Lithuanian author wins prestigious Andersen children’s book award

  • 2020-07-02
  • Margarita Alper

Autor and illustrator Monika Vaicenavičienė has been awarded the Premio Andersen 2020 prize in Italy for her book, “What is a River?”

The book, awarded in the non-fiction children’s literature category, was first released in Swedish and has now been translated into more than 10 languages including Lithuanian. The book will be published in English and Somali languages in the autumn.

According to the author, the story is based around several categories – the river as a journey, as a home, and as a mystery or a riddle.

Vaicenavičienė defines her book as an oral documentary, and to make it connect more with the audience, she established two key characters blending folklore, mythology, as well as ecology and everyday problems.

The Andersen award has been running since 1982. The winners had to be announced during the Bologna children’s book fair in March, which was cancelled due to the pandemic.