The Biennial of Illustration Bratislava (BIB)

The Bienniel of Illustration Bratislava (BIB)

The Biennial of Illustration Bratislava (BIB) is one of the oldest international honours for children’s book illustrators. First granted in 1967 to Yasuo Segawa (Japan), it is one of the more prestigious children’s book awards today, along with the Hans Christian Andersen Awards. From the very beginning, BIB has been held under the auspices of UNESCO and the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) and with the support of the Ministry of Culture, Slovakia.

Winners are selected by an international jury, and their original artwork is exhibited in Bratislava, Slovakia.

There are 11 awards, with a grand prize presented for unique and outstanding illustration:

1 Grand Prix
5 Golden Apples
5 Bronze Plaques
1 Honorary Mention Certificate to Publisher

2017 Award

The International Centre for the Picture Book in Society based at Worcester University and IBBY UK (International Board of Books for Young People) were delighted to announce a collaboration to select UK illustrators for the Biennial of Illustrations Bratislava (BIB) 2017.

As part of their shared commitment to diversity and promoting awareness of the international children’s book world, this collaboration is seen by both ICPBS and IBBY UK as a very important step. IBBY Chair, Pam Dix, says, “I am very keen to increase awareness of the Bratislava award in the UK particularly because of the status it awards to children’s illustration. I look forward to this being an on-going collaboration between our two organisations”.

Each country entered a maximum of 15 participants who then submitted up to 10 illustrations from up to 2 books. Their work was displayed in an exhibition in Bratislava from 8 September to 29 October and a catalogue has been published. Piet Grobler, Joint Course Leader for Illustration at Worcester, says, “hard choices had to be made but I am delighted and excited by these entries”. Piet, himself, was an award winner at Bratislava in 2003 and 2009.

The winner of the Grand Prix 2017 was Ludwig Volbeda from the Netherlands with his book The Birds. Congratulations! You can read about the winners of all of the awards at

See our BIB Illustrators Gallery for our 2017 Nominees

2015 Award

In the 50th year of the existence of the Bienniel of Illustration Bratislava (BIB) competition, IBBY UK was thrilled to announce that British illustrator Laura Carlin was awarded the Grand Prix for Iron Man and A World of Your Own in 2015. Levi Pinfold, another UK illustrator, received one of the five Bronze Plaques for his books Greenling and Black Dog.

  • Take a look at the Guardian’s Children’s website for more on Laura Carlin and Levi Pinfold’s great work.
  • Read Ferelith Hordon’s account of the exhibition in Bratislava.

The jury’s report on Laura Carlin stated:

“The Iron Man and A World of Your Own are two diverse narratives, both created in a confident and highly-skilled personal visual language in a variety of media.

Laura Carlin moves with ease, yet with great care between different moods, demonstrating both sensitivity and a sense of humour.

The smallest vignettes as well as double-paged illustrations are composed with care and the pages are paced to perfection. Innovative design-features are always functional, never applied in a flippant or gimmicky manner.

With a sense for detail as well as a clear view of the ‘whole’, these books are brilliant examples of a dialogue between technique and medium and an extensive frame of reference.”

The jury’s report on Levi Pinfold stated: “Magic realist and enigmatic story telling full of detail, persuades the reader to revisit each page. Pinfold creates an eerie and enigmatic tale in a setting reminiscent of the outback of the ‘New-Worlds’ in the first half of the twentieth century.”

About IBBY

The International Board on Books for Young People is a unique international alliance of everyone interested in children’s literature: academics, librarians, writers, illustrators, publishers, teachers, literacy workers, booksellers, parents and others.

Registered Office: 71 Addiscombe Court Road, Croydon, CR0 6TT
The IBBY UK Section is a Company Limited by Guarantee: Company number 7892957; Registered Charity number 1145999.

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