Our alumna’s global success comes from her master’s thesis

Our alumna Marta Bartolj’s book Every Little Kindness, which was her first master’s thesis in Illustration, has won a major American award from the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, the 2022 Ezra Jack Keats Honor Award for Illustration. Congratulations!

The thesis was supervised by Prof. Petra Černe Oven for the theoretical part and Prof. Radovan Jenko for the practical part, with the participation of Assoc. Prof. Roman Ražman. The project was designed as a children’s picture book without text, which shows through illustrations the power of simple actions to become an example for other people.

Last year, the picture book was already a huge success when it was published in the USA by Chronicle Kids / Chronicle Books. And this leap into the US book market has led to the prestigious international Ezra Jack Keats Foundation Award, which has been supporting outstanding early career children’s book authors and illustrators since 1985. In this way, the Foundation is also preserving the legacy of Ezra Jack Keats, one of America’s greatest children’s book authors and illustrators. Read more about the awards here.

Having said all that, we echo Marta’s comment: ‘It is a great confirmation that I am on the right track and an encouragement to keep going. And I wish that, especially at this time, kindness will spread to all the corners and hearts of this world.”

The book Every Little Kindness is available for purchase here.


International reviews of the US edition

“In Bartolj’s wordless debut, first published in Slovenia, small acts of kindness have big effects. . . . The sweetness of the story is palpable without being cloying, and the message of care comes through without needing to be said. . . . A lesson by example in compassion for all ages.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Bartolj’s wordless picture book, originally published in Slovenia, beautifully illustrates the concept of paying it forward. . . . [T]his is a tale that begs for repeated viewings.”—Booklist Reviews

“A stunning example of wordless storytelling . . .”—Foreword Reviews, starred review


Photo: author’s archive