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Albatros Annual Awards for 2013

Albatros publishers have made their annual awards for 2013. New to the proverbial hall of fame is illustrator Alois Mikulka, who received first prize for a Significant Contribution to Children's and Youth Literature from Albatros Media Group Václav Kadlec. Albratos publishers, who celebrate their 65th anniversary on 15th April, awarded their most successful authors, illustrators and translators. They also announced the winners of their fifth annual literary competition for the best Czech prose.

The annual Albatros prizes were awarded for six categories. Their prestige derives in particular from the company's 65-year-old tradition as the oldest and most successful publisher of children's books, which constantly places emphasis on the literary, artistic and graphic qualities of its books.

The award for the literary text for younger children was won by writer Petr Chudožilov for his book Příliš mnoho andělů – Too Many Angels. The author, who was compelled to move to Switzerland in 1982 by the StB, first published his book in Germany. Petr Chudožilov was awarded the IBBY honour list award in 1991 and in 1993 he won the European award for the best German story.

The winner of The literary text for older children category was Ondřej Hník for his poetry collection Malý pražský chodec – Little Prague Walker. In almost sixty poems he portrays Prague as a lady with two faces – as a pulsing metropolis and a mysterious city full of legends and fables. The book makes use of a type of lyrical text to inspire children's interest in history, architecture and culture.

The award for Illustrations for younger children went to Adolf Born for Všichni sloni v orchestru – All the elephants in the orchestra. This representative publication, one of the first to return to Macourek's poetry, where he made his debut in 1958, saw added illustrations by Adolf Born full of his contemporary style with a vivid range of colours.

Miloš Kopták came out top in the Illustrations for older children category. His illustrations highlighted the uniqueness of the poetry collection Lidské klubíčko, by Vladimír Vokolek, compiled to mark the centenary of the author's birth.

The Albatros best Translation prize was awarded to Magda de Bruin Hüblová's Všehokniha, by the Dutch writer Guus Kuijer, an Astrid Lindgrenová prize winner, which is a book about the strength of human will, hope, yearning and love. It tells the story of little Tomáš, who escapes from the cruel reality of a tyrannical father into dreams and fantasies.

The annual significant literary achievement award goes to Ivona Březinová for her series of seven literary travelogues for young adults, in which she makes masterly use of her successful narrative model, combining an entertaining plot with a literary historical exposition.

Albatros has also announced the winner of the 5th Annual Literary Competition for 2013 entitled „A detective story for children“. Some seventy authors entered the competition and six manuscripts made it through to the final. A cheque for 25,000 crowns and a commitment to publish the book were won by Dana Rusková from Osová Bítýška for the manuscript of První velký případ. “Of all the manuscripts sent, this stood out for its supreme craftsmanship, linguistic elegance and sensitivity for the characters' psychology. It fills the need for classic secondary-school age children's prose that celebrates the courage of young detectives with a big heart,” said Albatros editor-in-chief Karolina Medková.

(Kateřina Obadalová, translation

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