Iwona Chmielewska on the shortlist for the Hans Christian Andersen Award

IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People”) has announced the shortlist of nominees for the Hans Christian Andersen Award 2024, the most prestigious international award for children's books, known as the Little Nobel Prize. Iwona Chmielewska was again among the finalists in the illustrator category.

Iwona Chmielewska has already been nominated for the award in 2018, 2020 and 2022. She has also made it to the final shortlist twice so far. To date, only one Pole - Zbigniew Rychlicki - has succeeded in reaching the IBBY Award shortlist. He is an outstanding Polish graphic artist and illustrator, who was also the only Polish winner of the "Little Nobel Prize" so far. He received it in 1982.

This year's shortlist includes six authors and six illustrators.

In the author category the nominees were: Marina Colasanti (Brazil), Heinz Janisch (Austria), Lee Geum-yi (South Korea), Bart Moeyaert (Belgium), Timo Parvela (Finland), and Edward van de Vendel (the Netherlands). Nominations in the illustrator category in addition to Iwona Chmielewska were given to: Cai Gao (China), Nelson Cruz (Brazil), Elena Odriozola (Spain), Sydney Smith (Canada), and Paloma Valdivia (Chile).

Iwona Chmielewska is one of the best contemporary illustrators in Poland. She is also known and recognised by foreign readers. Her books are published in South Korea, China, Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, and Germany, among others. She is a double winner of the Bologna Ragazzi Award - for her own picture book Oczy (“'Eyes”) and for Maum. Dom duszy (“Maum: House of the Mind”) written by Heekyoung Kim. In Poland, she collaborates with many publishing houses (including Wytwórnia, Media Rodzina, Warstwy, Format, Entliczek, Wolno). In 2011, she received the title Book of the Year from the Polish Section of IBBY for Pamiętnik Blumki (“Blumka's Diary”).

The Hans Christian Andersen Award will be awarded for the 67th time in the literary category (Author’s Award”) and the 57th  time in the graphic category (Illustrator’s Award). The award consists of a gold medal and a diploma presented at a ceremony during the IBBY Congress. This year's long list of nominees included 59 male and female authors from 33 countries.