We are excited to announce that Timo Parvela is nominated for the Hans Christian Andersen Award. The Hans Christian Andersen Awards are two literary awards given biennially by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), recognising one living author and one living illustrator for their lasting contribution to children’s literature. The former is sometimes called the ‘Nobel Prize for children’s literature’. Our warmest congratulations, Timo!
Parvela was selected on the merit of his extensive and successful authorship, which has been inspiring children to read for over thirty years. His books typically stand for timeless humour, vibrant characters, and timely themes and, from early on, included ecological matters in them. Among his most famous series are Ella & Friends (Ella ja kaverit, Tammi 1995-), Purdy & Barker (Maukka ja Väykkä, Tammi, 2007-), and Kepler62 (Kepler62, Tammi 2015-2022), written together with Bjørn Sortland and illustrated by Pasi Pitkänen.
His books have been translated into 40 languages to date, more than any other living Finnish children’s author, and have been recognised with numerous awards and accolades ever since his 1989 debut Poika (Tammi, 1989). In 2006 Parvela won the prestigious Finlandia Junior Prize together with illustrator Virpi Talvitie for The Seesaw (Keinulauta, WSOY 2006).
Parvela is also renowned for his humanitarian and charity work. During the pandemic, he live-streamed himself reading his books to young audiences and, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Ukrainian translations of Ella & Friends books were distributed to refugee children arriving in Finland. Parvela received the Pro Finlandia medal from the President of Finland in 2019 and in 2016, UNICEF Finland honoured Parvela with the Honorary Award for Child Rights.
Congratulations also to fellow Finnish nominee, illustrator Linda Bondestam!
Author portrait by Jari Kivelä