BIB Winners!

In the 50th year of the existence of the BIB competition, a British illustrator Laura Carlin was awarded the Grand Prix for the best entry. This is very rewarding considering the UK’s limited participation or absence from the competition for many years. The record number of 12 UK entries this year, is a result of a combined effort by IBBY UK (International Board on Books for Young People) and the International Centre for the Picture Book in Society (University of Worcester) who are the official nominating bodies in the UK.


355 Illustrators from 50 countries entered 2,426 artworks from published books to be considered for the prizes. The prizes are: Grand Prix (Overall winner); 5 Golden Apples; 5 Bronze Plaques and 3 Honorary mentions to publishers and a children’s jury award.

The jury was: (Roger Mello, Hans Christian Andersen Winner (Brazil); Piet Grobler (UK); Anastasia Arkhipova (Russia); Helen Bergendahl (Sweden); Nazan Erkmen (Turkey); Karol Felix (Slovakia); Maria Jesus Gil (Spain); Agnes Gyr (Rwanda); Yukiko Hiromatsu (Japan); Frantisek Skala (Czech Republic); Nina Wehrle (Switzerland).

Here is the full list of winners with comments by the jury:

Grand Prix (Over-all winner)

Laura Carlin (UK) for Iron Man and A world of your own

The Iron Man and A world of your own are two diverse narratives, both created in a confident and highly skilled personal visual language in a variety of media.

Laura Carlin moves with ease, yet with great care between different moods, demonstrating both sensitivity and a sense of humour.

The smallest vignettes as well as double-paged illustrations are composed with care and the pages are paced to perfection. Innovative design-features are always functional, never applied in a flippant or gimmicky manner.

With a sense for detail as well as a clear view of the ‘whole’, these books are brilliant examples of a dialogue between technique and medium and an extensive frame of reference.

5 Golden Apples

Mirocomachiko (Japan) for Yellow and I


Contrasting colours and formats and a whimsical protagonist contribute to creating this generous and cheerful book. It delights the reader with its humorous tone and light and playful touch.

Elena Odriozola (Spain) for Frankenstein


This original and skillfully designed version of Frankenstein introduces a unique image-text relationship that results in the book becoming a theatre of sorts. Silent and static poses are being transformed into dynamic and dramatic moments by an uncanny skill for creating mood and atmosphere.

Xavier Zabala (Spain) for Bird in a cage


A distinct graphic sensibility and strong personal visual language transforms detail from biographical material into a gripping and well-paced tale. The confident technical execution and a nod to cubist – and other masters of twentieth century painting, confirms the status of the picture book as a work of art.

Ronald Curchod (Switzerland) for At night when I sleep


At night when I sleep, is a skillful synthesis of humour, fantasy and ‘silent’ story telling. This surreal, open narrative demonstrates very accomplished technique and a perfect understanding of pace, mood and hybrid-forms.

Bingchun Huang (China) for Braid


The classical medium of etching is being applied to a humorous contemporary picture book. Imaginative detail transforms the mono-toned images and the ordinary domestic subject matter into a lively and poetic tale.

5 Bronze Plaques

Annemarie van Haeringen (The Netherlands) for Snow White knits a monster


This humorous and accessible story demonstrates the author-illustrator’s confident and seemingly effortless use of watercolour and sensitive caricature. The pages of this skillfully composed book brim with enthusiasm and the joy of story telling.

Myung-Ae Lee (South Korea) for Plastic Island

 Myung-ae Lee

Sustainability and environmental concerns are being dealt with sympathetically in a non-didactic manner – executed with great skill in lively, detailed drawings.

Natalia Salienko (Russia) for About one, two, three, four and five


A strong graphic sensibility and an economic use of colouring contribute to a well designed and a sophisticated picture book.  References to visual communication traditions of early 20th century Russia adds a touch of nostalgia and may suggest a range of potential interpretations.

Renate Wacker (Germany) for Mascha and the Bear


Mascha and the Bear is a whimsical contemporary retelling of a traditional folk tale. Bold and confident image making and an economic colouring sensibility add to a humorous and expressive mood.

Levi Pinfold (UK) for Black dog and Greenling


Magic realist and enigmatic story telling full of detail, persuades the reader to revisit each page. Pinfold creates an eerie and enigmatic tale in a setting reminiscent of the outback of the ‘New-Worlds’ in the first half of the twentieth century.

Honorary Mentions

Artforum, (Monika Kompaníková, Slovakia)

This skillfully made book is testament of dedicated and well-considered graphic design with a loyal commitment to the image-text relationship. The choice of paper, sensitive and economical use of colour and perfect binding, all demonstrates integrity and a love of book making.

Dar Onboz Publishing House, Lebanon

Modern and innovative illustrations with references to traditional art are sensitively composed with the typography to create a poetic and lyrical graphic narrative. An excellent use of materials, as well as high print quality contributes to the text‘s dialogue with the book as an object.

Kan Ya Ma Kan, Palestine – Rose Shoumali: The black fish

The bright colours and poetic image making emphasizes the hope that picture books can bring to children. We applaud the fact that the publisher keeps publishing picture books despite limited resources and difficult circumstances.

Children’s jury

Martijn van der Lindnen (The Netherlands) for Jona and the fishes of Kees Poon.

UK and Ireland entrants and judges for BIB, the Biennial of Illustrations Bratislava 2105 announced

The International Centre for the Picture Book in Society based at the University of Worcester and IBBY UK (International Board of Books for Young People) are delighted to announce a collaboration to select UK and Irish illustrators for the Biennial of Illustrations Bratislava (BIB) 2015.

BIB is one of the oldest international honours for children’s book illustrators and one of the more prestigious. Eleven awards are made, including a grand prize for unique and outstanding illustration. The work is displayed in an exhibition in Bratislava from 4 September to 29 October and a catalogue is published. It is an award that is little known in the UK and indeed the last UK winner was John Rowe in 1997.

As part of their shared commitment to diversity and promoting awareness of the international children’s book world, this collaboration is seen by both ICPBS and IBBY UK as a very important step. IBBY Chair, Pam Dix, says, “ I am very keen to increase awareness of the Bratislava award in the UK particularly because of the status it awards to children’s illustration. I look forward to this being an on-going collaboration between the two organisations”.

Each country can enter a maximum of 15 participants who can then submit up to 10 illustrations from up to 2 books. Piet Grobler, Joint Course Leader for Illustration at Worcester, says, “hard choices had to be made but I am delighted and excited by these entries”. Piet, himself an award winner at Bratislava in 2003 and 2009, has just been announced as one of this year’s judges.

The following illustrators and books have been selected for Bratislava 2015:

Angela Barrett The most wonderful thing in the world – Walker

Laura Carlin A world of your own – Phaidon Press

Alexis Deacon Jim’s lion – Walker Books

Jo Empson Rabbityness & Never, Ever – Child’s Play

Olivia Gill Where my wellies take me – Templar

William Grill Shackleton’s journey – Flying Eye Books

Chris Haughton Shh! We have a plan – Walker Books

Emily Hughes  Wild – Flying Eye

Jim Kay A monster calls – Walker Books

Dave McKean Mouse, bird, snake, wolf – Walker Books

Alice Melvin Counting birds – Tate Publishing

Levi Pinfold  Black dog & Greenling – Templar

Yu Rong Smoke – 21st Century Publishing House, Beijing

Salvatore Rubbino A walk in New York & A walk in London – Walker Books

Viviane Schwarz  I am Henry Finch – Walker Books

Further information:

First granted in 1967 to Yasuo Segawa (Japan), BIB is one of the more prestigious children’s book awards today, along with Hans Christian Andersen Award. Artists are selected by central organisations within each country and an international jury decides the award winners. The original artwork is exhibited in Bratislava, Slovakia.

The winner of the Grand Prix BIB receives a financial award of 3.000 USD; the five Golden Apples BIB receive 1.500 USD each; and the five BIB Plaques receive 1.000 USD each.

BIB is sponsored by UNESCO and the Ministry of Culture, Slovakia. The exhibition includes a programme of events, including a seminar for artists from developing countries.

Web information:

Tara Books

Gita Wolf and her son, Arun of the inspiring TARA Books publishers in Chennai, India visited The International Centre for the Picture Book in Society on 26 March 2015. The day started with Gita’s narration of Gobble you up! one of TARA’s most innovative and popular books for young children. The children from Dine’s Green School in Worcester took part in a workshop led by University of Worcester students in Sequential Illustration. During the lunch hour, Gita and Arun presented the work and explained the ethos of TARA to the students during a presentation of their work. Arun’s film on the production and publishing process of TARA was shown during this lunch lecture session and also at the book launch that followed in the HIVE library.

Creation, the latest TARA book written by Gita and illustrated by Bhajju Shyam was introduced to the public during the exhibition Made by Hand, which explains the processes of hand made book production as practiced by TARA. Professor Judith Elkin, Childrens’ Literature specialist who opened the event, pointed out that the work of TARA books is testament of a deep involvement and investment in a society. At the same time, it is a celebration of creativity and of the narrative. The exhibition will run till the end of April 2015 and original screen prints and books will be for sale for the full duration of the exhibition.