The newly-formed USBBY Biennial of Illustration Bratislava (BIB) Nominating Committee selected three children’s book illustrators from the United States to send original picture book art to Bratislava for the 27th Bienále Ilustrácií Bratislava this past October. Brenda Dales, 2018-2019 Chair of the USBBY BIB Nominating Committee, reports here:
Held every other year in Bratislava, Slovakia, the 2019 competition included 539 illustrations from 3,056 children’s books, created by 416 illustrators from 47 countries. Castle Bratislava, overlooking the Danube River, was the remarkable venue for the display of the art. The exhibition was available to the public from October 26, 2019 through January 5, 2020.
The exhibition included the following submissions from the U.S.:
Awards were announced on October 25, 2019. The International Jury chose the following (some titles in English translation):
Soojung Myung (South Korea) The Skirt that Spreads to the End of the
Anton Lomaev (Russia) Lullaby for a Small Pirate,
Wen Dee Tan (Malaysia) Lili, Circus of Monsters
Chengliang Zhu (China) Don’t Let the Sun Fall
Maja Kastelic (Slovenia) Koozi
Chiki Kikuchi (Japan) Letter of the Scarlet Maple Leaves
André Letria (Portugal) War
Anat Warshavski (Israel) The Restaurant at the Edge of the Pole - The
/ At the Evilish Rythm of the Drum
Brazil: Editora pisitivem 2018, Curitiba: Um livro pra gente morar / A Book
where to Live in
Brazil: Companhnia das letrinhas, 2018, Sao Paolo: Asper de tudo / In
Spite of All
United Kingdom: David Fickling Books, 2017, Oxford, Tornhill
The United States indisputably has many children’s book illustrators worthy of international recognition, and the 2019 BIB was significant for sharing stunning picture book art from this country. Regardless of awards, the U.S. illustrators received worldwide recognition, inclusion in the BIB catalog, and additional publicity.
One of the most prestigious world-wide children’s book exhibitions and competitions, the BIB has been promoting children’s book illustration since 1967. The next BIB will be held in Bratislava 2021. All submissions are through IBBY national sections, and the dates for illustrator suggestions to USBBY for consideration for the 2021 completion will be announced later this year.
The 2019 USBBY BIB Nominating Committee would like to thank everyone who suggested illustrators, and of course the final decisions were difficult. Brenda Dales, 2018-2019 Chair of the USBBY BIB Nominating Committee would also like to thank committee members Molly McLoughlin and Ed Sullivan for their astute recommendations and keen eyes for picturebook art. While international submission of original art was at times challenging, there were lessons learned and hopefully the number of entrants for the 2021 competition and exhibition can increase.
The BIB is held under the auspices of the Minister of Culture of the Slovak Republic. Additional information about the BIB, illustrations, and more can be found at http://www.bibiana.sk/en/biennial-illustrations-bratislava
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