In several countries – such as Ukraine, Sweden and Finland – national departments of the organization IBBY, which awards the prize, had called for the illustrator’s resignation in view of the Russian war in Ukraine. “It’s difficult to be internationally active without the acceptance of the Russian government. That’s why, regardless of what it thinks about the war, it becomes a symbol,” said the chair of the Swedish IBBY department, Margaretha Ullstrom the Danish radio. Queen Margrethe II cannot be “part of this conflict,” said the spokeswoman for the royal family.
The prize, which is awarded every two years, is considered one of the most important international awards in children’s and young adult literature. He is named after the Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) and is awarded by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY). Most recently he was at the US author Jacqueline Woodson and the Swiss illustrator Albertine Zullo gone. Past award winners include Astrid Lindgren, Erich Kaestner and Christine Noestlinger. The prize is not endowed, the winners receive a gold medal.