Shortlist 2023 e

Lotte Bräuning, Contact and jury statement

(Hans ten Doornkaat)
Lotte Bräuning uses a pattern that is best known from the longseller The Adventures of the Black Hand. Does a children’s crime thriller for guessing belong in a picture book?
The jury found that the scope of the text might argue against it, but that Bräuning’s pictures have such a supporting role that their shaking of the genre boundaries is impressive. The strokes appear sketchy, but the hatching and coloring elevate the illustrations far beyond the type of richly illustrated children’s books. – A picture book for the shortlist!

Hannah Brückner, Contact and jury statement

(Hans ten Doornkaat)
Hannah Brückner is colourful and turbulent, at least in comparison with her previous works. However, catastrophe is still restrained and focused in terms of colour: In the dinosaur museum, the result is a mess and finally a boldly patched-up skeleton. The way in which Brückner gives her figures large bodies and small – caricatured but friendly, nuanced – faces with a clear line shows the artist to be a master of smiling storytelling. Museum visitors, debacles and a collection of bones belong to a perfectly outlined real world and yet are charmingly unique and attractive for ever new discoveries.

Florence Dailleux, Contact and jury statement

Small metamorphoses
(Marlen Bialek )
There are many so-called mix-max or clip-flap books – and Florence Dailleux’s submission really stands out!
The countless possible combinations in her “Little Metamorphoses” stimulate creativity and invite children and adults alike to create fables. The clear, sweeping lines, the impressive, strong colors and the play with the theme of transformation: all of this is masterfully implemented here. A book that is fun to read, releases playfulness and invites viewers to be surprised again and again. Nonsense? Perhaps. But in the best sense of the word: clever, powerful and inspiring!

Joana Dürnberg, Contact and jury statement

Mum’s scarf
(Annika Siems)
We were immediately impressed by the story in the picture book concept “Mum’s scarf”. The author sensitively approaches a really difficult topic, the death of a mother, from a child’s perspective. Only the red scarf with the mother’s scent remains. Like the smell, the memory threatens to fade, and the compositions of the pictures provide a varied and harmonious accompaniment to the literal thread of the book.
A thoroughly successful work and a book for anyone who has lost a loved one, wants to discuss this topic with children or simply wants to be touched.

Cornelia Funke also writes that she would like as many children as possible to hold Joana’s book in their hands. “Children are often left so alone with the loss of a parent. – It’s very different in California, which we as a family found very comforting. But in Europe, unfortunately, there is often a great silence. The children will even laugh at Joana’s pictures,” Cornelia Funke surmises.

Fátima Ordinola, Kontakt und Jurystatement

Our Love
(Marlen Bialek)
Fatima Ordinola succeeds masterfully in playing the keyboard of emotions with reduced means. The clear focus on the depiction of intimate moments between parents and children from the animal kingdom is heart-warming and impressive. The play with perspectives and the masterful use of colours and perspectives are particularly convincing. The double-page spreads are deliberately kept simple and therefore have a powerful effect. Together with the short, loving texts, this is a wonderful book that touches readers of all ages and encourages them to reflect: What makes the love in my family special?

Tabea Martin, Contact and jury statement

The hottest day ever
(Prof. Yirmi Pinkus)
The book is based on the opening question on the first page: “Today is the hottest day ever! What could I do?”
Each double page offers a new visual answer. The scenes are woven into a narrative line by the voice of the text. The artist switches effortlessly from detailed observation of reality to the imagination of fantastic scenes. Readers will enjoy documentary depictions of businessmen cooling their feet in a fountain during their lunch break and satirical scenes from a water aerobics class given by a handsome lifeguard to enthusiastic ladies.
An intimate illustration of a woman’s efforts to change her clothes under a beach towel is followed by an imaginary scene of champagne drinking at the edge of a private pool.the narrative moves between the private and the public, between the authentic and the ridiculous.the real theme of this picture book, however, is the visual drama. Tabea Martin’s illustration style is lush and passionate. The painterly gestures are simple yet bold, generous and dynamic at the same time.
The rich colours charge the book with joie de vivre.


Kirim Nam, Contact and jury statement

Celebrating death
(Dr. Dagmar Gausmann)
South Korean illustrator Kirim Nam calls her picture book project about various rituals for honouring the deceased after their death, burying them, cremating them – or feeding the corpse to birds – “Celebrating death”. She presents eight cultures and their cultural practices in stage-like pictorial spaces. The people are not so much individuals as silhouette-like figures that “present” the common denominator of the respective ritual.
The tableaux are unified by a colour scheme of the pictorial space, the composition and the design of the figures that unites all countries and customs. The impression is created of the absolute equality of all practices. A quiet distance of observation is thus made possible.
“My illustrations were created as collages using a mixed technique of gouache and stencil painting. I cut out the individual components of the illustrations and painted them with textures as if they were small flat sculptures. Through the textures, I expressed the vague feelings about life and death that cannot be expressed verbally.”

Julia Neuhaus, Contact and jury statement

The incredible adventures of Mr Pe
(Prof. Yirmi Pinkus)
​Mr Pe refers to a unique tradition in the history of literature: the nonsense story.
The author Tim Penzek and the illustrator Julia Neuhaus have mastered the rules of the nonsense story and offer the child a delightful surprise on every double page.the most important literary achievement of this book is the construction of an exciting relationship between text and image.
Readers are confronted with two narrative strands: The simple and laconic text – and an illustration that suggests an alternative visual interpretation.
The child must decipher this relationship. The illustrations are rich in detail and convey an independent visual narrative.
The result is a fun book with a strong surrealistic and playful atmosphere.

Eden Ofir, Contact and jury statement

It´s Like Nothing You´ve Ever Seen
(Dr. Dagmar Gausmann)
The protagonist, who we accompany during her shower ritual, takes off the glasses she needs during the day and her blurry fantasy adventure begins.
When she takes off her glasses, a fish, pelican and penguin appear in the bathroom.
Eden Ofir calls her character “theatrical”. And that sums it up well. Not only is the choreography taking place in the shower tray reminiscent of a chamber play, but the verses that accompany each picture in captivatingly beautiful Hebrew calligraphy are also reminiscent of the theatre.
Eden Ofir creates her scenes and figures as a collage using cut-outs of various types of paper.
This girl figure in the shower is not at all cute. The mouth is wide open, the buttocks have moved from the back to the side of the body – somewhat reminiscent of cubist depictions.
Viewers are invited to piece together this multiple perspective to create a new image.
It is conceivable that children will enjoy this. In any case, familiar perspectives are disrupted with relish. If it becomes too much, you can put your usual glasses back on.

Karen Exner, Contact and jury statement

(Annika Siems)Not least the unusual format of the book “Hats”, which is perfectly showcased by its iconic cover image, immediately attracts the viewer’s attention.
What at first glance appears to be a simple concept – depicting people with headgear – is at second glance a skilful focus on the essentials. The rhythm of the book is repeatedly interrupted by full-page illustrations in which a scene localises the hats shown. The quality of the style and the diversity of the visual language are particularly evident in these works.


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