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70 Years Celebration


Feel the Fear and Win It Anyway...


For the second time in three years, illustrator Emily Gravett has won the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal, the UK's most prestigious award for children's book illustration.

Gravett, whose debut picture book, 'Wolves' won the 2005 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal wins the 2008 award for her fourth book, 'Little Mouse's Big Book of Fears', in which a small rodent confronts terrifying phobias, but eventually (and after much nervous nibbling) feels better when he realises that even human beings can be cowardy custards too.

Emily, a former traveller spent eight years on the road after leaving school at 16 with almost no formal qualifications. She graduated from Brighton University's Illustration degree course in 2004, and her career as a picture book illustrator took off immediately when she won the 2004 Macmillan Prize for Illustration for 'Wolves'. A publishing deal swiftly followed, along with enormous critical acclaim.

Of this year's winning book, Tricia Adams, Chair of the CILIP Kate Greenaway judging panel comments: "Every time you read 'Little Mouse's Big Book of Fears' you discover something new: there's so much going on, so much to explore. The attention to detail is astounding. It's such a satisfying experience which incorporates smell, texture, humour and great imagination. The die-cut holes, and pull-out map are wonderfully novel features, but it's much more than just a novelty book: everything has a purpose and nothing is wasted. A book that not only works with lots of different age-groups, but also one that can be read, and re-read, and re-read again"

Emily Gravett was born in 1972 in Brighton. After spending 8 years living on the road (in a variety of vehicles including a truck, a caravan and an RAF petrol bus called Toby Diesel) she returning to her native city and went to university. She still lives in Brighton with her 11 year-old daughter Oleander and partner Mik. Emily's other books are 'Wolves' (winner of the 2005 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal); 'Orange Pear Apple Bear' (shortlisted for the 2007 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal), 'Meerkat Mail'; 'Monkey and Me' (shortlisted for the 2008 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal), and 'The Odd Egg'. Her seventh picture book, 'Spells' will be published in August 2008.

Emily Gravett was official illustrator for World Book Day 2008, and in this National Year of Reading, has also been named as one of the UK's Ten Best New Illustrators in Book Trust's Big Picture campaign (

The CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal, established in 1956 and named in honour of the distinguished illustrator is awarded for "outstanding illustration in a children's book". Sister award to the CILIP Carnegie Medal, it is judged by an expert panel of children's librarians from the Youth Libraries Group (YLG), and follows the same unique process of nomination, and judging. Since the bequest left in 2000 by children's book and illustration collector, Colin Mears, the winner receives a cheque for 5,000 in addition to the coveted medal. Distinguished former winners of the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal, which celebrated its 50th birthday in 2007, include Shirley Hughes, Raymond Briggs and Quentin Blake.


26 June 2008