Klaus Flugge Prize Giving 2021
The Klaus Flugge prize giving 2021 was held at The Courtyard Centre for Literacy in Primary Education. It was an utter delight to be back in London for the first time in 2 years, and feel the buzz of the big city. I had not realised how much I had missed it until walking into Waterloo station.
The venue was a short walk away, and when I arrived at the Courtyard Centre, it was a beautiful room, full to the brim with children’s books with stunning illustrations adorning the walls and bookshelves. I honestly could have stayed for weeks, just to look through them all. It was wonderful to be mingling at a social gathering and chatting to fellow illustrators.
The proceedings began with an introduction to the prize from Klaus Flugge himself. It was inspiring to hear him talk with such passion about the world of children’s books and in particular, illustration. Why he set up the prize, and what opportunities it has given to shortlisted and winning illustrators over the past six years. Being an illustrator myself, it made me realise how important it is to have people like Klaus championing artists, and giving them a platform to have their work recognised.
Following Klaus, the super talented Posy Simmonds spoke. She was also a judge on this year’s panel, and told us all a little about the five shortlisted books, ‘Gustavo the Shy Ghost’ by Flavia Z Drago, ‘I’m Sticking with You’ by Smriti Halls, illustrated by Steve Small, ‘While You’re Sleeping’ by Mick Jackson , illustrated by John Broadley, ‘My Red Hat’ by Rachel Stubbs and ‘Child of Galaxies’ by Blake Nuto, illustrated by Charlotte Ager. Posy explained what the judges had liked about each of them, including what a difficult choice choosing the shortlist , and then a winner had been.
Flavia Z Drago was then announced as the winner of the 2021 Klaus Flugge prize 2021 for her debut picture book ‘Gustavo the Sky Ghost.’ Flavia gave an emotional and heartfelt speech, explaining the journey she had been on to make ‘Gustavo the Shy Ghost.’ She was so appreciative of the prize, as well as all the support she had received from her publishers and publishing team at Walker Books. She told us about her love of monsters and that ‘Day of the Dead’ festival is her favourite day in Mexico, and how that had influenced the story and colour palette she had used to create her book.
Being at the prize giving was a really inspiring experience, which has made me more determined to create my own picture books. It was wonderful being surrounded by books and creatives all evening, and I hope to return again next year.