During the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, but separate from it, the International Board on Books for Young People (I.B.B.Y.) announces the winners of the biennial Hans Christian Andersen Awards. This time, on Monday, March 24, 2014, Hans Christian Andersen Award Jury of the I.B.B.Y. announced that Ms. Nahoko Uehashi from Japan had won the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Author Award and Mr. Roger Mello from Brazil had won the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Illustrator Award.
The Andersen medals and diplomas will be presented to the winners at the 34th International I.B.B.Y. Congress in Mexico City, on Wednesday, September 10, 2014. The Hans Christian Andersen Award Jury states, “Nahoko Uehashi writes unique fantasy novels from the viewpoint of cultural anthropology. She believes one thing, that people from every corner of the world have in common is a love for telling stories. Her stories about honour and duty, fate and sacrifice, are refreshing as well as being authentically Japanese. Her fantasy worlds are loosely based on medieval Japan, while at the same time are very much worlds of her own making. Not content to simply create a landscape of geography and mythology, Uehashi includes allusions to the class system as well as the interaction between spiritual and moral dimensions.”
Uehashi conceives worlds in which relationships exist among different planes: worlds seen as a network within the universe rather than merely as a space. She has an extraordinary ability to create different fantasy worlds and her work has tenderness and a great respect for nature and all sapient creatures.
The Hans Christian Andersen Award Jury selected Ms. Uehashi from twenty-eight authors nominated for the Hans Christian Andersen Author Award. The five finalists were Ted van Lieshout (Netherlands), Houshang Moradi Kermani (Iran), Mirjam Pressler (Germany), Renate Welsh (Austria), and Jacqueline Woodson (U.S.A.).
The other author candidates were María Cristina Ramos (Argentina), Nadia Wheatley (Australia), Sevinj Nurugizi (Azerbaijan), Frank Andriat (Belgium), Joel Rufino dos Santos (Brazil), Kenneth Oppel (Canada), Hongying Yang (China), Lene Kaaberbøl (Denmark), Aino Pervik (Estonia), Kirsi Kunnas (Finland), Jean-Claude Mourlevat (France), Sofia Madouvalou (Greece), Eoin Colfer (Ireland), Bianca Pitzorno (Italy), Jin-Kyung Kim (Korea), Bjørn Sortland (Norway), António Torrado (Portugal), Vladislav Krapivin (Russia), Daniel Hevier (Slovakia), Polonca Kovac (Slovenia), Serpil Ural (Turkey) and Jacqueline Wilson (U.K.).
According to the Hans Christian Andersen Award Jury states, “Roger Mello’s illustrations provide avenues to explore the history and culture of Brazil. He does not underestimate a child’s ability to recognize and decode cultural phenomena and images. His illustrations allow children to be guided through stories by their imagination. Travel and discovery are important aspects of Mello’s artistic expression and the rich content of his illustrations reflect his passion for folklore and for exploration of the world. Through his incredibly colourful and thrilling illustrated stories children gain deeper understanding both of their own culture and that of others around the world. He invites them to immerse themselves in different ways of life, thus establishing a respectful, appreciative understanding of other cultures. He shares his interests in Brazil and in international culture and ritual with his readers, taking them on a journey through time and space. His illustrations are innovative and inclusive, and they incorporate images that promote tolerance and respect for the world’s cultures and traditions.”
The Hans Christian Andersen Award Jury selected Mello was selected from thirty illustrators nominated for the Hans Christian Andersen Illustrator Award. The five finalists were Rotraut Susanne Berner (Germany), John Burningham (U.K.), Eva Lindström (Sweden), François Place (France) and Øyvind Torseter (Norway).
The other illustrator candidates were Isol (Argentina), Ron Brooks (Australia), Linda Wolfsgruber (Austria), Carll Cneut (Belgium), Philippe Béha (Canada), Liang Xiong (China), Svjetlan Junaković (Croatia), Charlotte Pardi (Denmark), Pekka Vuori (Finland), Daniela Stamatiadi (Greece), P.J. Lynch (Ireland), Fabian Negrin (Italy), Ken Katayama (Japan), Byoung-Ho Han (Korea), Reinis Pētersons (Latvia), Marit Törnqvist (Netherlands), Teresa Lima (Portugal), Igor Oleinikov (Russia), Peter Uchnár (Slovakia), Alenka Sottler (Slovenia), Javier Zabala (Spain), Albertine (Switzerland), Saadet Ceylan (Turkey) and Bryan Collier (U.S.A.).
The ten members of the 2014 Jury, led by Jury President María Jesús Gil from Spain, are Anastasia Arkhipova from Russia, Fanuel Hanan Díaz from Venezuela, Sabine Fuchs from Austria, Sangwook Kim from the Republic of Korea, Enrique Pérez Díaz from Cuba, Deborah Soria from Italy, Susan M. Stan from the U.S.A., Sahah Tarhandeh from Iran, Erik Titusson from Sweden, and Ayfer Gürdal Ünal from Turkey. Elda Nogueira from Brazil represented I.B.B.Y. and Liz Page, Executive Director of I.B.B.Y., as Jury Secretary attended the meeting ex officio.