11 Oct 2023 | Hardie Grant Children's Publishing

2023 Little Hare Illustration Prize winner announced!


Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing (HGCP) is delighted to announce that Melbourne-based artist Tess Moh has won the Little Hare Illustration Prize. Awarded biennially, the prize was open to aspiring picture-book artists across Australia and New Zealand.

Entrants were invited to create sample artwork for an upcoming Little Hare picture-book manuscript. As winner, Moh receives a publishing contract, an advance against royalties, and comprehensive art direction and editorial support to take the picture book through to publication. This year’s Little Hare Illustration Prize text was The Everyday Tutu, by Andrea Rowe, best-selling and award-winning author of the 2022 CBCA Early Childhood Book of the Year, Jetty Jumping.

Of Moh’s win, Rowe said: ‘I am beyond excited that I’ll be collaborating with Tess on The Everyday Tutu! Tess’s submission so perfectly captured the character and I can’t wait to make book magic with her.’

With Moh adding: ‘It’s a fantastic honour to win the 2023 Little Hare Illustration Prize! I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to work with Andrea and the team at Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing, and I cannot wait to get started!’

The judges were HGCP publishing director Marisa Pintado, HGCP publisher Chren Byng and HGCP art director Pooja Desai. Byng, who will publish The Everyday Tutu in 2026, said, ‘The calibre of this year’s shortlist was incredibly high, but ultimately we were won over by Tess’s sense of humour and the way she created a character that felt so deeply recognisable and real. Tess is a star in the making and Moh and Rowe will be a creative pair to watch.’

While ultimately the judges could choose only one winner, the shortlisted illustrators are all exciting new talents and there was a lot to love about many of the entries. The judges encourage anyone who enjoyed the process of creating their submission to keep working on their craft and watch this space for details of the 2025 prize.

About the winner:

Tess Moh is a self-taught illustrator, and former Language Arts teacher, based in Melbourne. Drawing inspiration from her everyday life, she infuses her illustrations and stories with hope and humour, connecting readers through shared experiences.

About the shortlisted illustrators:

  • Ella Brissenden is a neurodiverse visual artist and textile designer, based in Melbourne. She combines hand-painted elements with digital techniques to create her work.
  • Miranti Kayess is a self-taught illustrator, based in Sydney. She creates art traditionally – using gouache and coloured pencils – and also digitally.
  • Amy Lee is a self-taught Taiwanese-Australian illustrator based in Sydney. Her artwork is created using gouache, ink, pastel pencils and digital tools.
  • Yiscah Marcatili is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Sydney. She works traditionally, using watercolour, gouache and coloured pencils.
  • Sophie Rowe is a Melbourne-based illustrator and designer. She creates her art digitally, taking inspiration from traditional printmaking techniques.


About the Author

Andrea Rowe is a best-selling, award-winning picture book author, freelance writer and nationally awarded writer of short stories, and a late-night book reader. Andrea writes for children, young adults and grown-ups. She combines her nostalgic celebration of culture, family diversity and the environment in our everyday lives with the questions and conversations that draw us together. Her debut picture book, Jetty Jumping (illustrated by Hannah Sommerville), was awarded the 2022 CBCA Picture Book of the Year – Early Childhood. Andrea believes in the power of stories, of reading out loud and in secret spots surrounded by cushions and stacks of books. She lives in Bunurong Country, in the sand dunes of the Mornington Peninsula, where her writing days are fuelled by a secret stash of Cherry Ripes.


About the Little Hare Illustration Prize Judges

Marisa Pintado, Publishing Director, Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing

Marisa Pintado has worked in children’s publishing for more than 15 years. She has published a wide range of best-selling and award-winning titles for young readers, including: Welcome to Your Period and Welcome to Consent by women’s and adolescent health experts Dr Melissa Kang and Yumi Stynes; the best-selling Real Pigeons series, which is being adapted for film and TV by Nickelodeon; and the beloved School of Monsters series by award-winning children’s author Sally Rippin and illustrator Chris Kennett. In 2012 Marisa founded the Ampersand Prize, one of Australia’s leading awards for debut novelists. She recently established the Bright Light Books imprint at Hardie Grant to publish books about resilience, diversity, ability, empathy and change for young children. 


Chren Byng, Publisher, Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing

Chren Byng’s career in books began 20 years ago, as a bookseller, and she has worked in publishing since 2005. Across her career, Chren has been proud to publish books from many of Australia’s most-loved authors and illustrators, including Freya Blackwood, Judith Rossell, Matt Stanton, Katrina Nannestad, Alison Lester, Philip Bunting, Maxine Beneba Clarke, Glenda Millard, Andrea Rowe, Hannah Sommerville, Leila Rudge and Stephen Michael King. Chren is the current chair of the Children’s Publishing Committee, and she is also the author of the children’s books Aussie Baby Animals, Aussie Water Babies and Flocked.


Pooja Desai, Art Director, Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing

Pooja Desai is an award-winning book designer, art director and publisher. Her career spanned many different design disciplines from product and packaging to digital design before she fell in love with the publishing industry. She forged her path designing iconic series brands such as Megan Hess’s Claris and Sophie Beer’s Love Makes a Family. In recognition of her achievements within the publishing industry, she was awarded the ABIA Rising Star award in 2021. Since then, she has published a select number of passion projects such as the First Nations first concepts series All Around Us by Rachael Sarra, Ryhia Dank, Melanie Hava and Kimberly Engwicht, and Stay for Dinner by Sandhya Parappukkaran and Michelle Pereira. She hates peas and loves collecting vases.