Speculation seems a waste of time, and I’m not a fan of guessing. When someone wins something, or something concrete has happened, is the best time to take an interest. But, I have been sent this long list of names by someone in the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award press office, and it seems a shame not to use it.
There are 153 world wide nominees. I haven’t counted them. I’ll take their word for it. They have been recommended by 106 expert organisations all over the place. And I won’t give you the whole list here, because it’s too long, and we’ve rather done lists this last week.
A few British names have ended up on the list, including Seven Stories. David Almond, Quentin Blake, Eva Ibbotson and Michael Morpurgo are among the authors. Many of the other names won’t mean much to anyone outside their own countries or language areas. Philip Pullman won the award a three years ago, but he shared it with Ryoji Arai from Japan, whom few will have heard of. And I have yet to encounter many people who actively know either this year’s winner Sonya Hartnett, or Katherine Paterson who won in 2006.