Art as Words and Pictures: 2016 CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Winners Revealed
A whoop of proud joy reverberated around our shops today as Waterstones Children’s Laureate (and all round good egg!) Chris Riddell bagged the prestigious Kate Greenaway award for his outstanding illustrative work for Neil Gaiman’s The Sleeper and the Spindle. As part of the same celebration, Sarah Crossan’s poignant verse novel One claimed the equally-important Carnegie for this year.
Incredibly, this is Riddell’s third Kate Greenaway win and the first reigning Children's Laureate to win either Medal. The much-loved Goth Girl illustrator said he was ‘honoured and humbled’ by his win for this irreverent and dark retelling of the classic Sleeping Beauty fairy tale. ‘Neil’s got a great turn of phrase,’ commented Riddell. ‘That sounds simplistic but his prose resonates and that is something that I respond to as an illustrator.’
Sarah Crossan has been shortlisted twice before and is a passionate advocate for the power of verse, stating that ‘Poetry belongs to everyone, it doesn't necessarily belong in the classroom or university nor in the bookshop ghetto next to Eighteenth Century literary criticism.’ Sioned Jacques, Chair of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals judging panel for 2016, found One ‘…poignant and thought-provoking, each chapter a work of art… The judges found it deeply moving, beautifully observed, unusual but perfectly crafted – the sort of book that will stay with the reader long after the final page.’
Both awards are unique in that they are judged solely by librarians, prompting both authors to rally to the defence of the service. Riddell was moved to state that librarians ‘…love turning children into readers by teaching them one of the most important life skills you can acquire, which is reading for pleasure.’