Christian Andersen Award

Winners of the Andersen Prize 2022


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The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) has named the winners of the Hans Christian Andersen Award 2022. This was reported on the official website of the IBBY.

The award was given to French writer Marie-Aude Murail and Korean artist Suzy Lee.


Marie-Aude Murail is a writer primarily for children and adolescents. She has written more than thirty novels, as well as short novels, novellas and short stories. Her books are recommended for reading at the schools by the Ministries of Education of France, Canada and Switzerland.


Her most popular novel, «Oh, boy!», has collected many literary awards and has been translated into English, German, Spanish, Italian, Greek, Dutch and Korean.


The annotation says: «In the novel “Oh, boy!” the author tells the story of three orphans, fourteen, eight and five years old, who are surprisingly talented, with humour and without moralizing. The reader, sympathizing with these extraordinary and talented children, rethinks such difficult topics as orphanhood, homosexuality, and serious illness of a relative, as well as responsibility for one’s actions».


Suzy Lee is an artist and illustrator of picture books. She is known by her achievements in the field of wordless picture books, or quiet books.


Her most famous works are «Mirror» (2003), «Wave» (2008) and «Shadow» (2010), known as The Border Trilogy, where Lee used the book’s central interweaving as a means of creating a story that crosses the line between reality and fantasy. The New York Times named «Wave” and «Shadow” as the best illustrated children’s books of 2008 and 2010, respectively. «Wave» was also awarded a gold medal for original art by the Society of Illustrators in 2008.


Lee has received a number of other prestigious awards from around the world, including the FNLIJ Award Luís Jardim for Best Textless Book in 2008 and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Excellence in Children’s Literature in 2013.


The Andersen Prize is one of the world’s most honourable awards for children’s writers or children’s book illustrators. In terms of prestige, it is compared to the Nobel Prize, and is sometimes called the Little Nobel Prize. The award was established in 1956 on the initiative of the President of the International Committee for Children’s and Youth Literature of UNESCO, a prominent figure in the world of children’s books, Ella Lepman.


The main attribute of the award is a gold medal with the profile of a storyteller. But there is no monetary reward for the winners. Simultaneously with the announcement of the winners, IBBY awards Honorary Diplomas to the best children’s and teenagers’ books published in the member countries of the International Council. All marked books are included in the Honorary List, which is published in the form of a catalogue.


Prominent children’s writers such as Elinor Farjeon, Astrid Lindgren, Erich Kästner, Tove Jansson, Gianni Rodari, Maria Gripe, Christine Nöstlinger, Annie Schmidt, Katherine Paterson and many others have won the Andersen Prize. The illustrators such as Maurice Sendak, Robert Ingpen, Quentin Blake, Utah Bauer, Peter Sis, Suzanne Bernert and others, also received the award.


The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) reportedly expressed concern over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and sympathy for moscow’s colleagues in the «tragic situation».


We would like to remind you that two Ukrainians were included in the long lists of the Andersen Award 2022. The Andersen Award was awarded in 2020 to American writer Jacqueline Woodson and Swiss illustrator Albertine, and in 2018 to Japanese writer Eiko Kadono and Russian illustrator Igor Oleynikov.