Sissel Horndal, born in Bodø in 1970, is from northern Norway and works as a writer, illustrator, and designer. She studied at Nordland Art and Film School in Kabelvåg and at the Bergen Academy of Art and Design from 1991 to 1997. Later she also studied dramatic writing for children and young people. Horndal has been working with children’s books for twenty years and has received several prizes for her work.
In 1998 she débuted as a children’s book author and illustrator with »Ei halspastillhistorie« (tr: A Cough-drop Story), for which she was awarded the Nynorsk Children’s Literature Prize. This was followed by the picture books »Eg er ikkje trøtt« (2000; tr: I Am Not Tired) and »Himmelspringaren« (2008; tr: The Sky Leaper), for which she again won the Nynorsk Childrenʼs Literature Prize. The finely narrated, philosophical book is about a violet lamb and the difficulties of being different. Horndal artfully combines humor with earnestness and the love of nature. »Historia om alfabetet« (2014; tr: The Story of the Alphabet) is also a story about a girl who has trouble learning to read. Her grandmother then tells her about the time when there were no books, when the letters were wild creatures living in the forest, and what happened when they started to do things together. »Hokus Pokus 1-2-3« (2014) is a humorous hidden object book about counting, by walking through a witch’s house in the winter and discovering the various objects inside it. The picture book »Sølvmånen« (2015; tr: The Silver Moon) is a dramatic story based on a Sámi tale. While herding reindeer in the mountains, a young girl is attacked by Stallo, a greedy and fearsome giant. Stallo abducts the girl and the reindeer herd. If the girl is to survive, she must outsmart both Stallo and his family. »Sølvmånen« was presented at »Into the Wind!« in Berlin 2016, a traveling exhibition of the Childrenʼs Book Illustrations from the Nordic Countries. Horndal received the Blix Prize in 2015 for her complete oeuvre, with the jury saying: »… with stylish illustrations, original stories and steady language, she has expanded the space that is called childrenʼs literature.«
In addition to her own books, Horndal has illustrated books by other Norwegian and Sámi authors. She was nominated as an illustrator for the Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize in 2013 together with Signe Iversen for the book »Mánugánda ja Heike« and in 2015 for »Duvroguovža ja skohtermáđi« together with writer Veikko Holmberg. Sissel Horndal has been involved in art exhibitions and various theater projects as both a stage designer and playwright. She founded Rabarbra Bokmakeri in 2006, an office for graphic design and illustration and book distribution. She lives in Mørsvikbotn/Murgos in Nordland, where she also works as designer for the company Alva form AS.