From Bologna Book Fair comes news that the International Board on Books for Young People has announced the 2022 winners of three prestigious book awards.
This year’s recipients of the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the highest international distinction given to authors and illustrators of children's books, are France’s Marie-Aude Murail, for writing; and Suzy Lee, from the Republic of Korea, for illustration.
Given every other year by IBBY, this award recognizes lifelong achievement and is given to an author and an illustrator whose complete works have made a lasting contribution to children's literature.
Sixty-two candidates from 33 countries were nominated for the 2022 Hans Christian Andersen Award, which is sponsored by Nami Island Inc.
Murail and Lee were selected by jury president Junko Yokota and secretary Liz Page, as well as jurors Antoine Al Chartouni (Lebanon), Marilar Aleixandre (Spain), Evelyn Arizpe (Mexico/U.K.), Mariella Bertelli (Canada), Tina Bilban (Slovenia), Viviane Ezratty (France), Jiwone Lee (South Korea), Robin Morrow (Australia), Jaana Pesonen (Finland), and Cecilia Repetti (Argentina).
Also announced in Bologna were the two winners of the 2022 IBBY-iRead Outstanding Reading Promoter Award, sponsored by the Shenzhen iRead Foundation in China. The winners, Zohreh Ghaeni and Jane Kurtz, each have an impressive record of promoting reading passionately and tirelessly.
Ghaeni, a native of Iran, has worked as a teacher in rural areas of her homeland, studied librarianship at the Open University in Tehran, and cofounded and directs the Institute for Research on the History of Children’s Literature in Iran. In that capacity, Ghaeni has coauthored a 10-volume history of children’s literature in Iran and developed a reading program that makes books accessible to children in Iran and Afghanistan.
Kurtz, who grew up in Ethiopia, has spent 25 years helping to develop Indigenous authors and illustrators there, while working to establish an infrastructure for publishing books and promoting literacy.
The jury selecting these award winners was led by Sylvia Vardell of the U.S. and included Constanza Mekis (Chile), Doris Breitmoser (Germany), Elena Pasoli (Italy), Basarat Kazim (Pakistan), Sophie Hallam (U.K.), and Wen Li (China).
Completing this trio of prizes unveiled at Bologna is the 2002 IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award, sponsored by the Asahi Shimbun Media Group in Japan. The recipient is Pinnguaqta, a program of Ilitaqsiniq, Canada’s Nunavut Literary Council.
A part of Ilitaqsiniq’s Intergenerational and Family Literacy Initiative, Pinnguaqta is an inclusive and culturally meaningful community-based early childhood education program that is centered on Inuit societal values.
Members of this award jury, which was chaired by Vardell, were Mekis, Breitmoser, Pasoli, Kazim, and Hallam.