Show and Tell by Dilys Evans (Chronicle Books, 2008) carries the subtitle “Exploring the fine art of children’s book illustration,” and that is what it is: a full-color coffee table style book that highlights a few of the best children’s book illustrators by examining what makes their art “fine art.” Because I love reading picture books, I really appreciated the analysis of great children’s book illustration, as well as the discussion of the illustrators’ lives, from the beginning of their interest in art to where they found their inspiration for their illustration.
I suspect that most children’s lit readers of this blog have already discovered the announcements for the ALA Youth Media Awards, but nevertheless, I really wanted to give my thoughts, since this year I made a huge effort to read the recently published children’s picture books as a part of the Cybils 2011 nomination process.
The Caldecott winner and honors are listed here. The three honor books are ones I completely loved and wanted to see recognized. All three of them had been nominated for the Cybils, and two had ended up on the finalist list. I personally was hoping Grandpa Green would be recognized as a Caldecott winner for its art: it’s simply fantastic, I think, although a number of people have expressed doubt given its limited kid appeal. (Raisin enjoyed it very much as well, although I do admit he didn’t love it as much as I did.) At any rate, I was surprised by A Ball for Daisy as the winner. Although I like Chris Raschka’s style in other books, Daisy just did not impress me (and it was not nominated for the CYBILS picture books award either, interestingly enough). Raisin liked it enough: we read it a few times. But I personally found the art a bit off-putting: it just wasn’t my style. It looked too raw to be a favorite. Nonetheless, I’m pretty satisfied with the three honor books, so I’ll take the fact that Daisy isn’t illustrated in my style with a grain of salt and accept the list as a good one.
What did you think of the Caldecott winner and honor books?
I haven’t read any of the nominees for most of the other categories, including the Newbery (maybe in a few years when Raisin is reading that reading level of book, then I’ll be “in the know”). There were a few books I recognized in other categories and a number that I’m excited to read at some point. But the only other category that caught my eye in terms of what I wanted to post about was the Geisel Award (named after Dr. Seuss of course) and selects great early reader books. The winner and the honors are named here.
I have not read the winner, Tales for Very Picky Eaters, but I think my son will enjoy that, as he has become rather picky lately about what he eats. I have read both the Elephant and Piggie honor book (I Broke My Trunk!) and I Want My Hat Back. I agree on those being fantastic for early readers. Raisin was quite proud of his ability to read I Want My Hat Back way back in May when I first gave him the review copy I received from BEA. And again, I haven’t read the last honor book, See Me Run, which is about dogs. I’ll have to look it up.
I’m quite excited to explore the world of early readers in the coming months. Although I don’t intend to stop looking for fantastic picture books (I love them!) my son is starting to really enjoy the early readers we’ve found: he loves being able to read me a story. Elephant and Piggie were his first favorites, and this last week we discovered Fly Guy (yuck for me, but perfect for Raisin’s reading level and four-year-old sense of humor right now).
What early readers with similar reading level to Fly Guy can you suggest?
My work as a Fiction Picture Book panelist is over, but the great things about the Cybils is the lists of finalists to keep reading from for the rest of the year! This month, I decided to find the seven nonfiction picture book nominees to see what the fuss was about in the nonfiction sector. (more…)
This is my last week and last post of sharing Cybils Fiction Picture Book Nominees, so I’ve got to go for a miscellany this week. Sub-topics: Dealing with Life; Kids’ Fashion; Roads and Trucks; Fine Arts; Non-Western Traditions; and, of course, Christmas, Christian, and Winter Books. (more…)
Once I started thinking of categorizing some of the Cybils books as “Finding a Place,” I found that many pictures books seem to emphasize that. Although picture books don’t provide a cathartic bildungsroman arc of developing self-awareness that middle-grade or young adult books do, in many ways picture books do share the stories of the miniature epiphanies that come to children as they go through life. Below are some of the books that do so, roughly categorized for sanity’s sake. (more…)