This morning, it was announced that the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) had named the Japanese writer Nahoko Uehashi and Brazilan illustrator Roger Mello the winners of the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Award. Founded in 1956, the biannual “Nobel of Children’s Literature” honors outstanding contributions to both writing and illustration. Past winners have included Maurice Sendak, Paula Fox, Tomi Ungerer, and Tove Jansson. They are, of course, named for the Danish writer of the world’s most disturbing fairy tales, and the recipients are given a medal, emblazoned with Andersen’s likeness, by the Queen of Denmark.
The very first Andersen Award was presented to the prolific British writer Eleanor Farjeon, for her extremely bizarre collection The Little Bookroom. This book, illustrated by the peerless Edward Ardizzone, is composed of twenty-seven stories, all somewhat remote in tone, frequently redolent of loneliness, and often carrying a vague air of allegory. Read More