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Korean Illustrator First Asian to Win Hans Christian Andersen Award in 38 Years

Korean illustrator Suzy Lee has won this year’s Hans Christian Andersen Award for illustrating. She is the first Asian person to win the award in 38 years, The Korea Herald reports.

The Hans Christian Andersen Award is the highest international award given to authors and illustrators by the International Board on Books for Young People every other year. The award recognizes the lifelong achievements of an author and an illustrator, whose body of works has had a tremendous impact on children’s literature, Publishers Weekly reports.

The IBBY announced the awards at the Bologna Book Fair.

After Lee was announced she told reporters she was “honored and humbled” just to be nominated, The Korea Herald reports.

”I’m also grateful because this feels like a sign that Korean children‘s literature is being recognized around the world,” Lee added, according to The Korea Herald.

Lee earned her bachelor’s degree at Seoul National University and her master’s degree in book arts from Camberwell College of Arts in London. She has been illustrating children’s books for over 20 years.

“Suzy Lee’s lifelong work is outstanding and she is constantly trying new things through her work. It is certain that she will make a lasting contribution to children’s literature,” Lee Ji-won, a South Korean critic who was one of the 10 judges for the award, said, according to The Korea Herald.

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