By now, I’m sure you already heard that Shaun Tan, amazing creator behind The Arrival, Tales from Outer Suburbia, and so on and such, was this year’s recipient of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. Why should you care? Well apart from the fact that it’s always nice to see genius rewarded, there is the small matter surrounding the money that comes with the prize. Second only to the Nobel in terms of price, I believe, the Lindgren Award is the most money an author or illustrator of children’s books can win. It amounts to 5 million krona, or $764,600. Wowzer.
Lest you pooh-pooh the win by saying that Shaun Tan is always a surefire bet, check out this list of the 2011 candidates. It’s not easy to beat out Quentin Blake, Eric Carle, Neil Gaiman, the International Youth Library, Julius Lester, and many talented others in one fell swoop, but Mr. Tan managed it.
Of course I was present when they announced the win. See?
Er . . . Okay, admittedly I’m a little obscured here. Uh, see the balding guy with the glasses and the gray suit, dead center? I’m right behind him. Hello! Of greater note, Kitty Crowther, last year’s winner (Belgium), is front and center. Thanks to the Astrid Memorial Award for the photo.
And this would be incomplete without Mr. Tan’s reaction as well: