Shaun Tan wins Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award 2011

Illustrator and author Shaun Tan has won the largest prize for children's and YA literature. Tan will receive the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award 2011, for SEK 5m (£500,000), at a presentation at the Stockholm Concert Hall on 31st May.

The jury praised his work, saying: "Shaun Tan is a masterly visual storyteller, pointing the way ahead to new possibilities for picture books. His pictorial worlds constitute a separate universe where nothing is self-evident and anything is possible . . . People are always present, and Shaun Tan portrays both our searching and our alienation. He combines brilliant, magical narrative skill with deep humanism".

The announcement was made at the Literary Cafe at the Bologna Children's Book Fair on Tuesday [30th March]. The award is designed to to promote interest in children's and YA literature, and in children's rights. Candidates are nominated by institutions and organisations.

Australian Tan has illustrated more than 20 books, including Tales from Outer Suburbia (Templar) and The Lost Thing (Hodder Children's Books). He won an Oscar this year for best animated film for The Lost Thing, based on his book of the same title.