Pakistan News & Features Services
The world's largest award for children's literature has been won by a picture book illustrator from Argentina, Isol, whose work exposed the absurdities of the adult world. She was the deserved winner of the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award announced on the fourth and final day of the Bologna Children's Book Fair 2013 in Italy on March 28.
Isol herself was not present on the occasion and the bouquet on her behalf was received by Guadalajara Book Fair in Mexico, where her publishing house is situated, from the Swedish Minister for Culture, Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth. She, however, is expected to collect the award personally in the presentation ceremony to be held in Stockholm on May 27.
Isol succeeded in beating the Hungry Caterpillar's creator Eric Carle and War Horse author Michael Morpurgo to clinch the world's largest award for children's literature, the SEK5m (£500,000) Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.
Given annually by the Swedish government to an individual or organisation working ‘in the spirit of Astrid Lindgren’ to ‘safeguard democratic values’, there were 207 candidates from around the world competing for this year's prize.
Isol, born Marisol Misenta in Buenos Aires in 1972 and an illustrator, cartoonist, graphic artist, writer, singer and composer, was chosen by a jury of 12 international children's literature experts to stand alongside former winners including Shaun Tan, Philip Pullman and Maurice Sendak.
“The author was very happy and very surprised to have won though I did wake her up with the phone call to tell her,” Chair of the jury, Larry Lempert, admitted, describing Isol as a visual storyteller who works with extreme elements, fun, unpredictable elements and with humour, and who crosses borders and new boundaries.
The author and illustrator of 10 books of her own, as well as a collaborator with Argentinian poet Jorge Luján, the jury praised Isol for creating picture books from the eye level of the child.