IBBY Australia Inc is thrilled to announce that Australian nominees for the 2016 Hans Christian Andersen Awards are: URSULA DUBOSARSKY (WRITER) and BRONWYN BANCROFT (ILLUSTRATOR). Both are esteemed creators with international profiles. IBBY announced the names of 28 writers and 29 illustrators from 34 countries nominated for these prestigious awards on 30 March at the Bologna International Children’s Book Fair.

Dubosarsky Ursula C (photo credit Vicki Skarratt 2011)
Photo credit Vicki Skarratt 2011

Ursula Dubosarsky (1961-) was born into a family of writers in Sydney where she graduated from Sydney University in 1982. After travel and a year on a kibbutz in Israel, she returned to Australia and published her first picture book for children, Maisie and the Pinny Gig in 1989. Then came a succession of novels for older children including The First Book of Samuel (1995), for which she wrote a sequel, Theodora’s Gift (2005). Other novels range from the fantasy of The Game of the Goose (2000) to the experimental surrealistic work Abyssinia (2001); and the historical young adult fiction of The Red Shoe (2006) and The Golden Day (2011). Dubosarsky has also produced a great range of illustrated books in collaboration with several distinguished Australian illustrators.

Over a 25-year period of continued publication, she has won nine national literary prizes, including five New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards, more than any other writer in the Awards’ history. Her books have been frequently shortlisted and Honour Books in the Children’s Book Council of Australia awards, winning the Book of the Year Award in 2011 for The Return of the Word Spy. In 2013 she was inducted into the Speech Pathology Australia Hall of Fame for services to children’s speech and literacy. Her international profile is impressive – many of her works have been published in the UK and the USA, and have also been translated into several European languages and also into Korean, Chinese, Japanese and Hebrew. She has been nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2013, 2014 and 2015. International honours include: IBBY Honour Book List 2014 and a Luchs (Lynx) Award for Children’ Literature for The Golden Day; a YALSA Excellence in Non-fiction for Young Adults Nomination 2010 for The Word Snoop; inclusion in the International Youth Library (IYL) White Ravens International Catalogue 2007 for The Red Shoe and 1996 for The First Book of Samuel. Among recent notable achievements: Too Many Elephants in the House! was chosen for Australia’s National Simultaneous Storytime in May 2014; The Red Shoe was selected for the Copyright Agency’s Reading Australia program; and a commission to create a story for national retailer David Jones’s 2014 iconic Christmas window display. Three of her books have also been adapted for theatre: The Red Shoe; The Terrible Plop and Too Many Elephants in This House!. She is one of Australia’s foremost writers for young people.

Bronwyn Bancroft
Bronwyn Bancroft

Bronwyn Bancroft (1958–) is an acclaimed Aboriginal artist. She is a descendant of the Djanbun clan of the Bundjalung nation. Born in Tenterfield, New South Wales, and trained in Canberra and Sydney, Bancroft has worked as a fashion designer, artist, book illustrator, and arts administrator throughout a long and very industrious career. Her diverse artistic practice includes public art commissions, imagery design for private commission, and both authoring and illustrating children’s books. Bancroft began illustrating children’s books in 1993, with artwork for Diana Kidd’s The Fat and Juicy Place which was shortlisted for the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Book of the Year and won the Australian Multicultural Children’s Book Award. She illustrated the third edition of Stradbroke Dreamtime (1993, 1972) by Indigenous activist and writer Oodgeroo Noonuccal. Bancroft has since contributed artwork for over 20 children’s books, including some by prominent Australian writer and artist Sally Morgan, whom she regards as a mentor and friend. These include Dan’s Grandpa (1996), Sam’s Bush Journey (2009) and The Amazing A–Z (2014). Bancroft has also created a number of children’s books in her own right, including An Australian 1 2 3 of Animals and An Australian ABC of Animals. Her art has also appeared in the publications of a number of other individuals and organisations, including as cover art for books. Bronwyn illustrated Diane Wolkstein’s adaptation Sun Mother Wakes the World: An Australian Creation Story (2004) published by HarperCollins New York, and named in the New York Public Library’s annual list Children’s Books 2004–100 Titles for Reading & Sharing. Her latest work is a collaboration with her son Jack Manning Bancroft The Eagle Inside (2015). In 1994 she was the Australian candidate for the UNICEF Ezra Jack Keats International Award for Excellence in Children’s Book Illustration. In 2009 Bancroft received the Dromkeen Medal for her contribution to children’s literature. Bronwyn Bancroft’s artistic contributions have been extraordinarily diverse and highly influential.

The winners of these awards will be announced at Bologna in 2016 and presented at the IBBY Congress in Auckland, in August that year.

For further details contact:

Dr Robyn Sheahan-Bright (Chair HCA Australia Sub-Committee)
IBBY Australia Inc c/- PO Box 329 Beecroft NSW 2119


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