Awards and HonoursAwards and Honours

IBBY UK is involved in the administration of the UK's nominations for five major awards relating to writing and illustration for children and young people – the Children's Laureate; the Hans Christian Andersen Awards; the Biennial of Illustration Bratislava (BIB)the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and the IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award and   as well as the nomination of an outstanding author, illustrator and translator for the biennial IBBY Honour List.

Children's Laureate

Chris Riddell, Children's Laureate 2016IBBY UK is represented on the Children's Laureate Steering Group and is also one of the organisations whose members are involved in the nomination process for the new Laureate, which takes place every two years.

Chris Riddell was announced as the Laureate for 2015 - 2017.


Hans Christian Andersen Awards

The Hans Christian Andersen Awards are the most prestigious international awards for writing and illustrating for children. They are awarded every two years by IBBY internationally and they are for the whole body of a writer or illustrator’s work rather than any particular book. The winners of the 2016 Awards are author Cao Wenxuan from China and illustrator Rotraut Susanne Berner from Germany. Previous UK winners of the award are authors Eleanor Farjeon (1956), Aidan Chambers (2002) and David Almond (2010); and illustrators Anthony Browne (2000) and Quentin Blake (2002).

The recipients of the Awards are decided by an international jury from nominations made by the IBBY national sections. 

IBBY UK's nominations for 2018 are Jane Ray and Melvin Burgess.


The Biennial of Illustration Bratislava (BIB)

The Biennial of Illustration Bratislava (BIB) is one of the oldest international honours for children's book illustrators. First granted in 1967 to Yasuo Segawa (Japan), it is one of the more prestigious children's book awards today, along with Hans Christian Andersen Award. Artists are selected by an international jury, and their original artwork is exhibited in Bratislava, Slovakia. From the very beginning BIB has been held under the auspices of UNESCO and the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) and with the support of the Ministry of Culture, Slovakia. There are eleven awards and a grand prize for unique and outstanding illustration.

  • 1 Grand Prix
  • 5 Golden Apples
  • 5 Plaques
  • 1 Honorary Mention Certificate to Publisher

British illustrator Laura Carlin was announced as winner of the Grand Prix on 4 September 2015. Laura Carlin is the first British illustrator to be awarded the prize since John Rowe won in 1995.

Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award

Astrid LindgrenThe Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award is the world's largest award for children's and young adult literature. The award amounts to SEK 5 million (almost £480,000) and is given annually to a single laureate or to several, with the winner announced in March each year. Authors, illustrators, oral storytellers and reading promoters are eligible for the award, which is designed to promote interest in children's and young adult literature.

The first Award was made to Maurice Sendak in 2003 and the only British person to receive the Award to date is Phillip Pullman.

IBBY UK members are invited annually to nominate a candidate to be considered by the international jury. Nominations open in May each year and IBBY UK members will be consulted about this.

IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award

Abuelas Cuentacuentos

The IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award was established in 1986 during the IBBY Congress in Tokyo. The Asahi Shimbun newspaper company sponsors the Award. It is given biennially to two groups or institutions whose outstanding activities are judged to be making a lasting contribution to reading promotion programmes for children and young people.

IBBY Honour List

Honour List 2012

The IBBY Honour List is a biennial selection of outstanding, recently published books, honouring writers, illustrators and translators from IBBY member countries. The IBBY Honour List, established in 1956, is one of the most widespread and effective ways of furthering IBBY's objective of encouraging international understanding through children's literature. Seven parallel sets of the books circulate around the world at exhibitions during conferences and book fairs, including the Bologna Book Fair in 2017. Permanent collections of the IBBY Honour List books are kept at the International Youth Library in Munich, the Swiss Institute for Child and Youth Media in Zurich, Bibiana Research Collection in Bratislava, at IBBY in Tokyo and Northwestern University Library at Evanston, Illinois. A book catalogue is produced and translated into different languages.

The Marsh Children's Literature in Translation Award

The Marsh Children's Literature in Translation Award recognises the important role that translators play in opening up the world of literature to young readers. The award was founded to celebrate the best translation of a children's book from a foreign language into English and aims to identify the high quality and diversity of translated fiction available. The winning translator is awarded £3000.

The shortlist will be announced on 20 October at 2pm - you can buy tickets to the event here which will also feature a panel discussion on the theme of Diverse Voices.

This year, schools are invited to join the new shadowing scheme, the English-Speaking Union’s My Marsh competition, which celebrates the best of children’s literature in translation. Pre-registration is now open and you can find out how to get involved here. The  competition will open on October 20 and schools will have until the closing date of December 2016.

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