Berner of Germany was one of the five finalists for the illustrators award. She has a very distinctive style, very simple with clear lines and bright colors, which appeals to me. Check out her website for a short Karlchen video and Bastelvorlage under “Extras”. While these wonderful artists did not win the overall prize in 2014, just making the short list is a major recognition of their great contribution to children’s literature worldwide.
Previous Hans Christian Andersen winners have included authors Jürg Schubiger (Switzerland, 2008), Christine Nöstlinger (Austria, 1984), James Krüss (Germany, 1968) and Erich Kästner (Germany, 1960). Other well-know winning authors include Astrid Lindgren (Sweden, 1958) and Scott O’Dell (USA, 1972). Winning illustrators include Jutta Bauer (Germany, 2010), Wolf Erlbruch (Germany, 2006), Klaus Ensikat (Germany, 1996), Jörg Müller (Switzerland, 1994), Lisbeth Zwerger (Austria, 1990), and Alois Carigiet (Switzerland, 1996). Other famous illustrators who won this prize include Maurice Sendak (USA, 1970) and Tomi Ungerer (France, 1998).
The German section of IBBY (Arbeitskreis für Jugendliteratur) administers the annual Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis (German Youth Literature Award) for picture books, children’s books, young adult books and non-fiction books. The prize announcements occur in October at the Frankfurt Book Fair. Picture book nominations for 2014 include:
- Überall Linien by Jimi Lee
- Herman und Rosie by Gus Gordon
- Krümel und Pfefferminz by Delphine Bournay
- Akim rennt by Claude K. Dubois
- Das literarische Kaleidoskop by Regine Kehn
- Die Konferenz der Vögel by Peter Sis
Contact us if you would like more information about these fabulous authors and illustrators.