Hans Christian Andersen Award

The Hans Christian Andersen Awards are two literary awards given by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), recognising one living author and one living illustrator for their "lasting contribution to children's literature".[1] The writing award was first given in 1956, the illustration award in 1966. The former is sometimes called the "Nobel Prize for children's literature".

Hans Christian Andersen Award
A golden medallion with an embossed image featuring a bust of Andersen.
Awarded forOutstanding and lasting contribution to children's literature
Presented byInternational Board on Books for Young People
First awarded1956; 67 years ago (1956)

The awards are named after Hans Christian Andersen, the 19th-century Danish author of fairy tales, and each winner receives the Hans Christian Andersen Medaille (a gold medal with the bust of Andersen) and a diploma. Medals are presented at the biennial IBBY Congress.


The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) was founded by Jella Lepman in the 1950s.[2] The Hans Christian Andersen Award was first proposed in 1953 and awarded three years later, in 1956.[3] It was established in the aftermath of World War II to encourage development of high-quality children's books. The award was set to be given biennially and was initially awarded for individual works that had been published in the preceding two years.[4] By 1962 the award's formal criteria were amended "to a living author who is judged to have made a lasting contribution to good juvenile literature by the outstanding value of his or her work. The author's complete works, in particular those in fiction, will be taken into consideration in awarding the medal."[5]

Runners up were listed in 1960, 1962, and 1964. In reflection of what IBBY considered to be a trend of increasing quality in picture books,[5] the award was expanded to include illustrators in 1966.[3] From 1966 to 1996 runners up were named as "Highly Commended". In 1998 this was replaced with a list of three to four "Finalists".[5] It is sometimes called the "Little Nobel Prize" or the "Nobel Prize for children's literature"[6][7] and has been cited as the "most important activity" of IBBY.[2] Between 1992 and 2022 the patron of the awards was Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.[8] A special issue of Bookbird, a journal published by IBBY, is published as the award is given out.[9]


The winner of the Hans Christian Andersen Awards is selected by a jury which is put together by IBBY's executive committee. The Jury's president is elected by IBBY's General Assembly. There were initially seven jurors,[5] but this was increased to eight and in 2000 to ten. Two years later, the jury was split with five members focusing on writing and the other five handling illustrations. The jurors are expected to be competent in children's literature and ideally represent a diverse group. It generally takes six months to review candidates and select a winner.[10]

Jella Lepman served as Jury President for the first three Andersen Awards, 1956 to 1960, and remained on the jury until her death in 1970, as the President of IBBY and then as its honorary president. Current four-year terms cover two award cycles. Other notable presidents have included Virginia Haviland (1970–1974), Patricia Crampton (1982–1986), and Ana Maria Machado (1986–1990).[11]

Selection processEdit

The award's regulations read: "The Hans Christian Award is presented every two years by IBBY to an author and to an illustrator, living at the time of the nomination, who by the outstanding value of their work are judged to have made a lasting contribution to literature for children and young people. The complete works of the author and the illustrator will be taken into consideration in the selection process". The award is explicitly designed to be an "international" work, and it is not explicitly given to a certain country.[5]

IBBY has many member nations—all countries are eligible for membership. Every member nation has its own organization, known as a "national section", that is active across the country. All member nations can nominate candidates for consideration in the Hans Christian Andersen Awards.[12] Some member states will repeatedly nominate the same author or illustrator, others nominate a new candidate each time.[13] To nominate a candidate, a dossier is prepared that provides information including a list of works and biographical sketch. The portfolio must have between five and ten books by the candidate, which are sent to jurors, IBBY's president, and the "Jury Secretary".[5] There were sixty-six nominees from thirty-three countries for the 2022 Hans Christian Andersen awards.[14]

The awards are named after Hans Christian Andersen, the 19th-century Danish author of fairy tales, and each winner receives the Hans Christian Andersen Medaille, a gold medal with the bust of Andersen, and a diploma.[2] Medals are presented at the biennial IBBY Congress.[1]

Writing award winnersEdit

Eleanor Farjeon received the first award in 1956
Gianni Rodari, who received the 1970 award
Jacqueline Woodson received the award in 2020
Winners of the writing award[15]
Year Winner Country Award
1956 Eleanor Farjeon (for The Little Bookroom)[4]   United Kingdom Winner
1958 Astrid Lindgren (for Rasmus på luffen)[4]   Sweden Winner
1960 Erich Kästner (for Als ich ein kleiner Junge war [de])[4]   Germany Winner
1962 Meindert DeJong   USA Winner
1964 René Guillot   France Winner
1966 Tove Jansson   Finland Winner
Karl Bruckner   Austria Highly Commended
Gianni Rodari   Italy Highly Commended
José María Sánchez-Silva   Spain Highly Commended
1968 James Krüss   Germany Winner
José María Sánchez-Silva   Spain Winner
Gianni Rodari   Italy Highly Commended
Elizabeth Coatsworth   USA Highly Commended
1970 Gianni Rodari   Italy Winner
Ana María Matute   Spain Highly Commended
E. B. White   USA Highly Commended
Ela Peroci   Yugoslavia Highly Commended
1972 Scott O'Dell   USA Winner
Colette Vivier   France Highly Commended
Otfried Preussler   Germany Highly Commended
Ana María Matute   Spain Highly Commended
Maria Gripe   Sweden Highly Commended
Sergei Mikhalkov   Soviet Union Highly Commended
Siny van Iterson   Netherlands
1974 Maria Gripe   Sweden Winner
Cecil Bødker   Denmark Highly Commended
Colette Vivier   France Highly Commended
Rosemary Sutcliff   UK Highly Commended
1976 Cecil Bødker   Denmark Winner
Agnija Barto   Soviet Union Highly Commended
E. B. White   USA Highly Commended
1978 Paula Fox   USA Winner
Alan Garner   UK Highly Commended
1980 Bohumil Říha   Czechoslovakia Winner
Lygia Bojunga Nunes   Brazil Highly Commended
Harry Kuliman   Sweden Highly Commended
1982 Lygia Bojunga Nunes   Brazil Winner
1984 Christine Nöstlinger   Austria Winner
Patricia Wrightson   Australia Highly Commended
1986 Patricia Wrightson   Australia Winner
1988 Annie M. G. Schmidt   Netherlands Winner
Claude Roy   France Highly Commended
1990 Tormod Haugen   Norway Winner
Bjarne Reuter   Denmark Highly Commended
1992 Virginia Hamilton   USA Winner
María Elena Walsh   Argentina Highly Commended
Houshang Moradi Kermani   Iran Highly Commended
1994 Michio Mado   Japan Winner
1996 Uri Orlev   Israel Winner
1998 Katherine Paterson   USA Winner
Brian Doyle   Canada Finalist
Ruskin Bond   India Finalist
Alice Vieira   Portugal Finalist
Anne Fine   UK Finalist
2000 Ana Maria Machado   Brazil Winner
Ulf Stark   Sweden Finalist
Peter Dickinson   UK Finalist
Lois Lowry   USA Finalist
2002 Aidan Chambers   United Kingdom Winner
Bart Moeyaert   Belgium Finalist
Bjarne Reuter   Denmark Finalist
2004 Martin Waddell   Ireland Winner
Barbro Lindgren   Sweden Finalist
Bjarne Reuter   Denmark Finalist
Joel Rufino dos Santos   Brazil Finalist
Jürg Schubiger   Switzerland Finalist
2006 Margaret Mahy   New Zealand Winner
Jon Ewo   Norway Finalist
Peter Härtling   Germany Finalist
Philip Pullman   UK Finalist
Toon Tellegen   Netherlands Finalist
Eugene Trivizas   Greece Finalist
2008 Jürg Schubiger   Switzerland Winner
Bartolomeu Campos de Queirós   Brazil Finalist
Brian Doyle   Canada Finalist
Guus Kuijer   Netherlands Finalist
David Almond   UK Finalist
2010 David Almond   United Kingdom Winner
Ahmadreza Ahmadi   Iran Finalist
Bartolomeu Campos de Queirós   Brazil Finalist
Lennart Hellsing   Sweden Finalist
Louis Jensen   Denmark Finalist
2012 María Teresa Andruetto   Argentina Winner
Paul Fleischman   USA Finalist
Bart Moeyaert   Belgium Finalist
Jean-Claude Mourlevat   France Finalist
Bianca Pitzorno   Italy Finalist
2014 Nahoko Uehashi   Japan Winner
Ted van Lieshout   Netherlands Finalist
Houshang Moradi Kermani   Iran Finalist
Mirjam Pressler   Germany Finalist
Renate Welsh   Austria Finalist
Jacqueline Woodson   USA Finalist
2016 Cao Wenxuan   China Winner
Louis Jensen   Denmark Finalist
Ted van Lieshout   Netherlands Finalist
Mirjam Pressler   Germany Finalist
Lois Lowry   USA Finalist
2018 Eiko Kadono   Japan Winner
Marie-Aude Murail   France Finalist
Farhad Hassanzadeh   Iran Finalist
Joy Cowley   New Zealand Finalist
Ulf Stark   Sweden Finalist
2020 Jacqueline Woodson   USA Winner
María Cristina Ramos   Argentina Finalist
Bart Moeyaert   Belgium Finalist
Marie-Aude Murail   France Finalist
Farhad Hassanzadeh   Iran Finalist
Peter Svetina   Slovenia Finalist
2022 Marie-Aude Murail[16]   France Winner
María Cristina Ramos   Argentina Finalist
Fatima Sharafeddine   Lebanon Finalist
Peter Svetina   Slovenia Finalist
Annika Thor   Sweden Finalist
Margaret Wild   Australia Finalist

Illustration award winnersEdit

Farshid Mesghali, the 1974 recipient
Květa Pacovská, the 1992 recipient
Winners of the illustration award[15]
Year Winner Country Award
1966 Alois Carigiet   Switzerland Winner
Jiří Trnka   Czechoslovakia Highly Commended
Brian Wildsmith   UK Highly Commended
1968 Jiří Trnka   Czechoslovakia Winner
Ib Spang Olsen   Denmark Highly Commended
Brian Wildsmith   UK Highly Commended
Roger Duvoisin   USA Highly Commended
1970 Maurice Sendak   USA Winner
Ib Spang Olsen   Denmark Highly Commended
Ota Daihachi   Japan Highly Commended
Lidja Osterc   Yugoslavia Highly Commended
1972 Ib Spang Olsen   Denmark Winner
Elizabeth Cleaver   Canada Highly Commended
Adolf Zábranský   Czechoslovakia Highly Commended
Janosch   FRG Highly Commended
Petros Zambellis   Germany Highly Commended
Björn Berg   Sweden Highly Commended
Felix Hoffmann   Switzerland Highly Commended
1974 Farshid Mesghali   Iran Winner
Helga Aichinger   Austria Highly Commended
Nicole Claveloux   France Highly Commended
Charles Keeping   UK Highly Commended
1976 Tatjana Mawrina   Soviet Union Winner
Fulla L'udovit   Czechoslovakia Highly Commended
Svend Otto S. [Wikidata]   Denmark Highly Commended
1978 Svend Otto S. [Wikidata]   Denmark Winner
Leo & Diane Dillon   USA Highly Commended
1980 Suekichi Akaba [Wikidata]   Japan Winner
Tomi Ungerer   France Highly Commended
Etienne Delessert   Switzerland Highly Commended
1982 Zbigniew Rychlicki   Poland Winner
1984 Mitsumasa Anno   Japan Winner
Helme Heine   FRG Highly Commended
Raymond Briggs   UK Highly Commended
1986 Robert Ingpen   Australia Winner
Adolf Born   Czechoslovakia Highly Commended
1988 Dušan Kállay [Wikidata]   Czechoslovakia Winner
Yasuo Segawa   Japan Highly Commended
1990 Lisbeth Zwerger   Austria Winner
1992 Květa Pacovská   Czechoslovakia[a] Winner
1994 Jörg Müller [Wikidata]   Switzerland Winner
1996 Klaus Ensikat [Wikidata]   Germany Winner
1998 Tomi Ungerer   France Winner
Binette Schroeder   Germany Finalist
Dick Bruna   Netherlands Finalist
Stasys Eidrigevičius   Poland Finalist
2000 Anthony Browne   United Kingdom Winner
Rotraut Susanne Berner   Germany Finalist
Boris Diodorov   Russia Finalist
Maria Lucija Stupica   Slovenia Finalist
2002 Quentin Blake   United Kingdom Winner
Grégoire Solotareff   France Finalist
Rotraut Susanne Berner   Germany Finalist
Daihachi Ohta   Japan Finalist
2004 Max Velthuijs   Netherlands Winner
Rotraut Susanne Berner   Germany Finalist
Roberto Innocenti [Wikidata]   Italy Finalist
Javier Serrano   Spain Finalist
Grégoire Solotareff   France Finalist
2006 Wolf Erlbruch   Germany Winner
Lilian Brøgger   Denmark Finalist
Etienne Delessert   Switzerland Finalist
Isol Misenta   Argentina Finalist
Grégoire Solotareff   France Finalist
Klaas Verplancke   Belgium Finalist
2008 Roberto Innocenti [Wikidata]   Italy Winner
Isol Misenta   Argentina Finalist
Svjetlan Junaković   Croatia Finalist
Adolf Born   Czech Republic Finalist
David Wiesner   USA Finalist
2010 Jutta Bauer   Germany Winner
Carll Cneut   Belgium Finalist
Etienne Delessert   Switzerland Finalist
Svjetlan Junaković   Croatia Finalist
Roger Mello   Brazil Finalist
2012 Peter Sís   Czech Republic[b] Winner
John Burningham   UK Finalist
Roger Mello   Brazil Finalist
Mohammad Ali Beniasadi   Iran Finalist
Javier Zabala   Spain Finalist
2014 Roger Mello   Brazil Winner
Rotraut Susanne Berner   Germany Finalist
John Burningham   UK Finalist
Eva Lindström   Sweden Finalist
François Place   France Finalist
Øyvind Torseter   Norway Finalist
2016 Rotraut Susanne Berner   Germany Winner
Alessandro Sanna   Italy Finalist
Suzy Lee   Korea Finalist
Marit Törnqvist   Netherlands Finalist
Pejman Rahimizadeh   Iran Finalist
2018 Igor Oleynikov [Wikidata]   Russia Winner
Pablo Bernasconi   Argentina Finalist
Linda Wolfsgruber   Austria Finalist
Xiong Liang   China Finalist
Iwona Chmielewska   Poland Finalist
Albertine Zullo   Switzerland Finalist
2020 Albertine Zullo   Switzerland Winner
Isabelle Arsenault   Canada Finalist
Seizo Tashima   Japan Finalist
Sylvia Weve   Netherlands Finalist
Iwona Chmielewska   Poland Finalist
Elena Odriozola   Spain Finalist
2022 Suzy Lee[17]   South Korea Winner
Beatrice Alemagna   Italy Finalist
Ryoji Arai   Japan Finalist
Iwona Chmielewska   Poland Finalist
Gusti   Argentina Finalist
Sydney Smith   Canada Finalist

Winners by countryEdit

The winners are most often residents of Europe and North America; the first winner from outside that region was Farshid Mesghali in 1974, from Iran.[13] After receiving the award. many authors and illustrators have their works gain wider recognition, particularly in the form of more translations.[18] As of 2021 there have been award winners from 25 countries. Americans have received the most writing (6) and total (7) recipients. Germans have won four illustration awards.

Country Illustration Writing No. of winners
  United States 1 6 7
  Germany 4 2 6
  Japan 2 3 5
  United Kingdom 2 3 5
  Czechoslovakia 3 1 4
  Switzerland 3 1 4
  Brazil 1 2 3
  Denmark 2 1 3
  France 1 2 3
  Australia 1 1 2
  Austria 1 1 2
  Italy 1 1 2
  Netherlands 1 1 2
  Sweden 2 2
  Argentina 1 1
  China 1 1
  Czech Republic 1 1
  Finland 1 1
  Israel 1 1
  Iran 1 1
  Ireland 1 1
  Korea 1 1
  New Zealand 1 1
  Norway 1 1
  Spain 1 1
  Poland 1 1
  Russia 1 1
  Soviet Union 1 1

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Pacovská received the award one year before Czechoslovakia dissolved into its constituent states.
  2. ^ Sis was nominated by the extant Czech Republic. He was born in the former Czechoslovakia and educated there in Applied Arts. He has been a U.S. citizen from 1982.


  1. ^ a b "Hans Christian Andersen Awards". International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY). Retrieved 20 August 2012.
  2. ^ a b c Glistrup 2002, p. 14.
  3. ^ a b Ellis 1973, p. 20.
  4. ^ a b c d Glistrup 2002, p. 15.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Glistrup 2002, p. 16.
  6. ^ "Cao Wenxuan wins 'Nobel Prize' of children's books". The Telegraph. Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  7. ^ "Mahy wins "Little Nobel."". New Zealand Books. 16: 2. June 2006. ISSN 1170-9103 – via EBSCO.
  8. ^ Latrobe, Kathy (2001). "Childern's [sic] Literature: International Perspectives". World Literature Today. 75 (3/4): 98–102. doi:10.2307/40156756. ISSN 0196-3570.
  9. ^ Glistrup 2002, p. 21.
  10. ^ Glistrup 2002, p. 17.
  11. ^ "Hans Christian Award jury members". Glistrup, ed., pp. 119–24. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
  12. ^ Tomlinson, Carl M. (2003). "The International Children's Literature Movement". World Literature Today. 77 (1): 68–70. doi:10.2307/40157788. ISSN 0196-3570.
  13. ^ a b Glistrup 2002, p. 19.
  14. ^ Kantor, Emma (9 December 2020). "Candidates for the 2022 Hans Christian Andersen Awards Announced". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 24 February 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. ^ a b "Hans Christian Andersen Award". International Board on Books for Young People. Retrieved 24 February 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. ^ "Murail, Lee win 2022 Hans Christian Andersen Award". Books+Publishing. 22 March 2022. Retrieved 24 March 2022.
  17. ^ "Murail, Lee win 2022 Hans Christian Andersen Award". Books+Publishing. 22 March 2022. Retrieved 24 March 2022.
  18. ^ Glistrup 2002, p. 20.


External linksEdit