This morning, Monday, January 28th, the major children’s literary awards were announced at the American Library Association conference in Seattle. For months, children’s librarians have been reading, discussing and blogging about possible contenders and now we know!
Today, I’ll look at the ‘big two’ for children’s literature – the Caldecott and Newbery awards – and next week, I’ll cover some of the other awards that were announced today.
The Caldecott Medal is given to the illustrator of the most distinguished American picture book for children. There were many amazing contenders and I think the committee made some great selections:
The Medal winner is This Is Not My Hat written and illustrated by Jon Klassen
A cheeky little fish steals a hat from a much larger fish and thinks he’s got away with it. Set in a gloomy undersea world, Klassen manages to create the most expressive fish with just a few lines.
Five Honors books were also named - an unusually high number:
Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds; illustrated by Peter Brown
Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett; illustrated by Jon Klassen
Green written and illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
One Cool Friend written by Toni Buzzeo; illustrated by David Small
Sleep like a Tiger by Mary Logue; illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski
The Newbery Medal is given to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. The committee chose some absolutely fantastic books, though there were a couple of surprising ommisions – Wonder and Liar & Spy were both popular choices with many mock Newberys.
The Medal goes to The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
This is a wonderfully spare, almost poetic novel narrated by Ivan, a silverback gorilla who has been an attraction in a seedy animal show at a shopping mall for many years. His wry, elegant commentary will break your heart as he discovers it’s never too late to do a good deed.
There are three Honor books, including one nonfiction title:
Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin
Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz
Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage
It’s great to see so many of our year end favorites collecting these prestigious awards!
What do you think of the books chosen for the awards? Are there any that you think the committees missed? Let us know.