Showing posts with label awards. Show all posts
Showing posts with label awards. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Ball for Daisy

This year's Caldecott medal went to Chris Raschka's A Ball for Daisy.  I just picked up a copy from my library and love it.  It is a wordless picture book that tells the story of a dog, Daisy, and her red ball.  Daisy loves her ball: she plays with it, naps with it and takes it to the park.  One day at the park Daisy and another dog are playing when the other dog pops Daisy's ball.  The illustrations depict a dejected Daisy mourning the loss of her ball.    Daisy's owner is seen dragging her back to the park and both are in for a surprise when they get there.

The illustrations are done in water color and ink with mostly neutral colors but splashes of bright mixed in. The illustrations seem simple at first glance but a lot of detail and emotion are drawn into each page.  This is a wordless picture book, but as I read the illustrations, I felt like I was reading the text right along with them.  There is a definite arc and plot to the story and I think children of all ages, but especially those who can not read yet, will love sitting down to "read" this story.  Raschka's illustrations tell of loss and friendship in a very visual way.

Monday, February 20, 2012


One of the finalists for the Cybils award in the fiction picture book category was Blackout by John Rocco. This is a fantastic picture book.  It tells the story of a little girl whose family is too busy to play a board game and what happens when all the lights in the city go out.

I love the colors of this book.  There is a stark visual contrast between the opening spread with the city lights all on and the fronts of the houses and stores lit up and the darkness that descends on the city.   I enjoyed the comic book paneling and thought it had a cinematic feel to it as well.  I love the simplicity of the text and how it leaves most of the storytelling to the illustrations.  This is definitely a picture book where reading the illustrations gives the reader most of the story.   

I love the premise of the book.   In a society where everything is constantly at our fingertips via smartphones we are certainly busy and preoccupied.  I think this book really captures the child's view of the excitement of slowing down and spending time together - making shadow puppets, climbing the roof to the city being lit only by stars (a true sight to behold for an urban child) and going down to the street to play in the fire hydrants and eat free ice cream.  This is a child's paradise - and I think this book captures that.  Two winters ago we had our power go out for several days, and one of the nights we set up a tent in our friends' front room and slept it in with our kids, cooked pancakes on a camp stove via head lamps and had instant oatmeal for breakfast.  My kids loved it and now every time it snows they tell us how they hope the power goes out so we can do it again.  I remember it being cold; they remember it being an adventure.  I love that this book captures the adventure point of view of the child and empowers the child to re-create that action on their own time frame - rather than the weather's.  Because surely playing games via candlelight (or sleeping in a tent in the living room) is even more fun in a comfortable temperature.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Cybils Announced

The Cybils awards were announced this morning!  Check out their website to find out the winners in every genre of children's literature.  I was lucky to be one of the final judges for the fiction picture book genre and the winner for that category is Me . . . Jane by Patrick McDonnell.

This is such a fantastic picture book.  Here is the write up found on the Cybils blog:

Me...Jane is a touching glimpse into the life of a young Jane Goodall as a curious girl with a love of nature, and books, and a stuffed chimpanzee named Jubilee. A unique combination of dreamy watercolor vignettes and nature-inspired vintage engravings complement a simple and evocative text. Every element of the book's design, from its album-like cover and heavy yellowed pages to the inclusion of photographs and Goodall's own childhood drawings, helps create a picture book that feels like a relative's cherished scrapbook. Readers of all ages will take inspiration from a young girl who so fully follows her dreams.

One interesting thing to note about this book is that even though it is about Jane Goodall it is classified as fiction, rather than non-fiction.  It is a book that somehow straddles the line of fiction and non-fiction and tells the story of a young Jane Goodall in a very accessible manner to all ages.  Find this book - you will not be disappointed.  

Also, today is International Book Giving Day - read more about it here - and give a book to a child today!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Award Friday - Animals of the Bible

My posting has been sparse this week because my mother is in town and we have been busy "projecting" - painting bookcases and dressers, rearranging the front room and making halloween costumes.  I get so much done when my mom is in town!

Remember to enter the giveaway for Razzle Dazzle Ruby - it ends at midnight tonight.

I have decided to start a weekly post on Fridays focusing on an award winning book.  It may be any type of award winning book - but I am going to begin by focusing on the Caldecott Medal.

The Caldecott Medal began in 1938.  In 1937, Frederic Melcher suggested they create a new award to honor the artist of the most distinguished picture book of the previous year.  It was named after Randolph Caldecott who was one of the three most influential illustrators in England in the 19th century.  If you are interested in the history of the medal you can read more here.

The first winner of this award was given to Animals of the Bible - illustrated by Dorothy P. Lathrop with text selected by Helen Dean Fish from the King James Bible.  The illustrations are black and white pencil drawings and are incredibly detailed.  There is a lot of shading that really makes the images stand out.  These are beautiful drawings, and the work set a great precedent for this award.  The text are selections from the Old and New testament that focus on animals.  Despite being more than 70 years old, this is still a great book today for those who want to read stories from the Old and New testament with their children and enjoy beautiful, award winning illustrations.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

And the winners are . . .

The American Library Association (ALA) announced the book winners for this year yesterday morning.  I have not read most of them - but hope to soon.  I am especially excited though about the Caldecott Winner -

Go pick up a copy - you will not regret it.  

Here is a link to all of the winners.  I hope to review some of them soon!