Margaret Mahy Illustration Prize winner announced

Hachette Aotearoa New Zealand announces the winner of the Margaret Mahy Illustration Prize for 2023

Hachette Aotearoa NZ and the Margaret Mahy Estate are delighted to announce Alba Celdran as the winner of the 2023 Margaret Mahy Illustration Prize.

The judging panel said Alba Celdran’s illustrations of Margaret Mahy’s children’s book Seventeen Kings and Forty-Two Elephants were mesmerising, and full of humour. 

They also said the winner’s illustrations had a fantastic sense of movement. “Her clever use of the kings and the animals led us on a very exciting, very humorous and very vibrant adventure.” Bridget Mahy, from the Margaret Mahy Estate, said there was so much to examine, including “The mix of jungle and tropical animals and then a sweetly inserted fantail to bring home a kiwi element.” Fellow judge Ant Sang loved the way the characters invited you in to explore their world, saying that “The spread was so unique, carefully composed and so beautiful to look at.”

Alba Celdran, is an art teacher based in Tāmaki Makaurau, though she is originally from Barcelona. She has a Bachelor of Criminology but now pursues her passion of teaching art to children and adults.

She is inspired by jazz and is a swing dancer.

“All of the kings’ dance moves in my illustrations are actual jazz dance moves.”

The Margaret Mahy Illustration Prize was launched in 2019. Christchurch based illustrator Sarah Greig was awarded the inaugural prize for her submission for The Boy With Two Shadows which was published in October 2020.Winner 2020 – Illustrator Lily Emo The Boy Who Made Things UpWinner 2021 – Illustrator Minrui Yang for There’s a King in the CupboardWinner - 2022 - Illustrator Jessica Twohill for The Witch in the Cherry Tree

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