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Hans Christian Andersen Award Winners

Given this is Hans Christian Andersen’s 209th birthday, this seems an appropriate day to review Hans Christian Andersen Award winners. Today, there are two prizes, one each for writing and illustrating children’s books, presented every two years, but for the first ten years the International Board on Books for Young People (I.B.B.Y.) gave out the award, it was exclusively for writers.

Hans Christian Andersen Award for Writing

2012 Maria Teresa Andruetto (Argentina)
2010 David Almond (UK)
2008 Jürg Schubiger (Switerzland)
2006 Margaret Mahy (New Zealand)
2004 Martin Waddell (Ireland)
2002 Aidan Chambers (UK)
2000 Ana Maria Machado (Brazil)
1998 Katherine Paterson (USA)
1996 Uri Orlev (Israel)
1994 Michio Mado (Japan)
1992 Virginia Hamilton (USA)
1990 Tormod Haugen (Norway)
1988 Annie M. G. Schmidt (Netherlands)
1986 Patricia Wrightson (Australia)
1984 Christine Nöstlinger (Austria)
1982 Lygia Bojunga Nunes (Brazil)
1980 Bohumil Riha (Czechoslovakia)
1978 Paula Fox (USA)
1976 Cecil Bødker (Denmark)
1974 Maria Gripe (Sweden)
1972 Scott O'Dell (USA)
1970 Gianni Rodari (Italy)
1968 James Krüss (Germany)
José Maria Sanchez-Silva (Spain)
1966 Tove Jansson (Finland)
1964 René Guillot (France)
1962 Meindert DeJong (USA)
1960 Erich Kästner (Germany)
1958 Astrid Lindgren (Sweden)
1956 Eleanor Farjeon (UK)

Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration

2012 Peter Sís (Czech Republic)
2010 Jutta Bauer (Germany)
2008 Roberto Innocenti (Italy)
2006 Wolf Erlbruch (Germany)
2004 Max Velthuijs (The Netherlands)
2002 Quentin Blake (UK)
2000 Anthony Browne (UK)
1998 Tomi Ungerer (France)
1996 Klaus Ensikat (Germany)
1994 Jörg Müller (Switzerland)
1992 Kveta Pacovská (Czech Republic)
1990 Lisbeth Zwerger (Austria)
1988 Dusan Kállay (Czechoslovakia)
1986 Robert Ingpen (Australia)
1984 Mitsumasa Anno (Japan)
1982 Zbigniew Rychlicki (Poland)
1980 Suekichi Akaba (Japan)
1978 Svend Otto S. (Denmark)
1976 Tatjana Mawrina (USSR)
1974 Farshid Mesghali (Iran)
1972 Ib Spang Olsen (Denmark)
1970 Maurice Sendak (USA)
1968 Jirí Trnka (Czechoslovakia)
1966 Alois Carigiet (Switzerland)

In 2005, Sigrid Pohl Perry, Ph.D. prepared a finding aid in Northwestern University’s Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections for the “Hans Christian Andersen Awards” collection, which then consisted of nineteen boxes. She noted, “Informational dossiers on candidates for the Hans Christian Andersen Awards were prepared for judges on the awards committee. This collection consists of the dossiers for 1994, 1996, 1998, and 2000, and 2002 as well as additional information such as photocopies of selections from texts or illustrations, clippings, reviews, and dustjackets from award books and other books by some of the authors or illustrators. All of the awards books have been cataloged for the Northwestern University Library curriculum collection and will be found in the NUL on-line catalog. These may be searched by author, illustrator, title, or the award.”

Northwestern University had an exhibit about the Hans Christian Andersen Award ten years ago at the campus in Evanston: The Hans Christian Andersen Collection at Northwestern: Illustrated Children’s Books from Around the World, July 27-September 9, 2004. On display on the first floor of the Northwestern University Library, this colorful exhibit highlighted the Northwestern University Library’s extensive research collections in children’s literature (in the Curriculum Collection), featuring a worldwide selection of the work of illustrators who were nominated for major awards in 2004.

The exhibit included not only works by all twenty-seven Hans Christian Andersen Award nominees, but also the creations of winners of other prestigious awards such as the Association of Library Service to Children’s Randolph Caldecott Medal and the Bologna Ragazzi Award. Additionally, some of the dossiers prepared for members of the Andersen Medal jury — items owned by only a few libraries in the world — were also on display.

Beyond the books, the exhibit also featured a large-screen movie of illustrations by the Andersen nominees, courtesy of NU Academic Technologies, and a computer at which visitors could view the videos and other information to be found on this Web site.

Although the physical exhibit closed, much of its content will remain digitally accessible through the Northwestern University’s Web site as a digital exhibit “indefinitely.” Among the included features of the site: images of each item, along with the original label text, as well as photos of the exhibit itself and scanned images of the 2004 Hans Christian Andersen Award nominee dossier covers; biographical information about the 2004 Hans Christian Andersen Award nominees, taken from the informational dossiers submitted to the jury by their respective countries; information about the Hans Christian Andersen Award, including the members of the 2004 Jury; the international children's literature lecture, "Of Date Palms, the Kalahari, and Love and Death in Quebec: Great Children’s Books You’ve Never Seen," given on two occasions during the exhibit by Hans Christian Andersen Jury President Jeffrey Garrett (which requires RealPlayer and high-speed internet connection); interviews with illustrators Maurice Sendak and Quentin Blake, both past winners of the Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration, from the British film series Writers Talk: Ideas of Our Time; links to further information about the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the illustrators featured in the exhibit, other awards for children's literature, and children's literature more generally.

As I mentioned above, most of the materials for the exhibit came from the 17,000-volume Curriculum Collection, which is located on Level 5 of the University Library’s North Tower. This collection principally serves the School of Education & Social Policy and the School of Communication, and includes over 1,800 titles in non-English languages.

The Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies (located on Level Five, East Tower), in addition to providing a number of books for the exhibit on the first floor, showed a complementary exhibit in 5-East, taken from its own children's literature collection. Photos of this part of the exhibit can also be viewed on the "Exhibit Tour" section of the digital exhibit.

Today is also a good time to point out Walt Disney's 3D computer-animated Frozen (2013), which is loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen's short story "Snedronningen" ("The Snow Queen"), is now the highest-grossing animated film in cinematic history. It has grossed over $1,070,000,000 at the box office worldwide.

This is the second time Disney met with financial and critical success adapting one of Andersen’s works as an animated musical fantasy. The Little Mermaid (1989) is loosely based on his short story “Den lille havfrue” (”The Little Mermaid”) in Eventyr, fortalte for Børn (Fairy Tales Told for Children), published in 1837.