Jenny Smelik-IBBY prize for Hans Hagen and Philip Hopman

5 September 2014

The Jenny Smelik-IBBY prize 2014 goes to author Hans Hagen and illustrator Philip Hopman for their youth novel Het hanengevecht (The Cockfight), published by Querido. This title was also selected for the 10 Children’s Books From Holland brochure (spring 2013) from the Dutch Foundation for Literature. Previous work by Hans Hagen has been translated into fourteen languages, including German, English, French, Spanish, Turkish, Chinese and Papiamento.

From the Jenny Smelik-IBBY jury’s report: “In The Cockfight Hans Hagen and Philip Hopman evoke with few words and powerful illustrations an image of a culture that differs vastly from the Netherlands. In a poetic style, Hans Hagen sketches the battle that the third-world boy Pio has to wage to survive in a tough world. Things are as they are and it is admirable that the author refuses to pass judgment. The striking black and white line-illustrations by Philip Hopman complete this small story about big worries. The jury is unanimous that both Hans Hagen and Philip Hopman should receive the Jenny Smelik-IBBY Award for this precious gem.”

Furthermore the jury awarded an honourable mention to author Laïla Koubaa (Belgium) and illustrator Mattias De Leeuw for their picture book Azizi en de kleine blauwe vogel (Azizi and the little blue bird), published by Book Island. The jury described it as “an enchanting fairy tale with subtle references to the Jasmine Revolution of 2010 in Tunesia”. Their book has been translated into Danish and French.

Since 1982 the Jenny Smelik-IBBY prize is awarded every two years by IBBY-Netherlands (International Board on Books for Young People). The prize consists of 2,000 euros, the honourable mention comes with 500 euros.

More information:

Agnes Vogt


Agnes Vogt

Specialist Dutch children's books and youth literature

[email protected]