Master of Line

Kitty Crowther is the master of line but also of atmosphere. She maintains the tradition of the picture book while transforming and renewing it. In her world, the door between imagination and reality is wide open. She addresses the reader gently and personally, but with profound effect. In her deeply felt empathy with people in difficulty, she shows ways in which weakness can be turned into strength. Humanism and sympathy permeate and unify her artistry.
The citation of the jury

Illustrator from Belgium, born 1970.

Kitty Crowther is the master of line but also of atmosphere. She maintains the tradition of the picture book while transforming and renewing it. In her world, the door between imagination and reality is wide open. She addresses the reader gently and personally, but with profound effect. In her deeply felt empathy with people in difficulty, she shows ways in which weakness can be turned into strength. Humanism and sympathy permeate and unify her artistry.

In Kitty Crowther’s books, text and pictures form an integral whole. Her principal works are her own picture books, including L´enfant racine (2003), La visite de Petite Mort (2004), Le grand désordre (2005) and the Poka & Mine series (2005, 2006, 2007, 2010).

She addresses readers personally using a limited repertoire of tools, principal among them pencil, ink and coloured pencils. Facial expressions, posture and atmosphere are captured with unfailing precision. In Kitty Crowther’s world there are no basic stereotypes. The landscapes in which the stories are set resemble the ones we know, but Kitty Crowther sees beyond them to a world richer in possibilities than we imagine.

One of the cornerstones of her authorship is to show how weakness can be turned into strength. Her loyalty to children is unconditional. The sympathy and intense empathy Kitty Crowther shows with her fictional characters is an expression of the deep humanism that runs through all her works.


Watch samples of Kitty Crowther's work in this Guardian image gallery.

Watch Kitty Crowther present her book Alors here.