The Hayao Miyazaki classic film, Kiki’s Delivery Service, took inspiration from a children’s book of the same name. Now, that book’s author, Eiko Kadono, has won one of the most prestigious prizes in literature. The award she won is none other than the Hans Christian Andersen Award. Specifically, the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) awarded her the 2018 Hans Christian Andersen Award for Writing.

She’s actually the third Japanese writer to win the award, after Michio Mado in 1994 and Nahoko Uehashi in 2014. The Hans Christian Andersen Awards, named after the famed 19th-century Danish children’s author, are presented every other year to an author and an illustrator whose “complete works have made an important, lasting contribution to children’s literature”. The award is so important that many consider it as the Nobel Prize for children’s literature.

The IBBY described her books as “always surprising, engaging and empowering,” and also added that their female characters are “singularly self-determining and enterprising”. So to Eiko Kadono, congratulations!

source: Japan Times