Shortlist announced for the 2019 Klaus Flugge Prize

Worlds less ordinary: six outstanding debut picture books celebrating children’s imagination and potential, family love, and freedom of expression on the shortlist for the 2019 Klaus Flugge Prize

  • All female shortlist in the fourth year of the award founded to highlight the most promising and exciting newcomers to picture book illustration
  • Former Children’s Laureate Anthony Browne and 2018 winner Kate Milner among judges
  • Shortlist announced live at special event at Foyles Charing Cross Road

The shortlist for the 2019 Klaus Flugge Prize will be announced at a live event at Foyles, Charing Cross Road, London on the evening of Wednesday 15th May. Set up to honour publisher Klaus Flugge, founder of Andersen Press and one of the most important and influential figures in children’s picture books, this important new award is for the most promising and exciting newcomer to picture book illustration.

From a longlist of twenty picture books by debut illustrators, a panel of judges comprising former Waterstones Children’s Laureate and preeminent illustrator Anthony Browne; Kate Milner, 2018 Klaus Flugge Prize winner; Derek Brazell, of the Association of Illustrators; Seven Stories bookseller Billiejo Carlisle; and Farrah Serroukh, Learning Programme Leader at CLPE (Centre for Literary in Primary Education), have chosen a shortlist of six.

The shortlisted books have very different subjects: a penguin and a king; a mermaid and a beginner gardener; Little Red Riding Hood and a girl looking after her daddy. Recurring themes however are the power of a child’s imagination and the importance of family and love, while there are also subtly delivered, positive messages about the right to self-expression and about contemporary society. The six books are:

The Extraordinary Gardner, Sam Boughton (Tate)
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)
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)
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’t Can Fly, Fifi Kuo, editor Leilani Sparrow (Boxer Books)
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)
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)
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

Sam Boughton and Eve Coy both take familiar domestic settings to explore, via very different art styles, children’s sense of home and family, as well as their ability to take control and change things. A beautifully drawn penguin family allows Fifi Kuo to describe the joy children find in discovering their abilities and new things about the world. Julian is able to declare himself a mermaid in Jessica Love’s book, which explores themes of freedom but also sexuality rarely covered in picture books. (It is also shortlisted for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal).Two very different cities provide the backdrops for Marie Voigt and Emily Haworth-Booth’s books, and both prompt children to consider our society and the forces that shape it.

Chair of the judges Julia Eccleshare said: “Our 2019 shortlist is very exciting and represents the range of talent and skill in today’s new picture book illustrators. It also perfectly demonstrates how much picture books give children – reassurance, knowledge and understanding of themselves and the word as well as that first appreciation of art and realisation that images can tell us more than words. We are pleased too that the list is once again international, with illustrators from Germany, Taiwan and the US represented alongside British talent. It’s a list worthy of Klaus Flugge who has always nurtured new talent and understands the power of picture books to open up the world for children.”

The winner will be revealed at an award ceremony in London on Wednesday 11th September 2019 and will receive a cheque for £5,000.

The shortlist will be announced by Anthony Browne at a special event at Foyles Charing Cross Road. Before the announcement Anthony will discuss his career in front of a live audience with Julia Eccleshare.

For more information, interview requests and images contact Andrea Reece
020 8889 1292/ 07807893369


The Klaus Flugge Prize is funded personally by Klaus Flugge and run independently of Andersen Press.

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