Tuesday, February 03, 2015

452-453 (2015 #9-10). Two Award-Winning Picture Books

The Right Word:  Roget and His Thesaurus, won the 2015 Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award for the most distinguished informational book for children.  It was also named as an Honor Book (a runner-up) for the 2015  Randolph Caldecott Medal, which "honors the illustrator of the year's most distinguished American picture book for children."  It also received a 2015 National Council of Teachers of English Orbis Pictus Honor Book designation, for outstanding nonfiction for children. Jen Bryant is a previous winner of the Schneider Family Book Award, another ALA award, last year; a Charlotte Zolotow Award Honor Book designation in 2009; and the Orbis Pictus Award last year.  She was inspired to write about Peter Mark Roget (1779-1869) when she accidentally picked up an early edition of his Thesaurus instead of the novel she'd planned to read on a road trip.  This picture book biography features watercolor, collage, and mixed media illustrations by Melissa Sweet, a previous winner of the Sibert Award (in 2012) and a Caldecott honoree (in 2009, for A River of Words, written by Jen Bryant).

 A runner-up for this year's Sibert Award was Separate is Never Equal:  Sylvia Mendez and Her Family's Fight for Desegregation.  This picture book is about the little-known school desegregation case in California that preceded the more famous 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education case by seven years.  This book was also named a 2015 Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Book, given to "Latino/Latina ... illustrator[s] whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth."  The author and illustrator of this book, Duncan Tonatiuh, won the latter award in 2012 and had honor books named in 2011 and 2014.  His books also won the Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award in 2012 and 2014.  His artwork is inspired by ancient Mexican art, particularly that of the Mixtec writing system.  

© Amanda Pape - 2015

[These books were borrowed from and returned to my university library.]

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