On August 24th 2010 the jury of the Illustrator’s Award assembled. The jury consisted of:
- Karolien Mondelaers, councillor of culture of the city of Hasselt
- Philippe Werck, publisher of Clavis Publishing
- Mark Janssen, children’s book illustrator
- Evi de Coster, art director at the weekly magazine Knack Weekend
- Truusje Vrooland, children’s literature reviewer
For the 8th edition of Key Colours, the jury had to look at 323 contributions, which came from many different countries. Among them Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy and even the USA.
In the first selection, based exclusively on the quality of the illustrations, sixty contributions were selected for further evaluation. From this selection the jury unanimously selected seven nominees.
THE JURY NOMINATED THE FOLLOWING CONTRIBUTIONS
Contribution number 2
Machine à Vie
François Pralat from Orléans, France
Strong subject: the death of a father. The reader finds out what the main character meant in the life of his father and how his father built a machine with his life. A machine with which he now went to heaven. The character leads us through his father’s life and lingers over everything that had meaning: the broken machines, his father’s chair, his love for food and for his dog.
Graphically the images are beautiful; playful yet with a big symbolism. But a clear story line is missing. It is more a contemplation, a reflection on how Daddy was as a person and how he is doing now. The main character is ugly, seems to be far too old and doesn’t show any emotions.
Contribution number 91
Red Balloon in the Losthing City
Samira Zamari from San Antonio Texas, USA
The idea of telling a story of losing things from the point of view of the lost object is very nice. In this story the perspective of a red balloon is used. All the objects are soon recollected by their owners. Except for the balloon, no one seems to be looking for him. Lack of love and attention is therefore the subject of this book. But the problem isn’t really solved. The balloon gets a new task in life, by carrying the bus with all the other balloons.
Beautiful, detailed pictures. The pictures in which the objects play the most important role are often a bit naive, but because of the details and the execution these are still very attractive images. But the story in its entirety doesn’t really come to life, supposedly because of the choice of character, and the ending isn’t very satisfying either.
Contribution number 130
130 Drawings On the Run
Elena Prokhorova from Rome, Italy
A girl, Kate, discovers a wonderful drawing case in the shop-window of a small shop. She can borrow it for one day. The pictures she draws come to life: first she draws a witch, with a pointed hat, a long dress and of course a broomstick. The witch runs after the neighbour’s cat. This is bad. In drawing more pictures Kate tries to solve the problems: the draws a mouse, a monkey, a dog and even a merry-go-round. The animals are very naughty and the neighbour’s cat is being cornered. Luckily the owner of the drawing case can help a bit with a rubber. Or do the pictures survive after all?
The fantasy of bringing pictures to life fascinates every child. It is nice to see that the fantasy is sustained and that the images are very dreamy. The pictures are rather traditional, with an eye for details. But they are not renewing and the character of Kate doesn’t really come to life.
Contribution number 168
Cricket on the Moon
Krisztina Maros from Dunaharaszti, Hongaria
A boy cricket plays the violin beautifully. So beautifully that he wins his way into the hearts of many people. He is allowed to marry the pretty girl cricket, but only if he can play just as good on the moon. He is hopelessly in love and will do whatever it takes to achieve his goals. He climbs up to the moon, waits until the moon shines like a beautiful sickle and plays magnificent. But he is exhausted. When he returns to the earth, he falls into a web. The only way to freedom, is giving up his violin to the beetle. The cricket never plays the violin again, but he is happily in love.
A nice and classic story. Constructed well and with an elegant ending. The images are also classic, but they do have the right atmosphere. The collage of painted surfaces is very successful. The climax is of course the cricket on the moon. But the tones are a little gloomy and the colours a little grimy. The characters miss the loveliness that the story does give them, maybe because of their strong lines and shapes.
Contribution number 278
Wat doet Kobe in die doos?
Axel Janssens from Diest, Belgium.
Kobe is playing in a box and is having the craziest of fantasies. His box is a car, a plane, a boat. Not everyone can go along in his fantasy stories. Leopold, who has just gotten an new and expensive bike, doesn’t like it at all. But most children absolutely adore Kobe and want to join him in his box.
This picture book is made out of photographs. The pictures contain the statues of plasticine, clay and all sorts of other materials that the artist has used to act out the scenes.
Nice story with a lot of imagination. The playing with simple objects, such as a box, mixed with a portion of fantasy, creates fortune in life. The comparison with the red bicycle is a bit caricatural, as are the images. In this case, it is not necessary to let the characters ‘overact’ their parts.
Contribution number 191
Evelina verde mela
Mara Dompé, Annalisa Sanmartino and Guila Torelli from Turin, Italy.
Evelina is a little rhinoceros. Rhinos take off their horns before they go to sleep, and every day they wear a horn of a different colour. On Tuesdays it is supposed to be red. But Evelina cannot find her red horn. So she leaves the house wearing her green horn. Everybody is looking at her. That’s not the way it is supposed to be. But she is happy with herself. And in the end, that’s what counts.
Colourful book with a nice language of images. Playful and educational at the same time. The ending of the story is not very powerful and it doesn’t solve the problem. This makes the whole a bit superficial, also in the language of the images
Contribution number 293 Wroooaaaaah!
Elsbeth de Ruiter from Utrecht, the Netherlands
A little boy called Teuntje, visits the zoo with his father. There, he sees a lazy lion. Teuntje teases the lion, he badgers him. But the lion soon has had enough and roars. The little boy roars even louder. All the frustration must be shouted out. After that, we can simply move on.
The story line is very thin. It is more of a statement or a joke, than a real story. The drawings don’t need a lot of background, because they are convincing enough on their own. All kinds of anecdotic details enrich the pictures. This technique gives the pictures a certain form of detachment. But this might be exactly what was intended.