3 Russians nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award

Illustration by Anastasia Arkhipova

Illustration by Anastasia Arkhipova

Two illustrators and one children's writer from Russia have been nominated for the most prestigious award given for lifetime achievements in literature for children and young people. The ceremony itself will take place on April 5, 2016.

Anastasia Arkhipova

Anastasia Arkhipova is best known for her illustrations to Andersen's Fairy Tales and Brothers Grimm’s Fairy Tales, which were originally published by the German publishing house Shriver Verlag in 1985. These editions have been reprinted in many countries from Scandinavia to Brazil, and Arkhipova’s illustrations are widely considered to be the best for these classic stories.

While still a student at the Poster Design Faculty at the Surikov Institute in Moscow, she started working with Russia's oldest publishing house, Detskaya Literatura (children's literature), where she illustrated books such as Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen, The Princess and the Pea, The Tin Box, Molière’s The Bourgeois Gentleman and Tartuffe, as well as many others.

Successful exhibitions of Arkhipova’s illustrations have been held in Bologna, Barcelona, Paris and several German cities. Her delicate and expertly crafted watercolor works are recognizable by their unique style, which is lyrical and tender. Her skill means that her illustrations are on a par with the stories themselves, matching the impact and brilliance of the original.

Born in Moscow in 1955, Anastasia Arkhipova comes from a family of artists: both her father and grandfather were book illustrators.

Sergei Lyubayev

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn by Sergei Lyubayev

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn by Sergei Lyubayev. Source: arbor.ru

Book designer and illustrator Sergei Lyubayev is equally well known and respected in the field. He has a niche approach that sees a book as a holistic work, and combines its design, font and overall appearance to create the required impact.

Lyubayev has been designing books for top Russian publishing houses since 1984. He has illustrated books by Tolkien, Kipling, Alexander Blok, Gogol, Yesenin, Chukovsky, Mark Twain and many others.

Many editions illustrated by Lyubayev have become collectibles that both adults and children cannot fail to enjoy. An example is the two-volume edition of Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, which Lyubayev worked on for around two years.

This edition is unique for the high number of illustrations – around 1,500 – and the fact that Lyubayev uses a variety of different approaches. As well as colored pencil drawings, there are collages using photographs, engravings,19th-century book illustrations, notes in the margins, old postcards, and even a portrait of Aunt Polly. All this combines to create a colorful diary of the two boys’ escapades, which have lost none of their power after two centuries.  

Arthur Givargizov

The control dictation, or The Antique tragedy </em>by&nbsp;Arthur Givargizov< Humorous children’s writer Arthur Givargizov is often called the successor to Daniil Kharms, Kornei Chukovsky and Samuil Marshak put together.

His first short story was published in 1997 in Satyricon magazine. Since then, his poetry and short prose have appeared regularly in a variety of children's periodicals. His first book, the collection of poems My Poor Sharik, came out in 2002.

To date, he has published about 20 works, including a book of plays and seven collections of poetry. By education, Givargizov is a professional musician (he graduated in guitar from the School of Music at the Moscow Conservatory), but when you read his poems, you immediately realize that he is a true poet, hooligan and wizard – someone who understands children’s mentality and is always on their wavelength.

Givargizov’s non-conformist approach means that some parents dislike him for his lack of “educational value”, but he instead he offers excitement and interest. His second book, Notes from an Outstanding Flunker, is perhaps is most famous in Russia. It is a collection of more than 70 humorous sketches about children – keen students and underachievers alike – parents and teachers.

Read more: 5 leading Russian children’s book illustrators




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