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NI illustrator who drew inspiration from Titanic on awards shortlist

Children’s book nominated for prestigious prize

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Picture book: Belfast-born illustrator Flora Delargy

Picture book: Belfast-born illustrator Flora Delargy

Flora Delargy's new children’s book Rescuing Titanic

Flora Delargy's new children’s book Rescuing Titanic

Flora Delargy's new children’s book Rescuing Titanic

Flora Delargy's new children’s book Rescuing Titanic

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Picture book: Belfast-born illustrator Flora Delargy

A Belfast-born illustrator is experiencing great success with her debut children’s book, “Rescuing Titanic”.

Flora Delargy was one of six nominated for the prestigious Klaus Flugge Prize on Wednesday evening.

The shortlist was announced at Waterstones in Piccadilly, London.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Ms Delargy said: “It’s a great honour for any illustrator to have their work recognised in this way. I have followed the Klaus Flugge Prize over the last number of years and I’m so thrilled to have made it on to the shortlist this year.”

A spokesperson for the Klaus Flugge Prize said: “The judges admired her use of colour and light and the way she fills the different scenes with life and movement, capturing the full drama of the events.”

The Klaus Flugge Prize was established in 2016 to honour Klaus Flugge, the founder of Andersen Press and an influential figure in children’s picture books.

The prize is awarded to the most promising and exciting newcomer in children’s picture book illustration and is judged by a panel of illustrators, children’s book experts and past winners.

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This year’s competition was looking for fresh, exciting picture book illustrators and, after two years of pandemic isolation, stories that reflected the desire for community, freedom and joy.

From a long list of twenty-four picture books by debut illustrators, the panel of judges narrowed their search to six entries.

This year’s judging panel includes 2021 winner, Flavia Z Drago, and multi-award winning illustrator, Emily Gravett.

Ms Delargy earned a Master’s degree in Children’s Book Illustration from Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge School of Art. She describes it as a wonderful experience to be alongside former classmates in this year’s competition.

In 2019, she was selected for the Illustrators Exhibition at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in Italy.

“I’ve enjoyed drawing from an early age but never really thought of making a career in illustration until a few years ago. When the MA illustration course caught my eye I thought I’d give it a try and apply.

"As a music graduate without any formal training in illustration I wasn’t even confident I would get accepted. It was an incredible experience and it’s such a joy to now work in children’s illustration.”

“Rescuing Titanic” is an illustrated version of the true story of the RMS Carpathia, the ship which changed course mid-voyage to help survivors of the 1912 Titanic disaster.

The Carpathia navigated through huge ice fields to arrive two hours after the Titanic sank, rescuing 705 passengers and crew in the lifeboats.

The Carpathia was later torpedoed by a German U-boat in 1918, and sunk off the southern coast of Ireland with the loss of five crew members.

There’s a deep family connection with Titanic for Flora — her grandfather and great-grandfather both worked in Belfast’s shipyard.

“My grandfather worked in Harland & Wolff as a draughtsman/naval architect so the wider story of Titanic is a natural fit for me. The rescue mission by Carpathia was an interesting way into the subject,” Ms Delargy said.

“The reviews of the book have been pretty positive which is wonderful. It is due to be translated into French and German and is also on sale in the United States. All in all I’m thrilled with the reception of Rescuing Titanic!” Ms. Delargy added.

The winner of the 2022 Klaus Flugge prize is due to be announced this September.

Rescuing Titanic is currently available on Amazon, Waterstones and other leading bookshops


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