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Hans Christian Andersen Award

Hans Christian Andersen Award
A golden medallion with an embossed image featuring a bust of Andersen.
Awarded forOutstanding and lasting contribution to children's literature
Presented byInternational Board on Books for Young People
First awarded1956; 68 years ago (1956)

The Hans Christian Andersen Awards are two literary awards given by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), recognising one living author and one living illustrator for their "lasting contribution to children's literature".[1] The writing award was first given in 1956, the illustration award in 1966. The former is sometimes called the "Nobel Prize for children's literature".

The awards are named after Hans Christian Andersen, a 19th-century Danish author of fairy tales, and each winner receives the Hans Christian Andersen Medaille (a gold medal with the bust of Andersen) and a diploma. Medals are presented at the biennial IBBY Congress.


The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) was founded by Jella Lepman in the 1950s.[2] The Hans Christian Andersen Award was first proposed in 1953 and awarded three years later, in 1956.[3] It was established in the aftermath of World War II to encourage development of high-quality children's books. The award was set to be given biennially and was initially awarded for individual works that had been published in the preceding two years.[4] By 1962 the award's formal criteria were amended "to a living author who is judged to have made a lasting contribution to good juvenile literature by the outstanding value of his or her work. The author's complete works, in particular those in fiction, will be taken into consideration in awarding the medal."[5]

Runners up were listed in 1960, 1962, and 1964. In reflection of what IBBY considered to be a trend of increasing quality in picture books,[5] the award was expanded to include illustrators in 1966.[3] From 1966 to 1996 runners up were named as "Highly Commended". In 1998 this was replaced with a list of three to four "Finalists".[5] It is sometimes called the "Little Nobel Prize" or the "Nobel Prize for children's literature"[6][7] and has been cited as the "most important activity" of IBBY.[2] Between 1992 and 2022 the patron of the awards was Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.[8] A special issue of Bookbird, a journal published by IBBY, is published as the award is given out.[9]


The winner of the Hans Christian Andersen Awards is selected by a jury which is put together by IBBY's executive committee. The Jury's president is elected by IBBY's General Assembly. There were initially seven jurors,[5] but this was increased to eight and in 2000 to ten. Two years later, the jury was split with five members focusing on writing and the other five handling illustrations. The jurors are expected to be competent in children's literature and ideally represent a diverse group. It generally takes six months to review candidates and select a winner.[10]

Jella Lepman served as Jury President for the first three Andersen Awards, 1956 to 1960, and remained on the jury until her death in 1970, as the President of IBBY and then as its honorary president. Current four-year terms cover two award cycles. Other notable presidents have included Virginia Haviland (1970–1974), Patricia Crampton (1982–1986), and Ana Maria Machado (1986–1990).[11]

Selection process

The award's regulations read: "The Hans Christian Award is presented every two years by IBBY to an author and to an illustrator, living at the time of the nomination, who by the outstanding value of their work are judged to have made a lasting contribution to literature for children and young people. The complete works of the author and the illustrator will be taken into consideration in the selection process". The award is explicitly designed to be an "international" work, and it is not explicitly given to a certain country.[5]

IBBY has many member nations—all countries are eligible for membership. Every member nation has its own organization, known as a "national section", that is active across the country. All member nations can nominate candidates for consideration in the Hans Christian Andersen Awards.[12] Some member states will repeatedly nominate the same author or illustrator, others nominate a new candidate each time.[13] To nominate a candidate, a dossier is prepared that provides information including a list of works and biographical sketch. The portfolio must have between five and ten books by the candidate, which are sent to jurors, IBBY's president, and the "Jury Secretary".[5] There were sixty-six nominees from thirty-three countries for the 2022 Hans Christian Andersen awards.[14]

The awards are named after Hans Christian Andersen, the 19th-century Danish author of fairy tales, and each winner receives the Hans Christian Andersen Medaille, a gold medal with the bust of Andersen, and a diploma.[2] Medals are presented at the biennial IBBY Congress.[1]

Writing award winners

Eleanor Farjeon received the first award in 1956
Gianni Rodari, who received the 1970 award
Jacqueline Woodson received the award in 2020
Winners of the writing award[15]
Year Winner Country Award
1956 Eleanor Farjeon (for The Little Bookroom)[4]  United Kingdom Winner
1958 Astrid Lindgren (for Rasmus på luffen)[4]  Sweden Winner
1960 Erich Kästner (for Als ich ein kleiner Junge war [de])[4]  West Germany Winner
1962 Meindert DeJong  USA Winner
1964 René Guillot  France Winner
1966 Tove Jansson  Finland Winner
Karl Bruckner  Austria Highly Commended
Gianni Rodari  Italy Highly Commended
José María Sánchez-Silva  Spain Highly Commended
1968 James Krüss  West Germany Winner
José María Sánchez-Silva  Spain Winner
Gianni Rodari  Italy Highly Commended
Elizabeth Coatsworth  USA Highly Commended
1970 Gianni Rodari  Italy Winner
Ana María Matute  Spain Highly Commended
E. B. White  USA Highly Commended
Ela Peroci  Yugoslavia Highly Commended
1972 Scott O'Dell  USA Winner
Colette Vivier  France Highly Commended
Otfried Preussler  West Germany Highly Commended
Ana María Matute  Spain Highly Commended
Maria Gripe  Sweden Highly Commended
Sergei Mikhalkov  Soviet Union Highly Commended
Siny van Iterson Netherlands Netherlands
1974 Maria Gripe  Sweden Winner
Cecil Bødker  Denmark Highly Commended
Colette Vivier  France Highly Commended
Rosemary Sutcliff  UK Highly Commended
1976 Cecil Bødker  Denmark Winner
Agnija Barto  Soviet Union Highly Commended
E. B. White  USA Highly Commended
1978 Paula Fox  USA Winner
Alan Garner  UK Highly Commended
1980 Bohumil Říha  Czechoslovakia Winner
Lygia Bojunga Nunes  Brazil Highly Commended
Harry Kuliman [sv]  Sweden Highly Commended
1982 Lygia Bojunga Nunes  Brazil Winner
1984 Christine Nöstlinger  Austria Winner
Patricia Wrightson  Australia Highly Commended
1986 Patricia Wrightson  Australia Winner
1988 Annie M. G. Schmidt  Netherlands Winner
Claude Roy  France Highly Commended
1990 Tormod Haugen  Norway Winner
Bjarne Reuter  Denmark Highly Commended
1992 Virginia Hamilton  USA Winner
María Elena Walsh  Argentina Highly Commended
Houshang Moradi Kermani  Iran Highly Commended
1994 Michio Mado  Japan Winner
1996 Uri Orlev  Israel Winner
1998 Katherine Paterson  USA Winner
Brian Doyle  Canada Finalist
Ruskin Bond  India Finalist
Alice Vieira  Portugal Finalist
Anne Fine  UK Finalist
2000 Ana Maria Machado  Brazil Winner
Ulf Stark  Sweden Finalist
Peter Dickinson  UK Finalist
Lois Lowry  USA Finalist
2002 Aidan Chambers  United Kingdom Winner
Bart Moeyaert  Belgium Finalist
Bjarne Reuter  Denmark Finalist
2004 Martin Waddell  Ireland Winner
Barbro Lindgren  Sweden Finalist
Bjarne Reuter  Denmark Finalist
Joel Rufino dos Santos  Brazil Finalist
Jürg Schubiger   Switzerland Finalist
2006 Margaret Mahy  New Zealand Winner
Jon Ewo  Norway Finalist
Peter Härtling  Germany Finalist
Philip Pullman  UK Finalist
Toon Tellegen  Netherlands Finalist
Eugene Trivizas  Greece Finalist
2008 Jürg Schubiger   Switzerland Winner
Bartolomeu Campos de Queirós [pt]  Brazil Finalist
Brian Doyle  Canada Finalist
Guus Kuijer  Netherlands Finalist
David Almond  UK Finalist
2010 David Almond  United Kingdom Winner
Ahmadreza Ahmadi  Iran Finalist
Bartolomeu Campos de Queirós [pt]  Brazil Finalist
Lennart Hellsing  Sweden Finalist
Louis Jensen  Denmark Finalist
2012 María Teresa Andruetto  Argentina Winner
Paul Fleischman  USA Finalist
Bart Moeyaert  Belgium Finalist
Jean-Claude Mourlevat  France Finalist
Bianca Pitzorno  Italy Finalist
2014 Nahoko Uehashi  Japan Winner
Ted van Lieshout  Netherlands Finalist
Houshang Moradi Kermani  Iran Finalist
Mirjam Pressler  Germany Finalist
Renate Welsh [de]  Austria Finalist
Jacqueline Woodson  USA Finalist
2016 Cao Wenxuan  China Winner
Louis Jensen  Denmark Finalist
Ted van Lieshout  Netherlands Finalist
Mirjam Pressler  Germany Finalist
Lois Lowry  USA Finalist
2018 Eiko Kadono  Japan Winner
Marie-Aude Murail  France Finalist
Farhad Hassanzadeh  Iran Finalist
Joy Cowley  New Zealand Finalist
Ulf Stark  Sweden Finalist
2020 Jacqueline Woodson  USA Winner
María Cristina Ramos  Argentina Finalist
Bart Moeyaert  Belgium Finalist
Marie-Aude Murail  France Finalist
Farhad Hassanzadeh  Iran Finalist
Peter Svetina [sk]  Slovenia Finalist
2022 Marie-Aude Murail[16]  France Winner
María Cristina Ramos  Argentina Finalist
Fatima Sharafeddine  Lebanon Finalist
Peter Svetina [sk]  Slovenia Finalist
Annika Thor  Sweden Finalist
Margaret Wild  Australia Finalist
2024[17] Heinz Janisch [de]  Austria Winner
Marina Colasanti  Brazil Finalist
Lee Geum-yi  South Korea Finalist
Bart Moeyaert  Belgium Finalist
Timo Parvela  Finland Finalist
Edward van de Vendel  Netherlands Finalist

Illustration award winners

Farshid Mesghali, the 1974 recipient
Květa Pacovská, the 1992 recipient
Winners of the illustration award[15]
Year Winner Country Award
1966 Alois Carigiet   Switzerland Winner
Jiří Trnka  Czechoslovakia Highly Commended
Brian Wildsmith  UK Highly Commended
1968 Jiří Trnka  Czechoslovakia Winner
Ib Spang Olsen  Denmark Highly Commended
Brian Wildsmith  UK Highly Commended
Roger Duvoisin  USA Highly Commended
1970 Maurice Sendak  USA Winner
Ib Spang Olsen  Denmark Highly Commended
Ota Daihachi  Japan Highly Commended
Lidja Osterc  Yugoslavia Highly Commended
1972 Ib Spang Olsen  Denmark Winner
Elizabeth Cleaver  Canada Highly Commended
Adolf Zábranský  Czechoslovakia Highly Commended
Janosch  FRG Highly Commended
Petros Zambellis [el]  Greece Highly Commended
Björn Berg  Sweden Highly Commended
Felix Hoffmann   Switzerland Highly Commended
1974 Farshid Mesghali Iran Winner
Helga Aichinger [de]  Austria Highly Commended
Nicole Claveloux  France Highly Commended
Charles Keeping  UK Highly Commended
1976 Tatjana Mawrina  Soviet Union Winner
Fulla L'udovit [cz]  Czechoslovakia Highly Commended
Svend Otto S. [Wikidata]  Denmark Highly Commended
1978 Svend Otto S. [da]  Denmark Winner
Leo & Diane Dillon  USA Highly Commended
1980 Suekichi Akaba [Wikidata]  Japan Winner
Tomi Ungerer  France Highly Commended
Etienne Delessert   Switzerland Highly Commended
1982 Zbigniew Rychlicki  Poland Winner
1984 Mitsumasa Anno  Japan Winner
Helme Heine  FRG Highly Commended
Raymond Briggs  UK Highly Commended
1986 Robert Ingpen  Australia Winner
Adolf Born  Czechoslovakia Highly Commended
1988 Dušan Kállay [Wikidata]  Czechoslovakia Winner
Yasuo Segawa  Japan Highly Commended
1990 Lisbeth Zwerger  Austria Winner
1992 Květa Pacovská  Czechoslovakia[a] Winner
1994 Jörg Müller [Wikidata]   Switzerland Winner
1996 Klaus Ensikat [Wikidata]  Germany Winner
1998 Tomi Ungerer  France Winner
Binette Schroeder  Germany Finalist
Dick Bruna  Netherlands Finalist
Stasys Eidrigevičius  Poland Finalist
2000 Anthony Browne  United Kingdom Winner
Rotraut Susanne Berner  Germany Finalist
Boris Diodorov  Russia Finalist
Maria Lucija Stupica  Slovenia Finalist
2002 Quentin Blake  United Kingdom Winner
Grégoire Solotareff  France Finalist
Rotraut Susanne Berner  Germany Finalist
Daihachi Ohta  Japan Finalist
2004 Max Velthuijs  Netherlands Winner
Rotraut Susanne Berner  Germany Finalist
Roberto Innocenti [Wikidata]  Italy Finalist
Javier Serrano (illustrator) [es]  Spain Finalist
Grégoire Solotareff  France Finalist
2006 Wolf Erlbruch  Germany Winner
Lilian Brøgger  Denmark Finalist
Etienne Delessert   Switzerland Finalist
Isol Misenta  Argentina Finalist
Grégoire Solotareff  France Finalist
Klaas Verplancke  Belgium Finalist
2008 Roberto Innocenti [Wikidata]  Italy Winner
Isol Misenta  Argentina Finalist
Svjetlan Junaković  Croatia Finalist
Adolf Born  Czech Republic Finalist
David Wiesner  USA Finalist
2010 Jutta Bauer  Germany Winner
Carll Cneut  Belgium Finalist
Etienne Delessert   Switzerland Finalist
Svjetlan Junaković  Croatia Finalist
Roger Mello  Brazil Finalist
2012 Peter Sís  Czech Republic[b] Winner
John Burningham  UK Finalist
Roger Mello  Brazil Finalist
Mohammad Ali Beniasadi  Iran Finalist
Javier Zabala  Spain Finalist
2014 Roger Mello  Brazil Winner
Rotraut Susanne Berner  Germany Finalist
John Burningham  UK Finalist
Eva Lindström  Sweden Finalist
François Place  France Finalist
Øyvind Torseter  Norway Finalist
2016 Rotraut Susanne Berner  Germany Winner
Alessandro Sanna  Italy Finalist
Suzy Lee  Korea Finalist
Marit Törnqvist  Netherlands Finalist
Pejman Rahimizadeh  Iran Finalist
2018 Igor Oleynikov [Wikidata]  Russia Winner
Pablo Bernasconi  Argentina Finalist
Linda Wolfsgruber  Austria Finalist
Xiong Liang  China Finalist
Iwona Chmielewska  Poland Finalist
Albertine Zullo   Switzerland Finalist
2020 Albertine Zullo   Switzerland Winner
Isabelle Arsenault  Canada Finalist
Seizo Tashima  Japan Finalist
Sylvia Weve  Netherlands Finalist
Iwona Chmielewska  Poland Finalist
Elena Odriozola  Spain Finalist
2022 Suzy Lee[18]  South Korea Winner
Beatrice Alemagna  Italy Finalist
Ryoji Arai  Japan Finalist
Iwona Chmielewska  Poland Finalist
Gusti  Argentina Finalist
Sydney Smith  Canada Finalist
2024[17] Sydney Smith  Canada Winner
Cai Gao  China Finalist
Iwona Chmielewska  Poland Finalist
Nelson Cruz  Brazil Finalist
Elena Odriozola  Spain Finalist
Paloma Valdivia  Chile Finalist

Winners by country

The winners are most often residents of Europe and North America; the first winner from outside that region was Farshid Mesghali in 1974, from Iran.[13] After receiving the award. many authors and illustrators have their works gain wider recognition, particularly in the form of more translations.[19] As of 2021 there have been award winners from 25 countries. Americans have received the most writing (6) and total (7) recipients. Germans have won four illustration awards.

Country Illustration Writing No. of winners
 United States 1 6 7
 Germany 4 2 6
 Japan 2 3 5
 United Kingdom 2 3 5
 Czechoslovakia 3 1 4
  Switzerland 3 1 4
 Brazil 1 2 3
 Denmark 2 1 3
 France 1 2 3
 Austria 1 2 3
 Australia 1 1 2
 Italy 1 1 2
 Netherlands 1 1 2
 Sweden 2 2
 Argentina 1 1
 Canada 1 1
 China 1 1
 Czech Republic 1 1
 Finland 1 1
 Israel 1 1
 Iran 1 1
 Ireland 1 1
 Korea 1 1
 New Zealand 1 1
 Norway 1 1
 Spain 1 1
 Poland 1 1
 Russia 1 1
 Soviet Union 1 1

See also


  1. ^ Pacovská received the award one year before Czechoslovakia dissolved into its constituent states.
  2. ^ Sis was nominated by the extant Czech Republic. He was born in the former Czechoslovakia and educated there in Applied Arts. He has been a U.S. citizen from 1982.


  1. ^ a b "Hans Christian Andersen Awards". International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY). Retrieved 20 August 2012.
  2. ^ a b c Glistrup 2002, p. 14.
  3. ^ a b Ellis 1973, p. 20.
  4. ^ a b c d Glistrup 2002, p. 15.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Glistrup 2002, p. 16.
  6. ^ "Cao Wenxuan wins 'Nobel Prize' of children's books". The Telegraph. Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  7. ^ "Mahy wins "Little Nobel."". New Zealand Books. 16: 2. June 2006. ISSN 1170-9103 – via EBSCO.
  8. ^ Latrobe, Kathy (2001). "Childern's [sic] Literature: International Perspectives". World Literature Today. 75 (3/4): 98–102. doi:10.2307/40156756. ISSN 0196-3570. JSTOR 40156756.
  9. ^ Glistrup 2002, p. 21.
  10. ^ Glistrup 2002, p. 17.
  11. ^ "Hans Christian Award jury members". Glistrup, ed., pp. 119–24. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
  12. ^ Tomlinson, Carl M. (2003). "The International Children's Literature Movement". World Literature Today. 77 (1): 68–70. doi:10.2307/40157788. ISSN 0196-3570. JSTOR 40157788.
  13. ^ a b Glistrup 2002, p. 19.
  14. ^ Kantor, Emma (9 December 2020). "Candidates for the 2022 Hans Christian Andersen Awards Announced". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  15. ^ a b "Hans Christian Andersen Award". International Board on Books for Young People. Retrieved 9 April 2024.
  16. ^ "Murail, Lee win 2022 Hans Christian Andersen Award". Books+Publishing. 22 March 2022. Retrieved 24 March 2022.
  17. ^ a b Kantor, Emma (9 April 2024). "Bologna 2024: Heinz Janisch and Sydney Smith Win 2024 Hans Christian Andersen Awards". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 9 April 2024.
  18. ^ "Murail, Lee win 2022 Hans Christian Andersen Award". Books+Publishing. 22 March 2022. Retrieved 24 March 2022.
  19. ^ Glistrup 2002, p. 20.


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Hans Christian Andersen Award
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