Suana Verelst - Illustrator


Suana Verelst was born in Antwerp, Belgium, and grew up in Kortrijk, a Belgian town close to the French border. She studied drawing and painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Sint-Niklaas, East Flanders, before leaving for Canada to continue her studies in Art History, Fine Arts and Graphic Design.#After a successful conclusion of her studies, with several diplomas, she worked as an assistant production manager and colorist for a publisher of children’s books in Montreal. Having viewed a beautiful catalog of the illustrators’ exhibit from the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, Suana was inspired to become a children’s book illustrator.#She has illustrated many books for publishers in Canada, the United States, Belgium and France. Suana approaches each new book with techniques that suit the story. Her style resembles a quilt of various expressions woven into one — from traditional, realistic imagery, to collage and texture, to quirky and surrealistic illustrations.#She has received many awards for her outstanding work. Her latest book, Razia’s Ray of Hope: One Girl’s Dream of an Education, was named an Honour Book by the jury of the 2014 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award. In 2012, Suana won the French-Language TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award for her illustrations in La saison des pluies. A number of her illustrations have been featured in major exhibitions, such as the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, as part of the Flemish illustrators’ exhibit, and at a group exhibition of children’s book illustrators at the “4th Annual New York Showcase Children’s Book Art Exhibition” in New York City. #Suana is inspired by living in one of the oldest working-class neighborhoods in Montreal, surrounded by green spaces and lots of birds. When she is not working on a project drawing or gluing bits of paper, she is probably making a papier-mâché puppet or admiring an old building on the way to her yogalates class …


  • Razia’s Ray of Hope

    2014 - Best Books of the Year for Children and Young Adults, Bank Street Children's Book Committee, Winner

    2014 - CCBC Choices 2014, Cooperative Children's Book Center, Winner

    2014 - Jane Addams Children's Book Award, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Commended

    2014 - Middle East Book Award, Picture Book, Middle East Outreach Council, Winner

    2014 - Social Justice Literature Award, International Reading Association, Winner

    2014 - South Asia Book Award for Children's Literature, South Asia National Outreach Consortium, Winner

    2014 - USBBY Outstanding International Book, International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), Commended

    2014 - White Raven List, International Youth Library, Winner

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