Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature
The town of Westport CT honored children's book author/illustrator Hans Wilhelm with their Lifetime Achievement Award For Literature on October 23rd. The award was presented by Sybil Steinberg (former review section editor of Publishers Weekly). Previous recipients – and residents of Westport – are Jane Yolen, Erica Jong, Howard Fast, F. Scott Fitzgerald and many more.
"Attempting to quantify Hans Wilhelm's contributions to children's literature is an awesome task. The list of his published books is breathtaking! He is the author/illustrator of 200 books, many of which have been translated into 20 languages. Currently, he has 42 million books in print. They have inspired an animated TV series."
"In an act of creative generosity, he has created a web site where readers can download-- with out charge—many of his out-of-print books. Moving forward with the times, he has converted a growing number of his books into e-books, to be read on the i-pad, where the colors jump out at readers and the narratives are read by Wilhelm himself. Some of his works reside in permanent museum collections, and he has won honors too numerous to mention."
"We are celebrating him today not only for his prodigious achievement but also for the messages his books convey to youthful readers. Working with a palette of warm colors, he creates heartwarming characters who illustrate his philosophy of life. Readers encounter cuddly bears, adventuresome birds, eager bunnies, loyal dogs and even cranky dinosaurs who help them absorb the concepts of giving and accepting love, of the values of kindness generosity, courtesy and forgiveness. These spiritual elements in his stories, which he calls "truths that transcend religious beliefs," have been recognized by audiences around the world, where he's been invited to speak on his life-affirming concepts."
"Hans Wilhelm has said: "I don't just make books for young children. I make books for everyone who likes to hear or read a good story. We all carry in us that "inner child" who wants to believe in truth, honesty, values and a good ending."
"I say hurray to that!"
"I'm pleased to present the Lifetime Achievement Award in Literature to Hans Wilhelm."