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Sydney Smith wins prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award

Sydney Smith

Sydney Smith (Steve Farmer)

Sydney Smith has won the 2024 Hans Christian Andersen Award for illustration.

The award is given every year by the International Board of Books for Young People (IBBY) to “an author and an illustrator whose complete works have made an important, lasting contribution to children’s literature.” The winners were announced on April 8 at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair.

The five titles Smith was considered for were:

“The saying “less is more” can also be applied to every one of his works as he strips away the superfluous to express emotions. Smith is a truly universal artist,” the jury noted in the press release.

Smith is the first Canadian to win the prize. Isabelle Arsenault, Brian Doyle, and Elizabeth Cleaver have all been previously shortlisted.

Heinz Janisch from Austria won the 2024 prize for writing.

The medal will be presented at the IBBY Congress, August 30–September 1 in Trieste, Italy.