FICTION 2023

WINNER

Todo lo que pasó antes de que llegaras
(Everything That Happened Before You Arrived)

Text and illustrations by Yael Frankel
Limonero, Argentina, 2022

What the jury said:

With minimalist pencil and charcoal child-like drawings, restraint of form and colour and the use of orange and blue patterns, written and drawn from the perspective of a little boy waiting for a new sibling, this is a beautifully crafted book. The young narrator addresses the unborn baby with stories, thoughts and meaningful recollections, delightfully capturing everyday family life moments in time with a gentle humour, care and grace which adds to its quiet strength and authenticity.  Every double spread is an enchanting method of expressing the universal within the personal, describing how families cope with change, before a new baby arrives.

SPECIAL MENTION

噔噔噔 (Thump! Thump! Thump!)

Text by Yu Yi
Illustrations by Wang Zumin
21st Century Publishing Group, China, 2022

What the jury said:

This is a strange and humorous book with strong cover art and painterly illustrations. Told through a host of colourful animals bursting with character and personality and a good sense of absurd, Thump! Thump! Thump! (knock knock knock) is a book about neighborliness, friendship, preconceptions and communication, with a mischievous plot twist. It has a simple storyline based on the structure of the traditional children’s game where a message is whispered from one to another until it has been shared to everyone in the group. While the page layout is classical, the style of the illustration evokes the Art Brut movement. The artist makes good use of space and colour on each page, creating strong individual portraits, and everyone gets the opportunity to be the hero of the story, starting from the lady hens, the new neighbor.

SPECIAL MENTION

Spinne spielt Klavier (Spider Plays Piano)

Text and illustrations by Benjamin Gottwald
Carlsen Verlag GmbH, Germany, 2022

What the jury said:

How many sounds can a picture suggest? This is a noisy silent book that invites the reader to read it aloud and explore sounds for over 100 double spreads. Using images from our immediate surroundings, Spider Plays Piano encourages a playful resounding reading experience. A perfect read-together book in a bold cartoon style, the rhythm and energy of the illustrations encourage a rapid interactive response. This is a book that you can sing, or clap, or scream, or whisper. Each time it is read the contribution from the reader creates a new composition. A book demonstrating the visual experience of sound where synesthesia turns into a playful multi sensual reading experience.

 

SPECIAL MENTION

이사가 (Moving Away)

Text and illustrations by Ji Yeon Lee
Illustrations by Régis Lejonc
NCSOFT Corporation, South Korea, 2022

What the jury said:

Nothing is too small to turn your gaze on it: in a world full of things this book is an invitation to pay attention to the tiny ones. This exquisitely designed leporello, executed on high quality white paper, accompanied by a precious box cover, drawn only in two colours: orange sign for the whole world and black for the ants, invites the reader to follow a magnified ant trail through the garden where a child is playing. Some pages are empty, some are crowded with ants, the reader is constantly reminded of the opposition between the tiny insects, moving in a consistent, determined way, and the expansion of the book as it unfolds into a whole universe.