The 2019 Klaus Flugge Prize shortlist is unveiled: peek inside the six wonderful books

Published on: 15 May 2019 Author: Catriona Wightman

Join former Children's Laureate and Klaus Flugge Prize judge Anthony Browne on a tour through the brilliant books on the 2019 shortlist.

The books on the 2019 Klaus Flugge Prize shortlist

The Klaus Flugge Prize honours the most exciting newcomer to picture book illustration each year - and now the 2019 shortlist has been unveiled, it looks like we should be very excited indeed.

With the nominated books covering everything from a penguin trying to fly to a girl looking after her daddy and Little Red Riding Hood in the city, there's something for everyone.

But the books all celebrate the power of imagination, love, and self-expression.

'Our 2019 shortlist is very exciting and represents the range of talent and skill in today's new picture book illustrators,' said chair of the judges Julia Eccleshare.

'It also perfectly demonstrates how much picture books give children - reassurance, knowledge and understanding of themselves and the word as well as that first appreciation of art and realisation that images can tell us more than words.

'We are pleased too that the list is once again international, with illustrators from Germany, Taiwan and the US represented alongside British talent.

'It's a list worthy of Klaus Flugge who has always nurtured new talent and understands the power of picture books to open up the world for children.'

Below, Klaus Flugge 2019 judge and former Waterstones Children's Laureate Anthony Browne introduces us to the wonderful books on the shortlist - and we have a sneak peek inside them for you, too...

The Extraordinary Gardener by Sam Boughton (Tate)

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The front cover of The Extraordinary Gardener and Sam Boughton
A sneak peek inside The Extraordinary Gardener
A sneak peek inside The Extraordinary Gardener
The front cover of The Extraordinary Gardener and Sam Boughton

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A sneak peek inside The Extraordinary Gardener

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A sneak peek inside The Extraordinary Gardener

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The Extraordinary Gardener follows Joe, who lives in a tower block but spends his time imagining a world of exotic plants and animals. One day, he plants a seed on his balcony and discovers just how wonderful nature can be...

Anthony said: 'The illustrations and story are so full of life that we can't help but be swept up in the book's exuberance.'

Looking After Daddy by Eve Coy (Andersen Press)

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The front cover of Looking After Daddy and Eve Coy
A sneak peek inside Looking After Daddy
A sneak peek inside Looking After Daddy
The front cover of Looking After Daddy and Eve Coy

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A sneak peek inside Looking After Daddy

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A sneak peek inside Looking After Daddy

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Looking After Daddy is a charming peek inside the imagination of a little girl who likes to pretend she's babysitting her daddy - but really, he's looking after her.

Anthony said: 'Beautifully drawn and painted with much humour, light, originality and warmth. There's a really good interplay between text and illustration.'

The King Who Banned the Dark by Emily Haworth-Booth (Pavilion Children's Books)

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The front cover of The King Who Banned the Dark and Emily Haworth-Booth
A sneak peek inside The King Who Banned the Dark
A sneak peek inside The King Who Banned the Dark
The front cover of The King Who Banned the Dark and Emily Haworth-Booth

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A sneak peek inside The King Who Banned the Dark

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A sneak peek inside The King Who Banned the Dark

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The King Who Banned the Dark imagines a little Prince who is scared of the dark - and decides that when he grows up into the King, he'll get rid of it. It seems like a good idea, but what happens when his citizens can't sleep and start to revolt...?

Anthony said: 'The witty illustrations are full of energy and cleverly use the contrast of light and dark to tell the story. There are surprises on every page.'

I Can Fly by Fifi Kuo (Boxer Books)

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The front cover of I Can Fly and Fifi Kuo
A sneak peek inside I Can Fly
A sneak peek inside I Can Fly
The front cover of I Can Fly and Fifi Kuo

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A sneak peek inside I Can Fly

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A sneak peek inside I Can Fly

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I Can Fly introduces us to Penguin, who would love to fly like the other birds - but even though he has wings and can waddle, he just can't get airborne. Will he ever manage it?

Anthony said: 'A classic picture book where the words and pictures work beautifully together. A fantastic achievement for a first book.'

Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love (Walker Books)

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The front cover of Julian is a Mermaid and Jessica Love
A sneak peek inside Julian is a Mermaid
A sneak peek inside Julian is a Mermaid
The front cover of Julian is a Mermaid and Jessica Love

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A sneak peek inside Julian is a Mermaid

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A sneak peek inside Julian is a Mermaid

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Julian is a Mermaid follows a young boy who is blown away by three women wearing spectacular outfits on his subway home - and decides to dress up just like them. But what will his grandmother think of the mess he makes... and of how he sees himself?

Anthony said: 'A beautiful picture book where the illustrations say things that words would struggle to express. It delivers an important message without in any way feeling didactic.'

Red and the City by Marie Voigt (Oxford)

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The front cover of Red and the City and Marie Voigt
A sneak peek inside Red and the City
A sneak peek inside Red and the City
The front cover of Red and the City and Marie Voigt

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A sneak peek inside Red and the City

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A sneak peek inside Red and the City

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Red and the City is Marie Voigt's new take on the classic tale of Little Red Riding Hood - but this time, the wolf takes the form of a city.

Anthony said: 'A clever, multi-layered retelling of a well-known story with a European feel and superb use of minimal colours.'

The winner of the Klaus Flugge Prize 2019 will be crowned at a special ceremony in London on 11 September, and will receive a £5,000 prize.


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