How a smack of jellyfish helped win a £5,000 book prize

Jellyfish imagesImage copyright
Lane Smith

Did you know that the term for a group of turtles is a turn? Or that the collective noun for a posse of fireflies is a sprinkle?

Well, now you do. And that’s thanks to Lane Smith’s children’s book, A Tribe of Kids, which has just won the Kate Greenaway Medal for illustration.

The colourful adventure follows a child’s journey which teaches the reader some unusual collective nouns.

Lane won a specially commissioned gold medal for his troubles plus £5000 cash.

He also received £500 worth of books to donate to his local library.

Here are some of the images that won Smith the prestigious prize:

Image copyright
Lane Smith

Image copyright
Lane Smith

Image copyright
Lane Smith

Image copyright
Lane Smith

Smith said: “Years ago, when graduating from art school, I was told that my work was too stylised-looking for the kids’ book market in the States and I would probably have to move to London where they took a more enlightened view of quirky artworks. I told my instructor that he was wrong.”

Ruta Sepetys’ refugee story Salt to the Sea, a fictionalised account of the worst maritime disaster in history, also won the Carnegie Medal for children’s fiction.

It is the first time that both awards – the UK’s oldest children’s book prizes – have been won by US authors.


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