Illustrator Nicholas John Frith has won the inaugural Klaus Flugge Prize for the most exciting newcomer in children’s picture book illustration.
Frith was given the award today (6th September) for his book Hector and Hummingbird (Alison Green Books), about a spectacled bear and his noisy best friend, beating off competition from five other shortlisted artists.
Frith said the character of Hector is based on his wife, although when creating the look of the bear he was inspired by displays at the Natural History Museum in Tring. When illustrating the book he used a technique called pre-separation, creating separate pieces of art for each colour used in the book.
Zoe Tucker, art director at Alison Green Books, Alison Green, editor at Alison Green Books, Klaus Flugge of Andersen Press and winner Nicholas John Frith
The Klaus Flugge Prize was created by Andersen Press earlier this year to mark 40 years since Klaus Flugge founded the publishing house.
The judges included children’s laureate Chris Riddell, illustrator Tony Ross and professor Martin Salisbury of the Cambridge School of Art. The chair of judges was Julia Eccleshare, children’s book editor of the Guardian.
Riddell said: “The shortlist featured six skilful and talented illustrators but Hector and Hummingbird is something very special. We were particularly impressed with the way Nicholas John Frith creates the characters of Hector and Hummingbird through his illustrations, and the relationship between them is completely convincing. It’s certainly a very stylish book to look at, but the characterisation won it for us. Children will love these two heroes, it’s a book with heart.”
Children's Laureate Chris Riddell, who presented the prize, Klaus Flugge and Nicholas John Frith