This prestigious award recognises the most exciting newcomer to picture book illustration and was founded to honour publisher Klaus Flugge. Klaus is an influential figure in children’s publishing. He set up Andersen Press in the 1970s and went on to publish many of today’s most distinguished illustrators, including David McKee and Tony Ross.Judge and current Children’s Laureate Lauren Child says:
“The questions My Name is Not Refugee asks us to consider help us to think ourselves into someone else’s shoes. And the illustrations do just what they should, allowing the reader time to contemplate the predicament of the storybook child, a chance to imagine and to empathise.”
What marvellous praise! My Name is Not Refugee is such a touching, timely and tender book that explores the ideas of refuge and migration for the youngest of readers. Kate was inspired by her daughter who works in a school, and had said that the children in her class were asking her about the refugee crisis. They didn’t understand what was being discussed in the news and she had nothing to show them or help explain, so Kate asked herself if there was anything she could do – and the book was born.
Here’s a look inside:
“I felt absolutely amazed and delighted when I heard that I’d won. I was very, very pleased to be shortlisted but I explained to everyone at the time that there was absolutely no chance of me winning. I was quite clear about this. When I got the good news I was alone in the house apart from my son who was still asleep. I was beside myself with delight; he didn’t get to stay asleep long.
I have done all sorts of things in my working life. I have painted pub signs and made prints; been a teacher and a carer. I have always made images and thought up stories, but it was a job at the local library that changed everything for me: I fell in love with children’s books. Part of my job was to read to groups of pre-school children at Rhyme Time, which was an excellent way of discovering which books kept their attention, indeed which books kept my attention. Despite my great age, I am, in many ways, about eight years old, and I still love to draw and make up stories. Becoming part of the world of children’s book feels like coming home.”
You can view the incredible shortlist here.
Congratulations Kate and three cheers for My Name is Not Refugee!