These awards began in 1993 in memory of Marion Vannett Ridgway, a beloved artist's representative who worked in New York. Marion died in 1992 but over her forty year career she gave generous support and encouragement to hundreds of talented artists, many of whom became her close friends.
Marion always made time for any artist or author who needed a little guidance. And so in that helpful spirit these awards attempt to call attention not necessarily to the already successful (who are deservedly noticed anyway) but to an often overlooked category in the world of children's books - the debut appearances of illustrators and authors.
Elizabeth Park, a long-time friend of Marion's, founded these awards and oversaw them for the first several years. Elizabeth died in the spring of 1998 after a long illness.
The administrator of the Ridgways since 1998 has been the author and illustrator Mark Shasha.
About 30 publishers take part in the annual competition. The winners are announced in April. Only books published initially in the United States are eligible.
What Other's Are Saying
About ARACHNE SPEAKS...
"This is THE version you'll want to use to introduce kids to this tale of the vanity of the gods vs. the talent of mere mortals." www.childrenlit.com
"Together art and text successfully challenge the boundaries of myth, stimulating readers to explore anew its proven terrain." Publisher's Weekly Starred Review
"This faithful, lyrical retelling of a Greek myth is one that Ovid would admire... The text flows beautifully and will enliven the imaginations of the children who hear or read it..." School Library Journal