The Sharjah Children’s Book Illustration Award is awarded to illustrators from Mexico and Syria, as well as Iran.

SHARJAH 4th May 2023 (WAM). Mexican artist Mariana Alcantara Pedraza beat the global competition and won the 11th Sharjah Children’s Book Illustration Award. Her inspiring illustrations of the book “My Little Bird” are a visually inspiring and heartwarming story of love between a child and a little bird. Pedraza’s winning entry was up against 1,300 works by 280 artists in 46 countries. It is a testament to her work as a children’s illustrator and art lecturer at universities, which has helped shape a brighter future for the industry.

The winners were announced at the opening of the 14th edition of the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (2023). Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri (Chairman of Sharjah Book Authority, SBA) honoured the three top winners along with three other artists who were awarded appreciation prizes for their talents and techniques.

Sharjah Children’s Book Illustration Award, organised by SBA annually, is one of the world’s most important platforms to honour and promote creative talents in children’s books illustrations. The winners of the 11th edition were chosen from 235 shortlisted illustrations by 85 illustrators around the globe.

Lena Naddaf, a Syrian artist, won second place for her illustrations of the book The puzzle of the lost city. She supports the narrative of the story with her art. The story revolves around a young boy who is forced to flee his hometown due to war.

The second runner up is Iranian artist Majidzakeri Younesi, whose illustrations in the story Mahteti depict the ancient legend. The story was presented in the style of old Islamic miniature paintings. His unique style is accentuated by a modern touch.

Three artists were awarded encouragement awards. Three artists received encouragement awards.

SBA’s Award encourages artists who specialize in the illustration of children’s books to create high-quality illustrations and content that will appeal to younger generations, and to instill a love of reading as a habit in them.

The jury of this edition included renowned Emirati artists and sculptors Abdulrahim Salem and Hani Salah. Also on the panel were American author and artist Andrea D’Aquino and Spanish artist Zurine Adurirre.

First-place prize is USD 8,00, second-place prize is USD 6,00 and third-place gets USD 4,00. The recipients of the encouragement awards received each 1,000.

SCRF also announced the winners for the 14 Sharjah Children’s Book Award. A tale of two colours, by Abdullah Mohammed Al-Sharhan and published by Dar Ajyal was named the winner of Arabic Children’s Book (four to twelve years). The Arabic Young Adult Book (13-17 years) was won by My Digital Grandmother, published by Shaan Publishing and Distribution. In the International Children’s Book (7-13 years) category, Incredible history, published by DK Publishing, was the winner.

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