Nicoletta Ceccoli is a pop surrealist painter/illustrator from the Republic of San Marino (a microstate within north-central Italy). Nicoletta has an animation degree from the State Institute of Art in Urbino and has illustrated over 30 children’s books since 1995. She does both commercial and personal work, and has exhibited her artwork all over the world. Among many other awards, she has received a silver medal from the Society of Illustrators in New York and the Andersen Prize, “honoring her as the best children’s book illustrator in Italy.”Ceccoli’s work depicts a world of delicate, feminine girls alongside freaky creatures in strange situations.
Congratulations to the five shortlisted books and their creators. The shortlist was announced at a special event held at Foyles last night and the final winner will be revealed on Wednesday 13 September 2017. The prize is worth £5000 and is named in honour of Klaus Flugge, founder of Andersen Press.
The announcement was preceded by a fascinating panel discussion. Martin Salisbury, Mini Grey, Emily Gravett and Michael Foreman were in discussion with Julia Eccleshare.
The three illustrator-authors were invited to explain how they had first got into creating picture books.
Mini Grey described herself as a picture book maker rather than an illustrator. She was first inspired to create a picture book herself while working as a teacher and falling in love with some of the objects in her book corner. As a result she went on to study for a MA in sequential illustration at Brighton University.
Emily Gravett also studied at Brighton, taking a BA in illustration. And as with Mini Grey she hadn’t always wanted to be an illustrator. Even though she grew up in a family of artists, it wasn’t an obvious career choice. But in the final year of her degree she wrote WOLVES which went on to win the Macmillan Prize and her career has developed from there.
Despite having seen Michael Foreman on many occasion at events over the years (his photograph appears quite frequently in the ACHUKA event archive) I had never spoken with him or heard him speak. His contributions to the discussion were particularly interesting. He told us he had grown up in Suffolk in a small coastal place where his mother ran the village shop. While still a boy he had been asked by a local art teacher to gather clay from the nearby cliffs to see if it could be workable. As it happened the clay was too gritty to be any use but as a result of collecting it Michael was invited to attend a Saturday morning art class. At the first of these sessions the members of the class were each given a sketchbook and taken outside to draw the real world. He has carried a sketchbook with him ever since (and withdrew a small one from his side pocket to show us).
Foreman reached adolescence in a time long before there were courses specifically for illustration so he had gone away (at the age of 15 I’m sure he said) to Art School. His father had died a month before he was born and his mother ran the shop single-handedly. Michael had two older brothers who were already earning money. Had that not been the case he is sure he would never have ended up at Art School.
While still studying Art, Foreman began creating ‘little drawings’ for the local paper. This quickly led to his working for the big Fleet Street dailies.
He was only 21 when his first child was born and supporting a family meant that he had to ‘get serious about illustration’ from the point of view of earning an income. He ended up travelling all over the world as a young man creating reportage drawings.
His first picture book, The General, (created while he was still young) was set in his own village. It had a pacifist theme. A fellow student had just arrived in England from Hungary and it so happened that one of the few people he knew was the wife of a publisher. The General was submitted to this publisher, and one of the directors was Sir Herbert Read, a pacifist, which helped ensure the book was accepted. And so began Foreman’s long and still flourishing career.
After the biographical introductions, Eccleshare guided a discussion which, amongst other things, considered the question Can a picture book change the world and should it even try? The two female illustrators on the whole thought not, valuing entertainment over didacticism. Foreman was much more willing to concede that some of his picture books did indeed have a message.
Martin Salisbury, also on the panel and one of the judges of the award, recollected that when he went to art school in Maidstone and was taught by, amongst others, Gerald Rose, children’s illustration was not mentioned at all. After graduation he became ‘trapped into being a jobbing illustrator’ and supported this with some part-time teaching. That part-time teaching has led to his running one of the major degree courses for illustration in the country, an all-consuming task. “Maybe when I retire I’ll do a bit of drawing again.”
The relationship between picture book creators and publishers (and those who work there: editors, designers etc.) was also addressed. Foreman described himself as “a bit of a mongrel”. He has never had an agent and has worked for a wide variety of publishers. He did say that working for Klaus and Andersen Press was “still like it used to be”. In most cases when he submits a book it has to be seen by a number of different people, in various departments, before a decision is made or changes requested. In the case of Andersen Press, Klaus is “still the man you see and the man who decides”.
Martin Salisbury said it sometimes feels as if his course is one big agency. Publishers always show big interest in the annual graduation show and the course also has a stand at Bologna.
Recent trends commented on included the rise of independent publishers (contemporaneously with the decline in independent bookstores) and the increased profile of illustrated non-fiction, especially oversized “big” books. Despite this, Salisbury says it remains quite a battle to persuade students to consider non-fiction.
There was a brief chance for questions from the floor which led to some interesting observations about the under-representation of different skin colours, both in picture books themselves and in the students on Martin’s course. He had earlier also commented that 90% of his undergraduates are female, a proportion reflected in this year’s longlist.
Last year’s winner, Nicholas John Frith, who announced the shortlist, was a man. This year’s shortlist is man-free.
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.
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.
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.
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.
(Click each image to zoom)
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.
some content via The Klaus Flugge Prize | Official Website | Shortlist 2017.
The shortlist for the 2017 Klaus Flugge Prize is to be announced live at a special event at Foyles Charing Cross Road on the evening of Wednesday 17 May. Established in 2016, the Klaus Flugge Prize is awarded to the most promising and exciting newcomer to children’s book illustration. It honours publisher Klaus Flugge, founder of children’s publisher Andersen Press and a supremely influential figure in picture books.
As well as the announcement of the shortlist, the Foyles special event will celebrate the art of the picture book: Professor Martin Salisbury, Course Leader in the MA in Children’s Book Illustration at the Cambridge School of Art, and distinguished illustrators Michael Foreman, Emily Gravett and Mini Grey will discuss what makes great picture book illustration, and how illustrators today use pictures to move, entertain and influence their audience.
The 2017 Klaus Flugge Prize shortlist will be announced by last year’s winner Nicholas John Frith, 2017 judge Tamara Macfarlane and chair of the judges Julia Eccleshare.
Julia Eccleshare says, ‘The Klaus Flugge Prize is all about celebrating picture book illustration and putting exciting new talent in the spotlight. We are delighted to be announcing the shortlist live at this very special Foyles event and to have such a stellar panel of speakers. This will be an unmissable event for all those interested in children’s picture book illustration.’
All of the longlisted illustrators and their editors have been invited to attend.
The event will begin at 6.30pm and conclude at 8.00pm.
This is a ticketed event and tickets cost £8 or £5 for Foyalty members and students. A glass of wine is included in the cost of the ticket. The venue is The Auditorium at Foyles, Level 6, 107 Charing Cross Road.
There are fifteen books on the Klaus Flugge Prize longlist. They are:
The Lonely Giant, Sophie Ambrose (Walker Books), edited by Lizzie Sitton (Walker)
Hannah and Sugar, Kate Berube, edited by Tamar Brazis (Abrams & Chronicle), edited by Tamar Brazis (Abrams)
Baxter’s Book, Hrefna Bragadottir, edited by Louise Bolongaro (Nosy Crow), edited by Louise Bolongaro (Nosy Crow)
World of Information, James Brown, written by Richard Platt, edited by Denise Johnston-Burt (Walker Books)
Animal Surprises, Abbie Cameron, written and edited by Nicola Davies (Graffeg)
Bob the Artist, Marion Deuchars, edited by Elizabeth Jenner (Laurence King Publishing)
The Museum of Me, Emma Lewis, edited by Alice Chasey, (Tate)
Life is Magic, Meg McLaren, edited Libby Hamilton (Andersen Press)
First Snow, Bomi Park, edited by Victoria Rock (Chronicle Book)
Little Mouse’s Big Breakfast, Christine Pym, edited by Louise Bolongaro (Nosy Crow)
Duck Gets a Job, Sonny Ross edited by Alison Ritchie (King’s Road Publishing)
The Journey, Francesca Sanna, edited by Harriet Birkenshaw, (Flying Eye)
Little One, Jo Weaver, edited by Emma Layfield (Hodder Children’s Books)
Hiding Heidi, Fiona Woodcock, edited by Lara Hancock, (Simon and Schuster)
Little Red, Bethan Woollvin, edited by Suzanne Carnell (Two Hoots)
Wolf Erlbruch is the 2017 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award laureate
Wolf Erlbruch, born in 1948, is a German illustrator and picturebook author. He has written some ten books of his own and illustrated nearly fifty titles by other authors. He is best known for his illustrations of The Story of the Little Mole Who Knew It Was None of His Business (1994), which became a great success around the world.
The citation of the jury reads:
Wolf Erlbruch makes existential questions accessible and manageable for readers of all ages. With humour and warmth deeply rooted in humanist ideals, his work presents the universe on our scale. He is a master of the illustrator’s art who honours tradition whilst opening new creative doors. Wolf Erlbruch is a careful and caring visionary.
Wolf Erlbruch is an innovative illustrator. His visual style grows out of a long tradition and is characterized by strong lines and graphic precision. He often combines different techniques: collage, pencil and chalk drawing, graphic experimentation and watercolour.
“Most important in drawing or writing for children is to be honest about your own feelings and tell about yourself also.”
Five aspiring children’s book illustrators are to benefit from a Scottish-based scheme to boost their careers.
Founded by the leading Edinburgh-based writer Vivian French, the Picture Hooks scheme, which is backed by Creative Scotland, will see the illustrators work with experienced artists for a year, and their work displayed at an exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art for three months.
World Book Day (WBD) is teaming up with National Book Tokens to launch a children’s illustration competition.
To enter the Oodles of Doodles competition, which launches Monday 9th January, children and teenagers are being asked to design a new National Book Token to mark this year being the 20th anniversary of WBD.
A winner from each of the three age categories – 8-years-old and under, 9-12 and 13-16 years – will win £200 worth of National Book Tokens for themselves, as well as £200 for their teacher and £500 for their school, and one overall winner will have their design turned into a book token.
The competition deadline is midonight 14th April.
Entries should be sent to World Book Day Design a Book Token Competition, Book Tokens Ltd, 6 Bell Yard, London WC2A 2JR. =
via WBD launches children’s illustration competition | The Bookseller.
Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre celebrated the launch of their fourth collaboration Jinks and O’Hare Funfair Repair (Oxford University Press, £8.99) in London’s Southbank on Friday 16th September and announced the first #PicturesMeanBusiness Talk Show to be held at the Imagine Children’s Festival in February 2017.
Jinks and O’Hare Funfair Repair is set on Funfair Moon amongst the dodgems, the Space Twizzler and the Switchback of Doom.
The first #PicturesMeanBusiness Talk Show will be curated and hosted by Sarah McIntyre for an audience of children age 8+, inviting illustrators onto the sofa for an event of collaborative live drawing and interviews. At an age when many readers start to move away from pictures in books, McIntyre and guests will demonstrate why pictures and visual literacy remain relevant and important for all ages and all readers, including reluctant and dyslexic readers.
Reeve and McIntyre’s books have become synonymous with celebrating the ways in which words and pictures both complement and elevate each other. As co-authors Philip and Sarah work collaboratively on all aspects of their books, placing words and pictures on equal footing, a concept central to Sarah McIntyre’s #Pictures Mean Business campaign.
opening 23rd Sep:
Edward Ardizzone is one of the most significant illustrators of the 20th century, whose wide-ranging output spanned children’s books, literary classics, war illustration and much more.
Ardizzone’s lively line-and-wash drawings were based on constant observation of the world, disciplined by classical figure composition. He is best-known for his illustrated children’s books, in particular the ‘Little Tim’ series which he wrote and illustrated, starting in 1936 with Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain, all of which are still in print today.
This will be the first major exhibition of Ardizzone’s work in 40 years. From his relatively unknown early commissions to rarely seen original illustrations, the exhibition will feature over 100 pieces from public and private collections that reflect the incredible diversity of Ardizzone’s career. Highlights include a Little Tim manuscript, mural artwork for a P&O ocean liner, ceramic figurines and poster designs for Lyons, as well as sketchbooks and illustrated correspondence.
The exhibition will coincide with the publication by Lund Humphries of Edward Ardizzone: Artist and Illustrator, the first full illustrated monograph of Ardizzone by celebrated art historian Alan Powers.
Ardizzone: A Retrospective is co-curated by Alan Powers and House of Illustration’s curator Olivia Ahmad.
Hugely recommended feature on Charles Keeping from The Gentle Author blog:
The illustrations of Charles Keeping (1924–1988) burned themselves into my consciousness as a child and I have loved his work ever since. A major figure in British publishing in the last century, Keeping illustrated over one hundred books (including the entire novels of Dickens) and won the Kate Greenaway and Carnegie Medals for his superlative talent.
In 1975, Keeping published ‘Cockney Ding Dong,’ in which he collected songs he remembered sung at home as a child. Illustrated with tender portraits of his extended family, the book is an unusual form of autobiography, recreating an entire cultural world through drawing and popular song.
Recently, I visited the Keeping Gallery at Shortlands in Kent to meet Vicky and Sean Keeping who talked to me about their father’s work, as we sat in the family home where they grew up and where much of his work is now preserved and displayed for visitors. You can read my interview at the end of this selection of illustrations from ‘Cockney Ding Dong.’
As part of the World of Illustration series, [The Observer] head[s] to Romania and Moldova to meet goats, princesses and cats – plus eat bread with dew