Tomi Ungerer gets a medal from the French president
Phaidon children's author is given Order of Merit medal by François Hollande at the Élysée Palace in Paris
Congratulations to Phaidon author and living legend Tomi Ungerer. Our children's book writer and illustrator received a National Order of Merit medal this week from French President François Hollande. This Order of Merit rewards military or civilian merits rendered to the French nation.
Ungerer, author of Fog Island, No Kiss For Mother and One, Two, Where's My Shoe? was nominated "Commandeur de l'Ordre national du Mérite". Commandeur is the 4th rank out of 27 different categories in terms of prestige in the Ordre National du Mérite - not bad for someone who was described on his school-leaving certificate as a ‘depraved and rebellious character' and who outraged French society with some of the characters and themes in his early children's book.
The Ordre National du Mérite (France) is part of a very complex system of prizes invented by Napoleon in 1802. Since it was overhauled by President général De Gaulle in 1962, some 5078 people have been nominated Commandeur.
We caught up with Tomi in Paris yesterday and we'll be bringing you his reaction to the win next week. For now though check out our own award winning books by him in the store.