Illustrator and author Øyvind Torseter has been awarded the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis 2018 for his picture book Mule Boy (Mulegutten). This beautiful work, which was originally published in Norwegian in 2015, is an epic underdog’s story with a modern twist. Like many of Torseter’s other works, the book has been sold to a number of countries.
The Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis (German Children’s Literature Award) is one of the world’s most prestigious literary prizes, and recognises ‘outstanding works of children’s literature’. The prize is awarded to both German-language and translated books, and may be given to both authors and illustrators. The prize was established in 1956 by the (west) German state, and is awarded annually at the international Frankfurt Book Fair.
Øyvind Torseter was born in 1972 in Hamar, Norway, but now lives in Oslo. A well-known artist, illustrator, cartoonist and author, he has received a number of prestigious Norwegian and international prizes and awards – over forty in total. He received the BolognaRagazzi Award – one of the most highly regarded awards for children’s literature – for his 2007 book Detours (Avstikkere), and was awarded the French Prix Jeune Alber for The Hole (Hullet, 2012), which was also named Norway’s most beautiful book of the year. In 2014, Torseter and author Håkon Øverås were awarded the Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize for the picture book Brown (Brune). The character of Mule Boy has also made reappearances in Mulysses (2017) and The Handyman (Altmuligmannen), which will be published later this autumn; both these books feature stand-alone stories about Mule Boy’s latest adventures.