On Monday during a lunchtime gathering at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, UK Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen announced the top-10 new children’s book illustrators on behalf of Booktrust, the national independent charity dedicated to encouraging readers of all stripes to pick up more books.
The final 10 artists were chosen for the creative flair, skill and imagination showcased in their work. And the winners are: Alexis Deacon (Beegu, Red Fox), Polly Dunbar (Penguin, Walker Books), Lisa Evans (The Flower, Child’s Play International), Emily Gravett (The Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears, Macmillan Children’s Books), Mini Grey (Traction Man is Here, Red Fox), Oliver Jeffers (The Way Back Home, HarperCollins Children’s Books), David Lucas (The Robot and the Bluebird, Andersen Press), Catherine Rayner (Harris Finds His Feet, Little Tiger Press), Joel Stewart (Addis Berner Bear Forgets, Doubleday) and Vicky White (Ape, Walker Books).
This marks the first award of its kind and was organized by Booktrust to coincide with its The Big Picture campaign that’s aiming to put picture books in the public eye and celebrate their contribution to childhood development. The finalists were picked from a field of some 250 illustrators published in the UK since 2000. Check out examples of their work at www.bigpicture.org.uk, and those in the vicinity of London can take in an exhibition at The Illustration Cupboard (www.illustrationcupboard.com) from April 17 to May 3.