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The Klaus Flugge Prize is a children's book award that celebrates picture books by a debut illustrator. The award was founded to highlight some of the most exciting newcomers to picture book illustration and was set up to honour the influential publisher Klaus Flugge, founder of Andersen Press.
Eva Eland has won the 2020 Klaus Flugge Prize for the most exciting and promising newcomer to children’s picture book illustration. Her book When Sadness Comes to Call (available here) sees a young child opening the door to an unexpected visitor, Sadness, personified as a semi-transparent amorphous shape. As the two spend time together, the child comes to know and understand Sadness, and then one day wakes up to find the visitor has left. Judge and winner of the 2019 Klaus Flugge Prize, Jessica Love says: “This book is profound in its simplicity. There isn't a single line that Eva Eland puts down that doesn't tell the truth. Perfect.”
The panel of judges who selected this year's shortlist of six books included: award-winning illustrator Mini Grey; Jessica Love (2019 Klaus Flugge Prize winner); bookseller at Moon Lane Ink Meera Ghanshamdas; children’s book consultant Jake Hope; and Pam Smy of Anglia Ruskin University.
The five books on the 2020 shortlist share strengths of innovation and deep emotion - between them they rework traditional styles such as the counting book, information book, search and find as well as exploring complex emotions for the very young.
The shortlist for this year's award was as follows:
When Sadness Comes to Call, Eva Eland (Andersen Press) - Available here
editor Libby Hamilton, designer Rebecca Garrill What the judges said: beautifully simple and pared back; the page layouts seem sparse and crisp but the work the illustrations are doing is quite extraordinary in terms of the message that sadness is something we might have to live with.
The Star in the Forest, Helen Kellock (Thames and Hudson) - Available here Helen Kellock, editor Anna Ridley, designer Aaron Hayden What the judges said: few books these days use light and tone or traditional watercolour skills to tell stories; it’s worked into something quite magical here.
Where is Your Sister?, Puck Koper (Two Hoots) - Available here editor Suzanne Carnell, designer Jo Spooner What the judges said: goes at a wonderful pace, with laugh out loud moments. It’s stylish and feels very sophisticated for a first book.
On the Origin of Species, Sabina Radeva (Puffin) - Available here editor Anna Barnes Robinson, designer Keren Greenfeld What the judges said: It’s full of detail and really reflects the beauty of nature. A feat of managing that amount of detail without it feeling cluttered. A wonderful reference book, a real companion for a child.
One Fox: A Counting Thriller Book, Kate Read (Two Hoots) - Available here editor Suzanne Carnell, designer Jo Spooner What the judges said: Visually stunning. There’s real drama here and the way the story is told is joyous. She’s done a very clever thing and created a counting book while keeping within the beats of a story.
The 2020 winner will be revealed in September and will receive a cheque for £5,000. For more information about the award, visit www.klausfluggeprize.co.uk.