30 September, 2007

Katrine Harries Award for Children's Book Illustrations

The Katrine Harries Award, originally the only and most prestigious award in South Africa for children's book illustrations, but which had been dormant for the past nine years, will soon be awarded again. Protea Boekhuis has kindly agreed to sponsor the Award on a continuous basis.The award that was made for the first time in the early 1960's by the SA Library Association and later the South African Institute for Library and Information Science (SAILIS) has been awarded to South Africa' s most well-known illustrators: Katrine Harries personally received the award twice before it was named after her. Thereafter illustrators such as Niki Daly, Joan Rankin, Alida Bothma, Cora Coetzee, Jeremy Grimsdell, amongst others, have received it, with Jude Daly finally receiving it in 1997 for Gift of the Sun. With the disbandment of SAILIS, the Children's Literature Research Unit at Unisa was tasked to find new homes for the awards. The English Academy agreed to take over the Percy Fitzpatrick Award and Protea Boekhuis agreed to sponsor the CP Hoogenhout Award. It has, however, been a struggle to get a sponsor for the Katrine Harries Award. With the exception of two years when the magazine, Baba en Kleuter, sponsored the award (Jude Daly won again for The Stone) the award has not been made since Daly won it for books published during 1997-1998. CLRU is however, now delighted to announce that after a laborious search for possible sponsors the Katrine Harries Award will again be awarded from this year. As was traditionally the case, the Award will be a 9-carat gold medal.The Award will be made biennially for children's book illustrations by a South African illustrator. It will include books by South African illustrators resident in South Africa or abroad, irrespective of the place of publication. The first new Katrine Harries Award will be made early in 2008 and will cover books published during 2006-2007. Because the Award was not made for so many years and outstanding books were published during those years, the CLRU is currently trying to find sponsors so that awards can also be made for the books published during those years. It is hoped that five medals will be awarded at a gala-function in the beginning of 2008.

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