• Chinese author Cao Wenxuan has received the so-called Nobel Prize for children's literature.

Chinese author Cao Wenxuan has received the so-called Nobel Prize for children's literature. (Photo : Getty Images)

Chinese author Cao Wenxuan has been named as the recipient of the Hans Christian Andersen Prize for 2016, which is regarded as the Nobel Prize for children's literature, reported China Radio International.

The 62-year-old writer received the award in Auckland, New Zealand on Aug. 20, making him the first Chinese writer to score the said prestigious recognition. The win was first revealed last April in Italy.

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In his speech, Cao recalled his childhood stories and how they intertwined with his writing philosophy, told CRI. The novelist, who is currently a professor at Peking University, also said that he aims to "create a sanctuary with his writing for not only himself but also for children."

The Hans Christian Andersen Prize is organized by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY). Held biennially, the body recognizes a living author and illustrator for contributions to children's literature. Some of the recent winners include Japan's Nahoko Uehashi (2014), Argentina's María Teresa Andruetto (2012) and the U.K.'s David Almond (2010).

According to the IBBY, Cao was chosen unanimously by the jury as he "writes beautifully about the complex lives of children facing great challenges." His first book, "Cao Fang Zi" (The Straw House) is one of the first coming-of-age novels in China. It received the National Children's Literature Award, among other recognitions.

Cao's novel titled "Dingding Dangdang," a story about two children with Down Syndrome published in 2012, was included in IBBY's Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities award for 2015.

The Chinese author's books have also been widely translated into different languages, including English, Korean, Japanese and French.

Other shortlisted authors for this year were Louis Jensen, Mirjam Pressler, Ted van Lieshout and Lois Lowry. In the illustrators' category, artists Rotraut Susanne Berner, Pejman Rahimizadeh, Alessandro Sanna, Suzy Lee and Marit Tornqvist were selected.