Hans Christian Andersen Award

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Hans Christian Andersen Award
A golden medallion with an embossed image featuring a bust of Andersen.
Awarded forOutstanding and lasting contribution to children's literature
Presented byInternational Board on Books for Young People
First awarded1956; 64 years ago (1956)

The Hans Christian Andersen Awards are two literary awards by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), recognising one living author and one living illustrator for their "lasting contribution to children's literature".[1] The writing award was inaugurated in 1956, the illustration award in 1966. The former is sometimes called the "Nobel Prize for children's literature".

The awards are named after Hans Christian Andersen, the 19th-century Danish author of fairy tales, and each winner receives the Hans Christian Andersen Medaille, a gold medal with the bust of Andersen (see image). Medals are presented at the biennial IBBY Congress. The Patron of the Andersen Awards is Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and the awards are sponsored by Nami Island Inc.


National Sections of IBBY may nominate one author and one illustrator each and the Hans Christian Andersen Award Jury considers only those nominees. National Sections also nominate the ten distinguished, international Jury Members plus the Jury President. The shortlist of nominees is presented in January and the award winners are announced at the annual Bologna Children's Book Fair, in March or April.

The selection criteria include the aesthetic and literary qualities of writing and illustrating as well as the ability to see things from the child's point of view and the ability to stretch the child's curiosity and imagination. The complete works of the author and of the illustrator will be taken into consideration.


See also "Hans Christian Andersen Award Winners 1956–2018"[2]

The 2020 winners are Jacqueline Woodson (USA) for writing and Albertine (Switzerland) for illustration.[3] The runners-up are:

Year Writing Illustration
Winner Country Winner Country
1956 Eleanor Farjeon  United Kingdom
1958 Astrid Lindgren  Sweden
1960 Erich Kästner  Germany
1962 Meindert DeJong  USA
1964 René Guillot  France
1966 Tove Jansson  Finland Alois Carigiet   Switzerland
1968 James Krüss  Germany Jiří Trnka  Czechoslovakia
José Maria Sanchez-Silva  Spain
1970 Gianni Rodari  Italy Maurice Sendak  USA
1972 Scott O'Dell  USA Ib Spang Olsen  Denmark
1974 Maria Gripe  Sweden Farshid Mesghali  Iran
1976 Cecil Bødker  Denmark Tatjana Mawrina  Soviet Union
1978 Paula Fox  USA Svend Otto S.  Denmark
1980 Bohumil Říha  Czechoslovakia Suekichi Akaba  Japan
1982 Lygia Bojunga Nunes  Brazil Zbigniew Rychlicki  Poland
1984 Christine Nöstlinger  Austria Mitsumasa Anno  Japan
1986 Patricia Wrightson  Australia Robert Ingpen  Australia
1988 Annie M. G. Schmidt  Netherlands Dusan Kállay  Czechoslovakia
1990 Tormod Haugen  Norway Lisbeth Zwerger  Austria
1992 Virginia Hamilton  USA Květa Pacovská  Czechoslovakia[a]
1994 Michio Mado  Japan Jörg Müller   Switzerland
1996 Uri Orlev  Israel Klaus Ensikat  Germany
1998 Katherine Paterson  USA Tomi Ungerer  France
2000 Ana Maria Machado  Brazil Anthony Browne  United Kingdom
2002 Aidan Chambers  United Kingdom Quentin Blake  United Kingdom
2004 Martin Waddell  Ireland Max Velthuijs  Netherlands
2006 Margaret Mahy  New Zealand Wolf Erlbruch  Germany
2008 Jürg Schubiger   Switzerland Roberto Innocenti  Italy
2010 David Almond  United Kingdom Jutta Bauer  Germany
2012 María Teresa Andruetto  Argentina Peter Sís  Czech Republic[b]
2014 Nahoko Uehashi  Japan Roger Mello  Brazil
2016 Cao Wenxuan  China Rotraut Susanne Berner  Germany
2018 Eiko Kadono  Japan Igor Oleynikov  Russia
2020 Jacqueline Woodson  USA Albertine   Switzerland

Jury Presidents[edit]

Jella Lepman established the International Youth Library in Munich in 1949 and organised the 1952 conference "International Understanding through Children's Books" that led to the establishment of IBBY in Zurich in 1953. She served as Jury President for the first three Andersen Awards, 1956 to 1960, and remained on the jury until her death in 1970, as the President of IBBY and then as its honorary president. Current four-year terms cover two award cycles.[5]

  • Jella Lepman 1956-60 (Switzerland)
  • José-Miguel de Azaola 1960-70 (Spain)
  • Virginia Haviland 1970-74 (USA)
  • Lucia Binder 1974-78 (Austria)
  • Dusan Roll 1978-82 (Czecho-Slovakia)
  • Patricia Crampton 1982-86 (UK)
  • Ana Maria Machado 1986-90 (Brazil)
  • Eva Glistrup 1990-94 (Denmark)
  • Peter Schneck 1994-98 (Austria)
  • Jay Heale 1998-2002 (South-Africa)
  • Jeffrey Garrett 2002-06 (USA)
  • Zohreh Ghaeni 2006-10 (Iran)
  • María Jesús Gil Iglesia 2010-14 (Spain)
  • Patricia Aldana 2014-18 (Canada)
  • Junko Yokota 2020-22 (USA)[6]

Machado subsequently won the Writing Award.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Pacovská received the award one year before Czechoslovakia dissolved into its constituent states.
  2. ^ Sis was nominated by the extant Czech Republic. He was born in the former Czechoslovakia and educated there in Applied Arts. He has been a U.S. citizen from 1982.


  1. ^ "Hans Christian Andersen Awards". International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY). Retrieved 2012-08-20.
  2. ^ "Hans Christian Andersen Award Winners 1956–2018". Bookbird: A Journal of International Children's Literature. 57 (4): 19–19. 2019. doi:10.1353/bkb.2019.0069. ISSN 1918-6983.
  3. ^ "2020 HCAA Winners". International Board on Books for Young People. 4 May 2020. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  4. ^ "2020 HCAA Winners". International Board on Books for Young People. 4 May 2020. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  5. ^ "Hans Christian Award jury members". Glistrup, ed., pp. 119–24. Retrieved 2013-07-12.
  6. ^ "Hans Christian Andersen Awards: IBBY official website". www.ibby.org. Retrieved 2 January 2020.

External links[edit]