Jenny Løvlie wins Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2019

last updated 22 March 2019

Bright artist Jenny Løvlie wins the prestigious Waterstones Children’s Illustrated Book Prize for the heartwarming picture book The Girls

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We are so proud and delighted that Jenny Løvlie has won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2019 with author Lauren Ace, for their beautifully illustrated picture book The Girls, published by Little Tiger Press.

The touching tale of four girls whose friendship flourishes under an apple tree, celebrates empathy and compassion as the girls grow up together, sharing laughter and tears along the way. As their lives take different paths and the girls become women, it is a joyous portrayal of cherished friendship as they continue to lift each other up, whether apart or together.


The Waterstones Children’s Book Prize is an esteemed award, renowned for discovering and celebrating the best new talent. Previous winners of the Illustrated Book category include David Litchfield with The Bear and the Piano (2016) and Nicola O’Byrne with Open Very Carefully (2014) making Jenny the third Bright artist to win the prize.

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Jenny Løvlie:

“To have my first picture book win the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize is the absolute wildest thing that has happened so far in my pretty fresh career! I’m proud, extremely honoured and a little overwhelmed to see the impact our ‘Girls’ have had. I’m over the moon with joy and gratitude to receive such a prestigious award!

title At the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize award, from left to right: Jenny Løvlie and Lauren Ace collect their awards and give a joint acceptance speech

“When I read the manuscript and character descriptions for The Girls my immediate thought was that I had never seen anything like this before. The text felt like a celebration of the ordinary girls and women and all other people just living their lives. I wanted to create a world where these characters could be themselves and to recreate the ambience of Lauren’s quietly impactful story in the illustrations.

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“I’m Norwegian and grew up in northern Norway. I draw a lot of inspiration from nature, the Scandinavian landscape, flora, fauna, art and design. For this particular book I looked to vintage picture books and 1950’s non-fiction fact books printed in two-tone, as well as books and memories from my own childhood. I’m influenced by many things, vintage toys and old Eastern European animation in particular. I wanted to achieve a nostalgic, yet modern feel. Nostalgic because I saw the appeal the book would have for adults thinking back on their own friendships and modern for children looking to their future and what they might want to be when they grow up.”

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“I am thrilled that Jenny has won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize – her artwork is filled with heart and sincerity, which creates special books such as The Girls that readers immediately connect with and cherish. It is a pleasure to see her receive such recognition and be celebrated as an award-winning illustrator through this prestigious accolade.” – Arabella Stein

You can see more of Jenny’s work here.

To work with Jenny please contact Arabella Stein.

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