Argentina's Isol wins world's biggest children's book prize

Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:57am EDT
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STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Argentinian author and illustrator Isol won the world's biggest prize for children's literature on Tuesday with the jury for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award praising her ability to expose the absurdities of the adult world to children.

She beat "War Horse" author Michael Morpurgo, the former British Children's Laureate, America's "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" writer Eric Carle, and British fantasy writer Terry Pratchett among others to the annual prize.

The jury for the 5 million Swedish crown ($770,000) prize created by the Swedish government in 2002 said Isol, whose real name is Marisol Misenta, created picture books from the "eye-level of the child".

"Taking the child's clear view of the world as her starting point, she addresses their questions with forceful artistic expressions and offers open answers," the jury said.

"With liberating humor and levity she also deals with the darker aspects of existence."

Isol, who has written and illustrated 10 books of her own as well as other writers' books, was born in 1972 in Buenos Aires and also works as a singer and a composer.

Her first book, "A dog's life", was published in 1997 and her books have now been published in about 20 countries.

Her latest book, "La Bella Griselda", is the story of a princess whose suitors literally lose their heads as a result of their love of her.

Isol told Reuters that she was woken at 6.30 a.m. local time by the prize organizers with news of the award.   Continued...

Argentinian author and illustrator Isol poses in this undated handout picture. REUTERS/Xavier Martin/Handout