Swedish Picture Book of the Year

2020-08-27 - 2020-11-29

Ready. Set. Go! Who will take the lead? Who can get past the tigers and other hazards along the way? And who will win? The race is run through cities, over mountains, through forests and over meadows. In Marathon  - a story with no words - the reader becomes a sports commentator.

Marathon has been named the Swedish picture book of the year 2019 and will be honoured with the national award Snöbollen [The Snowball]. Creator of the book, Karin Cyrén received the award in autumn 2020. The original paintings are displayed in the exhibition together with an audio recordning of Karin Cyrén telling about her book.

Marathon is full of quirky comedy and incorporates mini-dramas, mutual antagonisms and contradictions that give the story a dynamism and diversity. The race - the marathon - is full of pain, tricks and triumph. In its justification for the prize the selection panel writes, "A humanistic, cross-border and cosmopolitan book".

Karin Cyrén (b.1984) studied illustration and graphic design at Konstfack [The University of Arts, Crafts and Design]. She currently works primarily with picture books, illustration assignments, public works of art and teaching. Her debut as an illustrator was in 2011 in Paraplyresan [The Umbrella Trip] written by Håkan Jaensson. Since then she has illustrated texts for others and written her own books, such as Strandstaden [Beach City] in 2014, Vem hämtar vem? [Who's picking up Who?] in 2014 (with Siri Ahmed Backström) and I en pöl  [In a Pool] in 2018. 

Marathon started out as a school project at Konstfack in 2009 that was expanded and given a new cover for the 2019 release by Lilla Piratförlaget [Little Pirate Publishing House].

The Snöbollen award for the best Swedish picture book of the year recognises the picture book as an artistic medium. The prize is an initiative by the association Krumelur - Association for Young Words in the North, in cooperation with Umeå Kultur, Kulturföreningen Pilgatan, Bildmuseet, Umeå University, the county library of Västerbotten, Littfest - Umeå International Literature Festival, Mid Sweden University and the Association of Swedish Illustrators and Graphic Designers.