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Kate Milner studied Illustration at Central St Martin's before completing the MA in Children's Book Illustration at Anglia Ruskin University. Her work has been published in magazines and her illustrations and prints have been shown in London galleries and national touring exhibitions. Kate won the V&A Student Illustration Award in 2016.
On winning the Klaus Flugge Prize 2018, Kate Milner said: “I felt absolutely amazed and delighted when I heard that I’d won. I was very, very pleased to be shortlisted but I explained to everyone at the time that there was absolutely no chance of me winning. I was quite clear about this. When I got the good news I was alone in the house apart from my son who was still asleep. I was beside myself with delight; he didn’t get to stay asleep long.
I have done all sorts of things in my working life. I have painted pub signs and made prints; been a teacher and a carer. I have always made images and thought up stories, but it was a job at the local library that changed everything for me: I fell in love with children’s books. Part of my job was to read to groups of pre-school children at Rhyme Time, which was an excellent way of discovering which books kept their attention, indeed which books kept my attention. I also helped with Chatterbooks and the Summer Reading Challenge, both of which involved talking to children about books. It was an education. We wondered why picture books contain lots of farm yard animals but no mobile phones, yet most children know all about mobile phones and have never met a lamb. We discussed whether Moody Margaret would beat My Naughty Little Sister in a fight, and we decided she definitely would. Despite my great age, I am, in many ways, about eight years old, and I still love to draw and make up stories. Becoming part of the world of children’s book feels like coming home.”
October 2019 Book of the Month | Kate Milner, winner of the 2018 Klaus Flugge Award for most promising newcomer to children’s book illustration has certainly lived up to her laurels with this delicate and subtle picturebook, which packs a real emotional and political punch. It is a cause of great shame to many, in this country and in the 21st century, that more children than ever are living in poverty and that there has been a huge expansion in the use of foodbanks. Mum works really hard and watches every penny, but today is a no money day. Her little girl, who tells the story, takes great pleasure in life from the simple, free activities they share- visits to the library and dressing up in the charity shops. Unlike her humiliated Mum, she loves the visits to the food bank for the drink and biscuits and the kind ladies to talk to. On the way home they play the maybe one day game- dreaming of pets and washing machines and new warm clothes. They go to bed and “because of kind people our tummies are full”. Nothing is laboured in text or image- the colours are subdued but still there. The despair and tiredness of the mother is evident in every expression and nuance of body language, but so is the warmth and love between them and so is the irrepressible spirit of a child who knows they are loved even if as the pictures subtly show us, she is clearly malnourished. This is a book which can be used with a very wide range of children and will encourage empathy and discussion of a very current and appalling crisis in our society.
Winner of the 2018 Klaus Flugge Prize | Longlisted for the UKLA 2018 Book Award June 2017 Book of the Month Simple enough for the youngest child to understand and certain to prompt feelings of empathy in readers of all ages this timely story follows a young boy as he sets out from his home to find somewhere safe to live. “Remember, only take what you can carry”, says his mum, and “What would you take?” asks a highlighted line of text, the first of a series of questions that puts the reader in the little boy’s shoes. While the dangers and difficulties of the boy’s long journey are made clear through words and the stark, rather beautiful pictures, there’s still room for play and adventure, which makes the boy’s experiences more real and recognisable for youngsters. It ends on a note of hope, but we still feel we’ve made that frightening journey into the unknown. ~ Andrea Reece A Piece of Passion from Mairi Kidd, MD of Barrington Stoke: “It's always inspiring to visit the Anglia Ruskin CSA stand at Bologna and this year especially so - My Name is Not Refugee drew me back again and again. It's so perfectly pitched for young children, focusing on the aspects of life and routine that are so important for under 5s and asking the reader to reflect on how these might be affected by tremendous upheaval. The effect is to reduce distance and to emphasise that this is a human tragedy we cannot ignore.”A message from the author, Kate Milner: “The idea for this book came to me while driving home from Cambridge one evening. My daughter, who works in a school, had told me that the children in her class were asking her about the refugee crisis… They didn’t understand what was being discussed in the news and she had nothing to show them. I asked myself if there was anything I could do and by the end of the journey the book was clear in my head. It’s a story which asks children from a safe, comfortable background to think about what it must be like to leave your home and make a journey into the unknown.” Klaus Flugge Prize Judge, Children’s Laureate Lauren Child says: “The questions My Name is Not Refugee asks us to consider help us to think ourselves into someone else’s shoes. And the illustrations do just what they should, allowing the reader time to contemplate the predicament of the storybook child, a chance to imagine and to empathize.”