Annual “Grigor Vitez” award is an award for children’s literature and illustration. It was founded and first awarded in 1967. Best literary text and illustrations are being selected every year. The winner is rewarded with prize money, diploma and a statuette shaped like a bird – the work of the academic sculptor Ksenija Kantoci.
The founder of the award is the Union of Societies “Our children“ Croatia which has worked with and for children for the last 65 years. From the earliest days, children’s book had a very important role in their work; the Union’s goal was to improve publishing for children, promoting quality of content in aforementioned books as well as encouraging the literary creativity and art in books for children.
Award “Grigor Vitez“ was named after the writer Grigor Vitez. He was a long-time associate of Union, founder and editor of publishing series “Vjeverica” and initiator of children’s magazine “Radost”. Most of his rich literary work was dedicated to children. Even at the time of his early death in 1966 Grigor Vitez was a classic writer when it comes to children’s literature and poetry. First award ceremony was held in Croatian Writers Association headquarters on 13th October 1967 and the laureates were writers Gustav Krklec and Ratko Zvrko, artists – illustrators of children’s books Cvijeta Job and Vilko Selan Gliha.
Until this year, 54 writers and 34 artists won the “Grigor Vitez“ award for their literary texts and for their illustrations. Publishers and editors are also being awarded with special commendations because of their contribution in making a quality children’s book.
Over hundred awarded books for children and youth are listed as top artistic accomplishments and many of awarded authors have become classic writers in Croatian literature. Long-term goal of the “Grigor Vitez“ award can be summarized in the mission of its founder – Union of Societies “Our Children” Croatia: Let’s give children all the best in every aspect of life, through factors which surround them and affect their personalities.