Winner of the SERPA — International Award for Picturebooks

Planeta Tangerina is pleased to announce that the winner of the 3rd edition of the Serpa International Award for Picturebooks is the project “Ñam”, de Nuria Pocero Malaga. The jury has also given three honourable mentions.

This was the edition with the largest number of submissions ever, with a total of 232 works coming from all four corners of the world. We received works from Portugal, Italy, Spain, Taiwan, Great Britain, China, Russia, France, Argentina, Germany and many more — from a total of 28 countries. 

The jury — Madalena Matoso, Ana Castagnoli and Paula Estorninho — has written an announcement about their decision and the selection process:

«The jury of the Serpa International Award for Picturebooks was gathered in October 2019, at Museu do Cante, in Serpa, and decided by unanimity that is the project “Ñam”, by Nuria Pocero Malaga is winner of the 3rd edition. The jury has also decided to give honourable mentions to the projects “No use for a Broken fork”, by Marco Quadri; “Prince hates it” by Hsuan-Chien Cheng; and “Where is the fish?” by Beatrice Dietel.

There were 232 submissions from different parts of the world, with all kinds of different approaches: poetic books, game-books, books that teach you something, funny books, books with a strong idea, silent books, intricate texts, personal projects, toddler books, books for teenagers…

We analysed every project and found books with great illustrations. However, in many cases the idea or storyline wasn’t as successful in surprising or grasping us.

We were looking for books with a strong idea, a text with quality (or, in the case of silent books, successful storyline told through images) and with a spot-on graphic approach. We weren’t looking for a particular style in the illustrations, but we gave great importance to their role in the book. We asked ourselves the question: are these beautiful simply decorative or do they add content and communicate with us? Do they seek to achieve a new graphic language or are they too similar to the work of other illustrators?

The book “Ñam” has charmed us for its rhythm, freshness, surprise, humour, strong graphic expression and playful relationship between words and text. We believe this book will promote a pleasant shared reading experience between younger and grown-up readers.

In addition to the first prize, the jury has also decided to give honourable mentions to three projects that stood out for different reasons: a fresh and authentic graphic language; solid quality drawings; wittiness and detail.

We’d like to thank every author who participated in this contest. We know this is not an easy contest, as it poses the difficult challenge of finding a harmonious combination of ideas, text and illustrations (cooked with the right timings, portions and temperatures to create a great book). However, we believe that even when you’re not a winner, going through this process gives you some tools to start the next project with more strength and skills.

See you in the next edition!»