STOCKHOLM — Belgian illustrator and author Kitty Crowther won the 2010 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for children's literature Wednesday for her ability to express deep humanism in all her work.
Crowther, 39, has authored more than 30 titles, most which were first published in Belgium and France, the prize jury said.
The annual 5 million kronor ($620,000) award is named after late Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren, creator of the Pippi Longstocking book series. It was established by the Swedish government in 2002 and will be handed out by Princess Madeleine in a ceremony June 1.
Crowther's principal works are picture books, including "L'enfant racine" ("The Root Child") and "La visite de Petite Mort" ("The Visit of Little Death").
"She maintains the tradition of the picture book while transforming and renewing it," the jury said in its citation. "In her deeply felt empathy with people in difficulty, she shows ways in which weakness can be turned into strength. Humanism and sympathy permeate and unify her artistry."
In an interview with the Associated Press, Crowther said she had found out she had won the award at a book fair in Bologna, Italy.
"It's fantastic," she said by phone, adding she had grown up reading Lindgren's books.
Jury Chairman Larry Lempert called her "a master author," applauding her way of combining text with illustrations to reach out to children, especially those experiencing hardship.
"She shows great respect for children. She has a way of reaching out to them," he said. "She provides support for many by the type of subjects she chooses to cover."
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