Australian illustrator and author Shaun Tan has won the 2011 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for children's literature, the prize jury said Tuesday.
It described Tan as "a masterly visual storyteller, pointing the way ahead to new possibilities for picture books."
Tan, 37, has produced about 20 books, including "Tales from Outer Suburbia" and "The Rabbits" _ a dark and controversial allegory of colonization written by John Marsden and illustrated by Tan when he was only 22.
Earlier this year he won an Oscar for the animated film adaptation of his book "The Lost Thing," which follows a beach-combing boy who sees what others can't: A lumbering rust-colored being with little red bells on lobster-like claws and an industrial shell wandering unnoticed in the sand.
His books have been translated into more than 10 languages and he has also produced musical and theatrical adaptations of his works, as well as fine art and murals.
Tan grew up in a suburb of Perth in Western Australia with his Chinese father and Australian mother.
The annual 5 million Swedish kronor ($780,000) award is named after late Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren, creator of the Pippi Longstocking book series.
Jury chairman Larry Lempert said Tan's originality, respect for children and a tendency not to shy away from dark subjects in many ways resemble Lindgren's spirit.
"His pictorial worlds constitute a separate universe where nothing is self-evident and anything is possible," he said, while announcing the prize. "Memories of childhood and adolescence are fixed reference points, but the pictorial narrative is universal and touches everyone, regardless of age."