Adeola, who won the award’s edition for the illustrator of the year, is the only creative of African descent on the list of winners, and the first person to win in this category.
By Hope Ibiale
British-Nigerian illustrator, Dapo Adeola, has been announced as one of the recipients of the 2023 Laugh Out Loud Book Awards. Adeola, who won the award’s edition for the illustrator of the year, is the only creative of African descent on the list of winners, and the first person to win in this category. Other award recipients include Ciara Smyth, Joshua Siegel, Andy Jones, Pamela Butchart, Clare Helen Welsh, and Helen Rutter.
While speaking about winning the award on his Twitter page, Adeola said, “Honestly, I did not think I’d win this. While the books I make have humour in them, I wouldn’t describe them as funny, but the children voted for this and I trust their judgement. THANK YOU!”
Dapo Adeola is an award-winning British-Nigerian illustrator who creates characters and images that educate children on race and gender in a fun and upbeat way. When he’s not busy creating new characters and stories, Dapo can be found running illustration and character design workshops with children or organising events to help highlight the possibilities of a career in illustration to underrepresented members of the Black diaspora. Some of his works include Rocket Says Look Up, Rocket Says Speak Up, Hey You, and many others. Adeola is currently working on five children’s books for Puffin Books. Asides winning the Laugh Out Loud Book awards, Adeola has also won the British Book Awards, and the Waterstone Children’s Book Prize.
Launched in 2016, the Laugh Out Loud Book Awards, also known as the Lollies, were created by Scholastic in response to the end of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize. The award celebrates the best and funniest children’s books published in the UK and Ireland. This year saw the addition of four new award categories: Teens, Poetry Book, Non-fiction, and Illustrator of the Year, bringing the total number of categories to seven.
This year’s judging panel included Michael Rosen, best-selling author/illustrator duo Stephen and Anita Mangan, and author/illustrator, Sarah Bowie.