Student Riko Sekiguchi wins Carmelite Picture Book Prize

Student Riko Sekiguchi wins Carmelite Picture Book Prize

Student Riko Sekiguchi has won the Carmelite Picture Book Prize with her illustrations for a picture book text by Peter Bently.

For this year’s prize, which is organised by Hachette Children’s Group (HCG), undergraduate students of illustration were asked to create two colour spreads for Bently's Where the Sea Meets the Sky, a rhyming story about a sea otter.

Sophie Stericker, group creative director at HCG, said: “We had a huge number of outstanding entries this year, so many of which showed originality and advanced visual storytelling skill. Choosing a winner was extremely difficult but Riko’s work (pictured below) showed such energy and spirit the judges were unanimous.”

Sekiguchi, a student at Falmouth University, was given £1,000 and Hodder Children’s Books, an imprint of HCG, will consider publishing her work with Bently’s text.

“It’s so exciting and surreal to win – this is such a fantastic way to finish my final year, and I’m incredibly grateful to my tutors for encouraging me to enter,” she said. “It’s going to be wonderful to have the advice and experience of the Hachette Children’s Group creative team, and I’d like to thank everyone so much for giving me this opportunity.”

Andy Ellis from Norwich University of the Arts won a second prize of £500 and Robin Mommers from Leeds Arts University won the third prize of £250. Luke Broadley from Norwich University of the Arts and Pui Jo Ng from University of Hertfordshire were highly commended.

The inaugural Carmelite Prize book, The Story of Tantrum O’Furrily, written by Cressida Cowell and illustrated by Mark Nicholas from Anglia Ruskin University, is published this month, and Free-range Freddy by Rachel Bright, illustrated by last year’s winner, Isobel Evans, will be published next year.