Klaus Flugge Prize 2023 – Shortlist Announced!

22 May, 2023

The shortlist for the Klaus Flugge Prize 2023 was announced at a live event at Waterstones Piccadilly on Wednesday 17th May. The Klaus Flugge Prize celebrates the most promising and exciting newcomers to picture book illustration and is awarded each September to the illustrator of the year’s outstanding debut picture book. Established in 2016, the award honours Klaus Flugge, founder of Andersen Press and one of the most influential figures in children’s picture books.

This year’s eclectic longlist of 15 debut picture books was whittled down to five by a judging panel made up of illustrators, past winners and children’s book experts.

Commenting on the shortlist, chair of judges Julia Eccleshare said, “From a very strong longlist, our judges have selected a shortlist that celebrates community, creativity and adventure. Here are books that are sophisticated, playful, serious. The five illustrators are technically accomplished but bring a freshness which is very exciting. At a time when it is particularly hard for new talent to break through, we are grateful to Klaus Flugge for his generosity in sponsoring the Prize and for his lifelong support for authors and illustrators.”

Congratulations to all the shortlisted illustrators!

Cover images for the five titles shortlisted for the Klaus Flugge prize 2023

The 2023 Klaus Flugge Prize shortlist:

Lost in the City by Alice Courtley (Orchard Books). Judges’ comments: The judges admire Alice Courtley’s control of the story, and her use of composition and colour. They praise the consistency of the lively world she creates.

Mildred the Gallery Cat by Jono Ganz (Tate). Judges’ comments: The judges love the exuberance of the story and its joyous, playful communicativeness. The design skilfully maintains a balance between control and chaos.

Flooded by Mariajo Ilustrajo (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books). Judges’ comments: This is an important story, cleverly told and beautifully drawn… full of little details that allow children to explore its world, even if they can’t yet read the story.

Saving the Butterfly illustrated by Gill Smith, written by Helen Cooper (Walker Books). Judges’ comments: This is a special book… Smith handles a difficult subject really well. The illustrations are atmospheric and expressive, and we connect with the characters.

The Baker by the Sea by Paula White (Templar Books). Judges’ comments: The judges admire the lyrical depiction of the landscape, the strong sense of place and the rolling tempo: ‘It works magic’.

Find further resources to help explore the shortlist here.

The winner will be announced on Wednesday 13th September 2023 and will receive a cheque for £5,000. Watch out for our winner announcement.

For more children’s book awards, click here.

Logo for Klaus Flugge Prize