Recommended children's booklists sorted by age or topic

Home > Blog > Winner announced: Klaus Flugge Prize 2019

Winner announced: Klaus Flugge Prize 2019

BooksforTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations


11th September saw the announcement of the Klaus Flugge Prize Winner 2019. The prize was awarded to Jessica Love for her debut picture book Julian is a Mermaid, praised for its expressive illustrations that celebrate freedom, love and individuality.

Julian is a Mermaid (available here) features a young boy who is inspired to dress up like the fancy ladies that he sees on the tube one day. He ensembles a fabulous mermaid costume before looking to his grandmother for acceptance and affirmation.


Judges Anthony Browne and Kate Milner announced the winner, who was unable to attend the ceremony but gave her speech via video link. Jessica praised her fellow shortlistees by describing their work as ‘complex and moving, and funny and deep.’

The Klaus Flugge Prize is a children’s book award that celebrates picture books by debut illustrators. 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.

The panel of judges included Children’s Laureate Anthony Browne; Kate Milner (2018 Klaus Flugge Prize winner); Derek Brazell from the Association of Illustrators; Seven Stories bookseller Billiejo Carlisle; and Farrah Serroukh, Learning Programme Leader at CLPE (Centre for Literacy in Primary Education).


The six books on the 2019 shortlist share themes of celebrating children’s imagination, family love and freedom of expression.


The shortlist for this year’s award was as follows:

The Extraordinary Gardner, Sam Boughton (Tate) – Available here Editor Holly Tonks, designer Ness Wood What the judges said: there’s an exuberance in the artwork; some wonderful spreads and Joe’s urban world is really well done; it has real child appeal.

Looking After Daddy, Eve Coy (Andersen Press) – Available here Editor Libby Hamilton, designer Rebecca Garrill What the judges said: the images tell their own stories; really good interplay between text and illustration; I smiled all the way through.

The King Who Banned the Dark, Emily Haworth-Booth (Pavilion Children’s Books) – Available here Editor Neil Dunnicliffe, designer Lee-May Lim What the judges said: a great idea and it really makes the most of light and dark; there’s lots of variety in the use of page layout, and lots of surprises; it’s full of energy and humour.

I Can Fly, Fifi Kuo (Boxer Books) – Available here Editor Leilani Sparrow, designer David Bennett. What the judges said: a beautiful book; a lovely sense of movement; the story has been done before but she’s transformed it; fantastic drawing skills, every penguin is different.

Julian is a Mermaid, Jessica Love (Walker Books) – Available here Editor Tanya Rosie, art director Deirdre McDermott What the judges said: it reminded me of Sendak, it’s hard to believe it’s a debut; the illustrations say things that words would struggle to express; delivers an important message without feeling didactic.


Red and the City, Marie Voigt (Oxford) – Available here Editor Peter Marley, designer Kate Adams What the judges said: the characters are simply drawn but have real personality; there’s a European feel to the artwork; a clever, multi-layered retelling of a well-known story.


For more information about the award, visit

You can order the shortlisted books online or from your local bookshop or library.

Where next?

> Visit our Reading for Pleasure Hub

> Browse our Topic Booklists

> View our printable year group booklists.

> See our Books of the Month.


Subscribe to our newsletter

Your Review

Stone Girl Bone Girl


Year group(s) the book is most suitable for:

Year group(s) the book is most suitable for:

Does the book contain anything that teachers would wish to know about before recommending in class (strong language, sensitive topics etc.)?

Does the book contain anything that teachers would wish to know about before recommending in class (strong language, sensitive topics etc.)?

Would you recommend the book for use in primary schools?


Curriculum links (if relevant)

Curriculum links (if relevant)

Any other comments

Any other comments