Australian artist and illustrator Sophie Blackall, a two-time Caldecott winner, including one this year, comes to the University of Richmond for a talk and book signing Feb. 20.

Blackall is the recipient of the 2016 and 2019 Randolph Caldecott Medals for #1 The New York Times Bestsellers Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear and Hello Lighthouse.

Blackall is the ninth illustrator to receive the medal multiple times since the awards’ inception in 1938. The annual prize is awarded by the American Library Association and is considered among the most prestigious awards given for children’s literature. It is granted each year to the most distinguished American picture book for children.

"I will be surprised if a more exquisite picture book will be published this year...Children will be fascinated..." said the New York Times Book Review on Hello Lighthouse.

Blackall has illustrated more than 30 children’s books, including the Ivy and Bean series and an adaptation of Aldous Huxley’s The Crows of Pearblossom. Her work uses distinctive Chinese ink and watercolor art to capture intimate details. In addition to collaborating with other authors, Blackall has written a few books herself, such as 2019’s Caldecott winner Hello Lighthouse and Are You Awake?

“No matter the subject, I’ve always been drawn to Sophie’s charming, detailed illustrations,” said Angela Leeper, director of Curriculum Materials Center. “Now I’m thrilled that her talk on campus will be part of her Caldecott celebration.” 

The event is free and open to the public. It will be held in the Tyler Haynes Commons, Alice Haynes Room at 5:30 p.m. followed by a signing and reception.

This talk is sponsored by the SPCS Graduate Education program as part of the Graduate Education Speaker Series in collaboration with Boatwright Library and A&S Education.