Libros del Zorro Rojo
Spain - Argentina - Mexico
Text and illustrations by Issa Watanabe

What the jury said:
Watanabe’s unique stylistic approach has produced a new narrative expressed entirely through images of extraordinary tenderness and depth. The work offers a profound poetic lesson, with confidence and simplicity navigating the journey of loss in its various stages, from complete disorientation to the possibility of rebirth. Delving into darkness and the sea’s depths, the book celebrates our remarkable ability to recover and heal after any catastrophe. The Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold, referenced in the title, along with Emily Dickinson’s verses subtly included on the inside back cover, unite to celebrate the transformative power of healing. The book pays masterful tribute to its theme, its imagery communicating that survival is always possible: we can move through darkness, find new paths and beginnings, and from what remains, reconstruct a new life in a new form.


¡Gracias, Madre Tierra! (Thank You, Mother Earth!)

AKIARA books
Iroquois Oral Tradition
Illustrations by Vanina Starkoff

What the jury said:
A profound poem of gratitude from the Iroquois tradition of Indigenous peoples in the region covered today by Canada and the United States, this remarkable, leporello format book creates a physical space for communal reading through Vanina Starkov’s lush, mural-painting-inspired illustrations. Lyrical compositions offer up a comprehensive inventory of nature, from people to Mother Earth, water, fish, plants, and more, featuring the original language’s nomenclature for these elements. The work’s musicality transforms it into a song, a prayer, a celebration of the beauty of all living beings, not to mention a brilliant tribute to their interdependence. As a literary piece, it embodies pure ecological and spiritual wisdom, gratitude, and scientific and cosmic awareness. More precious and enlightening than ever in modern illustrated book form, the book presents a magnificent invitation to cultivate new harmony with the planet.


Já, chobotnice (Me, Octopus)

Czech Republic
Text and illustrations by Magdalena Rutová

What the jury said:
The octopus narrator of this exceptional large-format book, celebrated for its superb illustrations, graphics, and text, showcases a distinctly literary voice. The (female) octopus’s urge to write is matched by a keen sense of humour and a strong desire to comprehend the world and its paradoxes. She is particularly interested in the human world, which she initially explores through objects that she finds on the sea floor, before embarking on an adventurous journey into the terrestrial realm. As an avid reader and astute observer, the protagonist ponders the enigmatic laws linking prey and predator, objects of love and waste, the mundane and the poetic, land and sea, and the human and cosmic. She undertakes her exploration with sharp intelligence and tentacular curiosity, offering readers a series of experiences and visions that invite us to reflect on human complexity.