A refugee’s journey; The Museum of Me; and Red Riding Hood as you’ve never seen her: five original picture books by talented debut illustrators make the shortlist for the 2017 Klaus Flugge Prize

Today (Wednesday 17 May) the shortlist for the 2017 Klaus Flugge Prize is revealed. Set up to honour publisher Klaus Flugge, founder of Andersen Press and a key figure in children’s picture books, this important new award, now in its second year, is for the most promising and exciting newcomer to children’s picture book illustration.

From a longlist of fifteen picture books by debut illustrators an expert panel of judges comprising Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler; Nicholas John Frith, 2016 Klaus Flugge Prize winner; Sunday Times children’s books editor Nicolette Jones; and Tamara Macfarlane owner of Tales on Moon Lane children’s bookshop, selected a shortlist of five.

The varied shortlist includes a wide range of subject matters and artistic techniques, and an international line up with illustrators from Korea, Italy, and the United States as well as the UK. The five books are:

Hannah and Sugar by Kate Berube (Abrams)
Hannah is afraid of Sugar. But when Sugar goes missing, she overcomes her fears and makes a new friend.
The judges very much liked the inky line and Kate Berube’s considered use of the page and space. The story of Hannah is genuinely moving.

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The Museum of Me by Emma Lewis (Tate)
A little girl goes on a journey of discovery to find out what museums are and what they hold in store, and realises that she’s curated her own collection too: the Museum of Me.
An interesting and visually exciting book, and Emma Lewis’s use of collage is very skilful. The mock-naïve illustrations are well done and the influence of Scandinavian illustrators is clear in the careful design and clean aesthetics.

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First Snow by Bomi Park (Chronicle Books)
The excitement and joy of a little girl’s first experience of snow is captured in Bomi Park’s picture book.
Park conveys a sense of silence through her artwork, and makes a real emotional connection with the reader. The book feels both comfortably traditional and current.

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The Journey by Francesca Sanna (Flying Eye Books)
A mother and her two children set out on a dangerous journey, leaving everything behind to find safety and a new life.
This highly original book feels very new in style and content, and the interplay between text and illustration is superb. At times the pictures produce a real sense of menace, and it’s an extraordinarily effective depiction of war.

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Little Red by Bethan Woollvin (Two Hoots)
A darkly comic and original interpretation of the classic story of Little Red Riding Hood.
Delightfully funny, the apparently simple illustrations convey a great deal. This book knows exactly what it’s doing and does it in a very original way.

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Chair of the judges Julia Eccleshare said: “In the second year of the Klaus Flugge Prize the judges were presented with a very varied set of picture books. Once again the discussion was extremely lively as they considered the illustrators’ technical skill and their ability to tell a story and convey emotion through their pictures. The shortlist features five very talented picture book artists and we are delighted too that the list is so international: throughout his career Klaus Flugge has supported illustrators from across the world and it is fitting that the prize he founded is doing the same.”

The winner will be revealed at an award ceremony in London on Wednesday 13th September 2017 and will receive a cheque for £5,000.

The shortlist was announced live by previous winner and judge Nicholas John Frith at a special event at Foyles Charing Cross Road. Before the announcement distinguished illustrators Michael Foreman, Emily Gravett and Mini Grey joined Professor Martin Salisbury of the Cambridge School of Art in a discussion about contemporary picture book illustration chaired by Julia Eccleshare.

For more information, interview requests and images contact Andrea Reece:
020 8889 1292/ 07807893369