Read On!

Mrs. Farquharson’s musings about books for children and young adults

Awards Season


On a Monday morning in late January, fans of children’s books wait expectantly to learn about the winners of the most prestigious awards in children’s literature. This past Monday, the American Library Association announced the 2014 winners.

The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.  (From the ALA webpage)

tlccontent-1There were many outstanding picture books that were published in 2013, and I can only imagine the animated discussions that the award committee had. The winner of this year’s Caldecott Medal is Locomotive, written and illustrated by Brian Floca (Atheneum, 2013) This non-fiction title might be called an historical picture book, as Floca depicts a family traveling cross country on the iron horse in 1869. Readers will return to this book again and again and discover new details in the watercolor, ink, acrylic, and gouache illustrations.

Three other illustrators were honored – Aaron Becker, Molly Idle, and David Wiesner. Coincidently, all three of the honor books are wordless books, but they are very different from each other.

Becker wrote and illustrated Journey (Candlewick, 2013), and he depicts a lonely girl who draws her way into a magical adventure. The watercolors and pen and ink drawings take the readers from her colorless real world to a colorful imaginative one. Idle’s watercolors with pencil outlines in Flora and the Flamingo (Chronicle, 2013) show a young girl and a flamingo who become friends and dance a pas de deux. I wrote about Mr. Wuffles! (Clarion, 2013) on November 15, 2013. Wiesner’s watercolor and India ink drawings tell the story of a housecat who discovers an out-of-this world toy.

The Newbery Medal was named for eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. (From the ALA webpage)

tlccontentKate DiCamillo received the 2014 Newbery Medal for Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures (Candlewick, 2013). DiCamillo’s title, Because of Winn Dixie received a Newbery Honor Medal in 2001, and in 2004 she won Newbery’s top award for The Tale of Despereaux. To read more about Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures, do check out my blog entry for January 10, 2014.

There were four Newbery Honor Books this year: Doll Bones by Holly Black (Simon & Schuster, 2013), The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes (HarperCollins, 2013), One Came Home by Amy Timberlake (Knopf, 2013), and Paperboy by Vince Vawter (Delacorte, 2013).

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