Presentation of Hans Christian Andersen Award 2020

Saturday 11 September 2021, Dom Pashkov, Moscow, Russia

Laudatio given by Junko Yokota
Speech by Lee Kye Young, Vice-President of Nami Island (watch the film here)
Acceptance speech by Jacqueline Woodson
Acceptance speech by Albertine

Watch the full ceremony here

The Hans Christian Andersen Award is the highest international distinction given to authors and illustrators of children's books.  Given every other year by IBBY, the Hans Christian Andersen Awards recognize lifelong achievement and are given to an author and an illustrator whose complete works have made an important, lasting contribution to children's literature.

The 2020 Jury, selected by IBBY's Executive Committee from nominations made by its national sections, comprises ten distinguished members from across the globe. Jury President Junko Yokota (Chicago, USA) led the Jury selecting the winners of the 2020 Hans Christian Andersen awards.

View the Recommended books and Bookbird profiles of the HCAA 2020 Winners and Shortlist Authors and Illustrators. In addition to the books of the winners and the shortlist nominees, the Jury has created a list of outstanding books from the 2020 nominees that they felt were important enough to merit translation everywhere so that children around the world could read them: Hans Christian Andersen Jury recommends ... view the books recommended by the HCA Jury in 2020 and 2018 here and download the list of recommendations for 2020 here.   

Bookbird can be read for free on Project Muse until end May - view the Hans Christian Andersen Award edition here

The Hans Christian Andersen Award was featured as part of the Bologna Children's Book Fair online special edition, fairtales

HCAA 2020 Winners

The winners of the 2020 Hans Christian Andersen Award are Jacqueline Woodson of the USA as Author and Albertine of Switzerland as Illustrator. As author, Jacqueline Woodson has a prolific body of writing from picture books to young adult literature, all of which feature lyrical language, powerful characters, and an abiding sense of hope. As illustrator, Albertine creates books with multiple levels of interpretation, with drawings made with infinite precision that are lively and full of humour. 

Films from the virtual IBBY Press Conference can be found here. The full media release can be downloaded here.


USA - Author

Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woodson was born in Columbus, Ohio in 1963, and shortly thereafter moved with her mother and siblings to Greenville, South Carolina where she spent much of her early formative years in the care of her maternal grandparents. At age seven she moved to Brooklyn, New York where she has since lived. She studied at Adelphi University and at the New School in New York and then worked as an editorial assistant and drama therapist for runaway children. Though a slow reader, she began writing as a child and now has a prolific body of writing including picture books, books for middle grade readers, and especially young adult literature. She made her debut as an author in 1990 with Last Summer With Maizon, the first book in a trilogy about a friendship between two girls. In the same year she also published The Dear One, a story about teen pregnancy. Her thirty-three books and thirteen short stories range in subjects from foster care to interracial relationships, from drug abuse to the witness protection programme, but all share the common features of lyrical language, powerful characters, and an abiding sense of hope. In 2014, her autobiographical work Brown Girl Dreaming was the winner
of the National Book Award and Coretta Scott King Award and is a Newbery Honor book. It is the centrepiece of her oeuvre: her first-hand experiences of how African-Americans were treated differently in the North and South, where her own path to becoming a writer is woven in with her life experiences. Jacqueline Woodson was a Finalist for the 2016 Hans Christian Andersen Award and won the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2018. After serving as Young People’s Poet Laureate from 2015-17 she was named National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature for 2018-19.

Read her dossier

Switzerland - Illustrator


Albertine was born in 1967 in Dardagny, near Geneva. She studied at the École des arts décoratifs and the École supérieure d’art visuel in Geneva.  She obtained her diploma in 1990 and opened a screen-printing workshop in the same year. She became a press illustrator a year later and in 1996 she married the writer Germano Zullo. Their many joint children’s publications have received several awards, including: BIB Golden Apple in 1999 for Marta et la bicyclette (Marta and the bicycle); Prix Suisse Jeunesse et Médias in 2009; Prix Sorcières in 2011 and New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book in 2012. Her drawings are lively and full of humour using a very fine line (pencil or Rotring) and often bright and cheerful colours (gouache or digital). Her natural spontaneity appears throughout her works, with a sense of detail and an infinite precision, as well as a sense of humour. She has exhibited her drawings, screen prints, lithographic works, wood engravings, objects and notebooks in Geneva, Paris, Rome, Valencia and Tokyo. Among her most important books for children are the titles: La rumeur de Venise (The Venice rumour, 2009), which was selected for the 2010 IBBY Honour List; Les Oiseaux (Little bird, 2011); Les Gratte-Ciel (Sky high, 2011); and Ligne 135 (Line 135, 2012). Her book, Mon tout petit (My little one, 2015), an endless embrace between mother and child that unwinds in a flipbook, was selected for the 2016 IBBY Honour List; it won the 2016 Bologna Ragazzi Award and won the Green Island Award at the Nami Island Concours in 2017. She was a Finalist for the 2018 Hans Christian Andersen Award and her book, Les Oiseaux, was included in the list of books highlighted by the Andersen Jury as an outstanding work.

Read her dossier

HCAA 2020 Shortlist

HCAA 2020 Shortlist - Author and Illustrator Profiles

HCAA 2020 Nominees

HCAA Nominees 2020 - Author - Profiles

HCAA Nominees 2020 - Illustrator - Profiles

HCAA 2020 Jury