Nobrow children's imprint Flying Eye was named a winner in the 2016 Chen Bochui International Children's Literature awards, presented in Shanghai, China, earlier today (Thursday 17th November).
Flying Eye's Beautiful Birds by Jean Roussen, illustrated by Emmanuelle Walker, was one of five winners in the best picture books category. Judging panel member Junko Yokota, professor emeritus of reading and language at the National Louis university, Chicago, said: "This book is in its entirety a work of art", praising its "stylised yet accurate illustration" and use of fluorescent colour.
Nobrow's Harry Gwinner, who handles rights sales for the company, collected the award [right]. China rights to Beautiful Birds have already been sold to Dolphin Media.
Also winning in the best picturebook category was Quebec publisher Editions Les 400 Coups, with It's My War by Thomas Scotto, illustrated by Barroux. The book, described as "frighteningly real" in its depiction of danger, was described by Yokota as a "unique and fairly successful attempt to answer the question of how to present war to a child." French publisher Gallimard Jeunesse was a winner for Chien des Villes by Alexandra Garibal, illustrated by Fred Benaglia, praised for its "retro", lithographic illustration style.
Chinese publishers won the remaining two nods in the best picturebook category: Daylight Publishing for The Plaits by author/illustrator Hei Mi, about a girl whose long plaits are cut and sold, with all the illustrations rendered in a single dark grey; and Jiangsu Phoenix Juvenile and Children's Publishing for Old Tyre by Jia Wei, illustrated by Zhu Chengliang, described as "a metaphor for the twists and turns of human life" rendered in "charming" acrylic hues.
Meanwhile the winners in the Best Literary Work of 2016 category were all Chinese publishers: Tomorrow Publishing House with Zhang Wei's Looking for King Fish, Daylight Publishing House for Firebrand by Hans Christian Andersen award winner Cao Wenxuan, Chenguang Publishing House for The Legendary Fox and the Youth by Peng Yi and Juvenile and Children's House for My Marble-Hearted Father by Qin Wenjun, a story written by the author following the death of her father, "someone who loved me the most in the world," as she told the award ceremony.
Each prize winner receives 200,000 RMB (approximately￡2,400).
The Special Contribution award was given to Maria Jesus Gil from Spain, who as well as making "a significant contribution to the renovation of Spanish children's literature", and serving as a president of the Hans Christian Andersen Award, had also forged strong links with China in recent years, serving as a jury member for the Chen Bochui and supporting the Shanghai International Children's Book Fair. This year's fair starts tomorrow (Friday 18th November).
2016 marks the 110th anniversary of the birth of Chen Bochui, an author and illustrator sometimes described as "the Andersen of China" because of his strong influence on the development of children's literature. The Chen Bochui awards are among the most long-running of China's literary prizes, and opened up to international entrants in 2014.