Frenci (Francesca) Sanna is an illustrator and picture book author from Sardinia, currently living and drawing in Switzerland.

They graduated in Architecture from the University of Cagliari, before they decided to move from their beloved island to Germany first and then Switzerland where they studied design and illustration in Basel and Lucerne. They hold a Master in Design with specialisation in Illustration from the University of Applied Arts of Lucerne, and they have briefly studied in New York, attending a summer residency at the School of Visual Arts. After they graduated they spent several months in London as research fellow for The Reluctant Internationalists Group at Birbeck, University of London, working on one of their books, Me and My Fear.

Their books have been translated into more than 18 languages and their work has been recognised by the Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, 3×3 magazine, Communication Art, Kirkus Reviews and Publisher Weekly.

They are currently based in Zurich, but they often move around to see new places and work on new projects.

You can find Frenci on Instagram too – even if not too often!


Awards and Exhibitions
Shortlisted – Kate Greenaway Medal
Selected – BCBF 2020, Illustrators exhibition

Winner – Amnesty International CILIP Honour
Winner – UKLA Award
Winner – Klaus Flugge Prize
Winner – Ezra Jack Keats Book Award Honour
Winner – Gute Sprache Preis, Germany
Kirkus Reviews’ Best Picture Books

Winner – English Association’s 4-11 Picture Book Award
Shortlisted – Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize
Winner – Society of Illustrators, Gold Medal
Winner – Communication Arts Illustration Award
Shortlisted – German Children’s Literature Award
Shortlisted – Swiss Children’s Media Prize
Shortlisted – Swiss Children’s Literature Award
Winner – Premi Llibreter de narrativa, Barcelona

If you were a city, by Kyo Maclear, Chronicle Books, 2022
The More You Give,
by Marcy Campbell, Knopf Books, 2022

Perkin’s Perfect Purple, b
y Tami Lewis Brown and Debbie Loren Dunn, Little Brown, 2020
My Friend Earth,
by Patricia MacLachlan, Chronicle Books, 2020
Move Mr. Mountain!, Templar Books, 2019
Me and My Fear, Flying Eye Books, 2018
Andersen  – The Little Mermaid, Little Gestalten, 2017
Ein Loch Gegen den Regen,
by Daniel Fehr, Atlantis, 2016
The Journey,
Flying Eye Books, 2016

Frenci really likes the sea, most flavours of gelato, and her old cat Berta.