Tuesday, January 24, 2006

And the winners are...

Well, I was happy to see that Criss Cross won the Newbery medal this year...I've never been even close to predicting a winner before! Congratulations also to The Hello Goodbye Window by Norton Juster and illustrated by Chris Raschka, which won the Caldecott medal.

To see more links and information, check out the website of the Association for Library Service to Children, the division of the American Library Association that hands out the awards.

Your Friendly Librarian

P.S. As with so many award winners, Criss Cross seems to have gone temporarily out of print, so it's unavailable for purchase. Check it out at your local library instead!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Children's Book Awards

With the most prestigious of the children's book awards, the Newbery and Caldecott, to be announced on Monday morning, I want to get my two cents in before it's too late. I have checked out lots of other people's pick lists and find both common ground and canyons of difference.

Probably my favorite book of the year was The Penderwicks, by Jeanne Birdsall, which won the National Book Award for children's literature. I also really enjoyed The Schwa Was Here, the fiction winner of the Boston Globe/Horn Book prize. But I am of the camp that thinks it is very rare for a children's novel to win two prizes. (I say rare, not impossible, since Nancy Farmer's House of the Scorpion did just that a couple of years ago.) So to give my vote to a third terrific novel, I am going to cast my vote for Criss Cross by Lynne Rae Perkins.

Criss Cross is a really unique and wonderful novel. It follows five teenage friends through various mundane and exciting experiences during a spring and summer. The writing is experimental; one chapter is written entirely in haiku, another is written in two separate columns detailing events as they happen to two characters simultaneously. And the writing is just gorgeous; phrases and images leap off the page. This was a really special book.

For illustrated books, I especially enjoyed He's Got the Whole World in His Hands, by Kadir Nelson (for review, see November 14th entry) who has been recognized by the award board before with a Coretta Scott King award recognizing African American authors and illustrators. These illustrations are lush and gorgeous.

So there they are, my picks for the awards. We'll see how I did on Monday.

Your Friendly Librarian