22. ilb 07. - 17.09.2022

Gry Moursund

Portrait Gry Moursund
© Obervatoriet

The Norwegian illustrator and children’s book author Gry Moursund was born in Mo i Rana in 1969. In 1989 she began studying at the art school in Kabelvåg, the Wiiks Folkhögskola in Uppsala, the National Academy of Craft and Art Industry in Oslo, and the Royal College of Art in London.
Her first publication was the illustrations for Peter Svalheim’s children’s book »Himmelkua« (1998), after which she worked with many other children’s book authors, including Eva Jensen, Kari Gjæver Pedersen, and Hans Sande. Her own first children’s book was published in 2008 under the title »Hipp hurra for selveste Susi« (tr: Hip Hip Hooray for Susi). It is aimed at children ages two and up and is about little Susi’s birthday party, where her aunt Anna is missing. Then it turns out that she has inexplicably turned into a fly due to having the flu and is sitting on the wall. Moursund designs this picture book as a firework of strong colors and many details. In 2011, she followed up with her humorous book  »Bibbi og katten« (tr: Bibbi and the Cat) for children between the ages of three and seven. Bibbi and her cat have prepared a delicious pear cake in anticipation of Babba’s visit. But then Babba takes too long to arrive, and the cake looks tasty enough to eat. »Tre biler og en død katt«  (2016; tr: Three Cars and a Dead Cat) for children aged six to nine is an exciting island story in which a girl and her friends try to find out who ran over her cat. There are only three cars on the island. So was it the shopkeeper who always complains about his parents, even though they are long dead? Karsten Oppihaugen, who swears that it wasn’t him? Or the taxi driver Laila, who owns a terrifying dog, who always seems so unapproachable and about whom nobody really knows anything? Most recently, Moursund illustrated Bjørn F. Rørvik’s texts about the Billy Goats Gruff with her wild and colorful drawing and painting style. The first part, »Bukkene Bruse på badeland« (2009; tr: The Three Billy Goats Gruff at the Water Park) was awarded the Norwegian Ministry of Culture’s Picture Book Award and is one of the bestselling picture books in Norway. The protagonists of the currently three-part series are three siblings who encounter an evil troll in various everyday situations and can only confront his misdeeds with heartfelt intervention. Beyond their entertainment value, the books in the series convey values such as sticking together, treating one another with respect, and civil courage towards outdated authorities.
Moursund has received numerous awards for her children’s book illustrations and has been nominated for the international Astrid Lindgren Prize three times. She worked in Berlin for several years and now lives in Oslo.