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[NEWS]Winners announced for the First KPL Picture Books Sprouting Awards. First illustration award in Taiwan that guarantees publication!


        Kaohsiung Public Library organized the first KPL Picture Books Sprouting Awards to encourage the creation of picture books by local illustrators. The following winners were chosen after rounds of selection: “I want to play mud with grandpa” by Zhang Xiu-yu, “Zoo is scary” by Huang Yi-wen, and “We will get there anyway” by Zhang Xiao-qi. The winners will each receive a prize of 200,000NT and a subsidy of 100,000NT for book purchasing and publication.

        The International Picture Book Center at KPL has over 160,000 volumes of picture books from 43 countries and in 27 different languages. Since its opening, the Center has organized various creative reading activities and hosted many picture book competitions while cultivating talents. To cultivate, train, and promote illustration talents, KPL kicked off the biennial “KPL Picture Books Sprouting Awards” this year with the guarantee of publishing the winning entries. One to three entries will be chosen each time to increase the exposure of works by local illustrators. In addition, a picture book workshop will be organized annually to encourage amateurs who may be interested in becoming an illustrator to take a shot at their dream.

        The KPL Picture Books Sprouting Awards include two categories – Novice and Veteran. Each entry would go through a rigorous initial round before being reviewed again for the final round if advanced. A judge panel consists of professionals and experts in picture book creation and publishing is in charge of reviewing all entries. For the initial round, Tan shu-juan, Chen Yu-jin, Lan Jian-hong, Liao Jian-hong, and Cui Yong-yan chose 20 out of 94 entries that would advance into the final round. Among them, 4 entries were submitted by graduates of the Sprouting Awards Training Class. For the final round, the judge panel is headed by veteran illustrator Xu Su-xia, He Xiang-ru, Zhou jun-sheng, Shi Zheng-ting, and Chen Zhi-yuan. Since this is a theme-free competition, the judge panel had a tough time selecting the winning entries. After rounds of discussions, 3 winning entries were chosen based on their structure, style, and potential for publication.


        “I want to play mud with grandpa” is the newest creation by veteran illustrator Zhang Xiu-yu, who has already published many picture books in the past. Ms. Zhang is well versed in illustration and a story that often features a local theme. Her book "Grandpa's glass shop" has won the Hsin-Yi Children Literature Award in the past. The winning entry focuses on the pottery culture in Taiwan. The main character is an old potter who accidentally injured his limbs and ended up isolating himself since he couldn’t move freely. Nonetheless, the old potter was able to regain his self-confidence with the support and encouragement from his family especially his young granddaughter. It is a story about empathy and local history and culture. 


        Ms. Huang Yi-wen is a bright illustrator who just received the Top Prize of the Human Rights Education Picture Books Project for her work “Train” before receiving the KPL Picture Books Sprouting Awards in the Novice Category for another work titled “Zoo is scary”. Her winning entry is about an adventure to the zoo from a child’s perspective. The story attempts to present a clear contrast between the parents, who have lost their sense of curiosity, and their child, who possesses a sharp sense of observation.

        Ms. Zhang Xiao-qi is a newcomer who has already established quite a reputation as an illustrator. She is known for combining hand-drawn pictures with computer-generated illustrations to create vivid and unique images. In addition to being a nominee of the International Award for Illustration at the 2020 Bologna Children's Book Fair, she also received praise for her work "Waiting for mom", which was published last month. Ms. Zhang's winning entry "We will get there anyway" is about riding a bus all by oneself. Although there were many twists and turns during the journey, one would eventually get to one's destination anyway. Ms. Zhang successfully conveyed her personal philosophy through this picture book.


        According to award recipient Ms. Zhang Xiu-yu, the KPL Picture Books Sprouting Awards is the most attentive picture book competition she has participated in. Few competitions pay attention to the career growth of illustrators. The KPL Picture Books Sprouting Awards is a precious recognition that offers not only a cash prize but also an opportunity to match the winning illustrator with publishers and the picture book market. Ms. Huang Yi-wen and Ms. Zhang Xiao-qi also expect to create more unique and original illustrations in the future after being matched with publishers with the support of the Kaohsiung Public Library. The winning entries of the first KPL Picture Books Sprouting Awards demonstrate diverse themes and styles. KPL hopes that more illustration talents and their original stories would be discovered in the future through this project.  

Winners of the KPL Picture Books Sprouting Awards (left to right): Ms. Zhang Xiao-qi, Ms. Zhang Xiu-yu, and Ms. Huang Yi-wen.


Director of KPL and 3 winners (left to right) Ms. Zhang Xiao-qi, Ms. Zhang Xiu-yu, and Ms. Huang Yi-wen

Director of KPL talks about the KPL Picture Books Sprouting Awards with the award winners


Judges selecting the winning entries

Judges selecting the winning entries


The 3 winning entries selected by the judges

Updated2020-04-27 AM 08:59:42