The Korea Herald


Inaugural Korea Picture Book Award honors Kim Jung-min, Minha

By Hwang Dong-hee

Published : Dec. 4, 2023 - 16:01

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"The Disappeared Dinner" (left) and "A Round of Tightrope Walking" (Changbi Publishers, Gloyeon Publishing)

A dark comedy about creature comforts and an exploration of tightrope walking were announced as the winners of the inaugural 2023 Korea Picture Book Award, jointly granted by the Culture Ministry and the Publication Industry Promotion Agency of Korea (KPIPA), on Monday.

Kwon Jung-min's fiction piece, "The Disappeared Dinner," and Minha's non-fiction, "A Round of Tightrope Walking," won top honors in their respective categories.

"The Disappeared Dinner" (Changbi Publishers)
"A Round of Tightrope Walking" (Gloyeon Publishing)

"The Disappeared Dinner" (Changbi Publishers) depicts a raucous day set in an apartment in a city where all meals are conveniently delivered. One day, a live pig is delivered instead of a pork cutlet because the restaurant didn’t have the time to cook the order. The work satirically addresses issues overlooked by people who are accustomed to convenience and speed, through dark humor.

"A Round of Tightrope Walking" (Gloyeon Publishing) explores the art of tightrope walking, which is listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage, offering a modern interpretation of the traditional art. The book points out that tightrope walking is more than just an acrobatic skill, and that it incorporates humor and interactions between the tightrope walkers and the clowns.

"Gorong Gorong House" (Sakyejul)
Poster for 2023 Korea Picture Book Award (KPIPA) Poster for 2023 Korea Picture Book Award (KPIPA)

Meanwhile, Jo Shin-ae's "Gorong Gorong House" (Sakyejul) earned the newcomer award. The book vividly depicts an ordinary day of raising a baby, capturing precious moments and emotions through illustrations reminiscent of house design drawings.

The Korea Picture Book Award aims to recognize outstanding picture books and provide support for international publishing. The competition, which began accepting submissions in August, received a total of 609 entries, with eight winners selected after evaluations.

Grand prize recipients will each receive a prize of 15 million won ($11,499), while special award and newcomer award winners will be granted 7 million won each. The publishing houses of the winning works will also receive 3.5 million won each.

The winning titles will receive support for international marketing through KPIPA's platform, “K-Book,” and various assistance for their works overseas, including participation in international book fairs.

The award ceremony is scheduled to take place Tuesday in Seoul.