Argentine Illustrator Receives World’s Biggest International Children’s and Young Adult Literature Prize

In March 2013, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award was announced as having gone to the Argentine illustrator Isol.

2013 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award recipient, Isol

2013 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award recipient, Isol

From May 20 thru 27 Isol, née Marisol Misenta, embarks on Award Week: A week-long celebration which includes lectures, workshops, readings and more. The week culminates with the Award Ceremony, in which Isol will receive the prestigious award from none other than Swedish Crown Princess Victoria.

Isol has collaborated with Argentinian poet Jorge Luján for over ten years. Their first collaboration was Equis y Zeta (X and Z), which first appeared in 2000. Here is what he had to say about collaborating with Isol and her recognition with this award:

Photo: Lorena Alcaráz

“The German playwright and poet Bertold Brecht wrote that the first duty of theater is to entertain. I think that under Isol’s aesthetics lies a similar saying: Forbidden to bore! On that basis she builds the rest: sharp themes and treatments, technical invention, unforgettable characters and atmospheres. And something very unusual in picture books: Isol has an enormous capacity to make visible the psychology of the characters. They don’t look all alike, each one has its own personality, intentions, particular moods.

The first book by Isol that arrived to my hand was Cosas que pasan. To read it was a fiesta! Impressed by its humor and freshness I sent to her an envelope containing texts of the comic Equis y Zeta (based on the sayings of my son and daughter when they were kids) and a selection of my poems. I asked her if she would like to illustrate them and her enthusiastic answer was the beginning of a long friendship and the start of a creative collaboration in which her talent has been has been reveald to me: a mixture of reflexion and emotion, intelligence and intuition. Since then, we have published six books as co-authors and we enjoy meeting frequently to talk about our projects with respect, warmness and complete sincerity…”

Read the entire commentary here.

Let’s celebrate Isol receiving the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and let’s price reading as a playful as well as a transforming experience. ~ Jorge Luján

About the ALMA

The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) is the world’s largest award for children’s and young adult literature. The award, which amounts to SEK 5 million*, is given annually to a single recipient or to several. Authors, illustrators, oral storytellers and those active in reading promotion may be rewarded. The award is designed to promote interest in children’s and young adult literature and to strengthen children’s rights globally. An expert jury selects the winners from candidates nominated by institutions and organisations worldwide. The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award was founded by the Swedish government in 2002 and is administrated by the Swedish Arts Council.

*Approximately USD $766,000.00

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