Áslaug Jónsdóttir (1963) studied Visual Arts in Reykjavik and Copenhagen, and graduated as illustrator and graphic designer in 1989. She works as illustrator, graphic designer, writer and visual artist. Her first children’s book was published in 1990 and since then she has written and illustrated numerous picture books and taken part in exhibitions in Iceland and abroad. Moreover, she has written children’s plays for The National Theatre in Reykjavík, where she also was responsible for the stage design.
Áslaug has received numerous awards for her works. She is a two-time winner of the Dimmalimm Prize – The Icelandic Illustrator’s Award: In 2005 for Gott kvöld (“Good Evening”) and in 2004 for Nei! sagði litla skrímslið (“No! said Little Monster”). She received Reykjavík Children’s Literature Prize along with co-authors Kalle Güettler and Rakel Helmsdal for Stór skrímsli gráta ekki (“Big Monsters Don’t Cry”). Her works have three times been selected for the IBBY Honour List for illustrations, and she has received nominations for the Hans Christian Andersen Awards as well as for the ALMA award (Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award) for her illustrations.
She won the West-Nordic Children’s Literature Prize in 2002 together with author Andri Snær Magnason for Sagan af bláa hnettinum (The Story of the Blue Planet), the first children’s book to win the Icelandic Literary Prize. In 2008 her first play, Gott kvöld (“Good Evening”) won Gríman – The Icelandic Theatre Award as the best children’s production of the year. Áslaug was also nominated for the Nordic Drama Award in 2010 for the same play. Her second play Sindri silfurfiskur (“Shimmer the Silverfish”) was nominated for Gríman in 2010 and later performed at international theatre festivals in Lund, Malmö and Moscow.
Her works have been published in many languages, including the popular series about the Little Monster and the Big Monster, written with co-authors Kalle Güettler and Rakel Helmsdal. For the seventh book in the series, Skrímslaerjur (“Monster Squabbles”) the three authors were nominated for the new Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize 2013 on behalf of Iceland. This year the author team is also nominated for the award for the ninth book in the series, Skrímsli í Vanda (Monsters in Trouble) – that won the The Icelandic Literary Prize 2017 in the category of children and young adult’s fiction.
Áslaug Jónsdóttir lives and works in Reykjavik, but she seeks inspiration and stays as often as she can at the family farm Melaleiti in South-West Iceland where she grew up.