The shortlist for this year's Klaus Flugge Prize has been revealed, featuring five of the most promising newcomers to picture book illustration, including two titles from Walker Books.
Established in 2016, the prize was set up to honour Klaus Flugge, founder of Andersen Press and an influential figure in children’s picture books. From a longlist of 20 picture books by debut illustrators, the judges chose five titles that “find creative ways to portray love and friendship, security and comfort to the very young”.
First up on the shortlist is Flavia Z Drago with Gustavo the Shy Ghost (Walker Books), described as “a visual treat” with “just the right balance of fun and fright”.
Walker's second nomination comes for Rachel Stubbs with My Red Hat, which judges praised for its “really impressive use of colour”.
Next up is Charlotte Ager for Child of Galaxies, written by Blake Nuto (Flying Eye Books), chosen for its “impressive interpretation of really big, abstract ideas”.
John Broadley also makes the cut for While You’re Sleeping by Mick Jackson (Pavilion). Judges said: “The details are so comforting; his handling of sea and sky is excellent, very muscular and with lots of theatrics.”
Steve Small is in the running for I’m Sticking with You by Smriti Halls (Simon & Schuster Children's Books). “Really well crafted, particularly in the relationship between the characters,” judges observed.
This year's judging panel featured illustrator Posy Simmonds, 2020 Klaus Flugge Prize winner Eva Eland, illustration programme director at Camberwell College of Arts Darryl Clifton, Sevenoaks Bookshop owner Fleur Sinclair and Mat Tobin of Oxford Brookes University.
Chair of the judges Julia Eccleshare said: “It is always fascinating to examine the books that make up the shortlist for the Klaus Flugge Prize. These five superb books provide a creative counter to the anxieties of the past year, the illustrations conveying a strong sense of comfort, reassurance and joy that even those too young to read will understand. The shortlist is testament to the illustrators’ skill as artists and to the special ability of picture books to define a young child’s world.”
The winner will be announced on 15th September and will receive a cheque for £5,000.