The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau
The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau

We’ve mentioned before (here and here) how excited we were to learn that two of our books had been shortlisted for this year’s PEN/Steven Kroll Award for Picture Book Writing.

Imagine our delight now to find out — and to share — that Michelle Markel’s The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau has been named the winner of the 2013 PEN/Kroll Award, given annually “to a writer for an exceptional story illustrated in a picture book.”

Markel’s award-winning picture book biography recounts the life story of Henri Rousseau, a onetime tax collector and self-taught artist who endured the harsh critics of his day and created the brilliantly imaginative paintings that now hang in museums around the world. Markel’s vivid text, complemented by the vibrant illustrations of Amanda Hall, artfully introduces young readers to the beloved painter and encourages all readers to persevere despite all odds.

We offer our congratulations to Michelle Markel and our thanks to the PEN American Center, especially Literary Awards Committee Chair Alice Quinn, Executive Director Suzanne Nossel, and the PEN/Steven Kroll Award judges — Barbara Shook Hazen, Cheryl Willis Hudson, and David Wiesner.

Click to order Michelle Markel and Amanda Hall’s The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau, to view the book trailer, to learn more about the PEN Literary Awards, or to find out how you can enter to win copies of both of our PEN Award shortlisted books this week on EerdWord.