Publisher’s Choice Award – China Shanghai International Children’s Book Fair 2018

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At China Shanghai International Children's Book Fair 2018 this weekend, besides being exhibited, the illustrations from my upcoming book "What is a River?" won the Publisher's Choice Award. It is a huge honor to be selected the prize winner from 1320 illustrators!

Official Announcement:!2018GPawardsrelease

World Illustration Awards – New Talent Winner

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World Illustration New Talent Award

Delighted to tell that I have won the New Talent Award at the World Illustration Awards 2018 by the Association of Illustrators in Children’s Books category! The winners and the shortlist of 200 have been selected by the jury from a record 3,300 entries from 75 countries.

My winning work, illustrations from my upcoming picture book “What Is a River?”, is going to be exhibited during 7 – 20 June at the Embankment Galleries of Somerset House in London. The exhibition is the largest World Illustration Awards show to date, showcasing the full shortlist of 200 works. It explores what illustration means today, how it shapes our world and understanding and how the art form itself is changing.


Some reviews of my new book!

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Here’s a round-up of some recent television and press reviews of my picture book Per balas link aušros. Pasakojimas apie Jono Basanavičiaus keliones ir darbus (the orginal reviews are in Lithuanian; so I translated some quotes to English):


{ Vitalija Pilipauskaitė-Butkienė talking about my book
on TV show “Labas rytas, Lietuva” on LRT (the National Television Channel) }

Much recommended not only for those who want to know more about culture and history of Lithuania but also for those who wish for a good, funny read.

Vitalija Pilipauskaitė-Butkienė, Labas rytas, Lietuva, LRT


It is not enough to say that this book is great and inventive in many ways – moreover, it describes a person in a modern way. The book leaves the feeling that you had just encountered that very man yourself: you could see him treating patients in the city of Lom in Bulgaria, walking in Prague with his beloved, working in the palace of the Duke in Varna, and summoning the Great Seimas of Vilnius.

Vytautas Raškauskas, Šimtmečio knygos vaikams,


An intimate emotional relationship between the book and the reader is created first and foremost by the lettering – it looks like you are reading a letter, maybe even written personally for you. Illustrations resembling at the same time photography and sketches (that greyness of a pencil!) let us see the past, the times and places where Basanavičius had lived. The intention to introduce Basanavičius from his very childhood let us know him as a person who lived and created, perhaps also doubted and made mistakes. The story is woven very naturally. <…> This book could be a helpful means to talk about nationality, patriotism, folk tales and songs, travels, discoveries. Indeed an interesting publication for children of different ages.


To the question why we need to learn about people who had passed away Monika Vaicenavičienė’s book gives an excellent answer. The book draws attention with its wonderful illustrations. They are charming with simplicity, stressing important things but also leaving space for imagination. Attentiveness to details makes the drawings a valuable supplement to the text. <…> I think especially the episodes of Jonas living abroad is the reason why this book is so suited to discuss with kids issues of emigration, patriotism, national identity. In short, this book helps us to consider what makes us conscious citizens of our country.

Donatas Puslys, Per balas link aušros,


My new book “Per balas link aušros. Pasakojimas apie daktaro Jono Basanavičiaus keliones ir darbus” is released!

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My new picture book biography about Jonas Basanavičius, one of the most important people in the Lithuanian Independence movement in the beginning of the 20th century, Per balas link aušros. Pasakojimas apie Jono Basanavičiaus keliones ir darbus is published in Lithuania by Tikra knyga.

The book is about the life of Jonas, his works, travels and dreams. A doctor, scientist, explorer, traveller and storyteller, Basanavičius was a peculiarly enthusiastic and determined person, and it was interesting for me to try to tell his story for kids as of a lively friend from the past.

{ Book release event at the Lithuanian National Library | Photo credit: Elzė Lingytė }

You can read an interview (in Lithuanian) with me about the process of making the book, and why Jonas Basanavičius is important to me here and see a short video clip about the book presented in the annual Vilnius Book Fair here.

And you can purchase the book here!