Children's author Nadia Wheatley
Children’s author Nadia Wheatley

IBBY Australia Inc is proud to announce its nominations for the prestigious biennial Hans Christian Andersen Awards for writing and illustration in 2014 – Ron Brooks for Illustration and Nadia Wheatley for Writing.

The HCA Award is the highest international recognition given to a living author and illustrator whose complete works have made a lasting contribution to children’s literature. It honours the achievements of creators nominated by the over seventy national sections of the International Board on Books for Young People. The Award for Writing has been presented since 1956 and the Illustrator’s Award since 1966. Australia has made a number of past nominations and in 1986 was recipient of both awards – Patricia Wrightson for Writing and Robert Ingpen for Illustration.

Children's illustrator Ron Brooks
Children’s illustrator Ron Brooks

On the 25th March at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, IBBY announced that 60 nominations had been received from its member sections for the 2014 HCA awards. The international jury members will now start assessing the nominations and IBBY will announce the winners at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in March 2014.

The Award, which consists of a gold medal and a diploma, will be presented at a festive ceremony during the biennial IBBY Congress which will be held in Mexico City in 2014. Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark is the Patron of the Awards. Since 2009, Nami Island Inc. from the Republic of Korea has been the generous sponsor of the Andersen Awards.
Australia’s 2014 nominees are well-known both in Australia and in international children’s publishing:

Ron Brooks is an artist who works across a range of disciplines, including painting, sculpture, printmaking and illustration. In the forty years he has been making children’s books he has won many awards, including the Children’s Book Council of Australia Picture Book of the Year Award (three times), and is published in many languages around the world. Two of his earlier books, The Bunyip of Berkeley’s Creek (1973) and John Brown, Rose and the Midnight Cat (1977), both written by Jenny Wagner, are widely recognized as the books that introduced Australian picture books onto the world scene. Three of his more recently acclaimed books are Old Pig (1995), Fox (2000), and The Dream of the Thylacine (2011), all written by Margaret Wild and published by Allen & Unwin. His memoir Drawn from the Heart, published by Allen & Unwin (2010), explores both the joy and pain of the creative process. More recently, The Coat, written by Julie Hunt, was published by Allen & Unwin (2012), and Margaret Wild’s On the Day You Were Born will be published by Allen & Unwin in 2013. He lives in the Huon Valley, in Tasmania.

Nadia Wheatley writes for both adults and young people. Her award-winning books cover the genres of fiction, history, biography and picture books, and reflect her commitment to social justice. Nadia’s first book, Five Times Dizzy, was often described as the first multicultural children’s book in this country. With Donna Rawlins she created one of the most enduring classics in our literature – the multigenerational picture book My Place (1987). Her novels for teenagers have been equally influential with The House That was Eureka (1985) (being re-released this year as a Text Classic), The Blooding (1987), and Vigil (2000) each published by Penguin. During the period 1998-2001 Nadia Wheatley and artist Ken Searle worked as consultants at the school at Papunya (an Aboriginal community in the Western Desert, Northern Territory). As part of their work, they helped forty Indigenous staff and students produce the multi-award-winning Papunya School Book of Country and History (Allen & Unwin). In 2005 Nadia Wheatley and Ken Searle developed an innovative Harmony project with children from Muslim, Catholic and state schools in Sydney’s south-west. Examples of the students’ writing and art are included in the picture book Going Bush (Allen & Unwin), which is illustrated and designed by Ken and has a narrative text by Nadia. Her vast children’s history Australians All (Allen & Unwin) is due for release shortly. She resides in NSW.
For further information contact: Dr Robyn Sheahan-Bright, Chair, HCA Sub-Committee of the IBBY Australia Inc Committee

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