Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Time for Some Reaction Shots

Some of the best fun of any awards ceremony, and the reason why it's so much fun to either attend it in person or hang out on Twitter with other book nerds, is sharing your reaction to the honorees and seeing what other people thought. This year's awards had their share of well-deserved awards, startling upsets, and shut-outs, otherwise known around here as "Yay!" "Huh?" and "Hey!"

I'm pretty happy that one of my favorites of 2010, A Sick Day for Amos McGee, took top honors with the Caldecott. While it wasn't my ultimate picture-book standout for 2010 (see the "Hey!" section for more on that), it's a book that made me smile and smile. I have a half-written review on my hard drive that maybe I should finish now. Interrupting Chicken was sort of unexpected, but then the Caldecott is traditionally more open to silly and funny books than its older sister awards.

I squealed with joy when Seeds of Change: Wangari's Gift to the World  was announced for the John Steptoe New Talent award in illustration. Because if anybody needs to keep on creating glorious books, it's  Miz Jen Cullerton Robertson.

Also, Tomie dePaola richly deserved the Laura Ingalls Wilder award for "substantial and lasting contributions to literature for children." Tomie has been a staple in my reading life ever since I was a wee Bibliovore. In fact, the first place I learned about the Lady of Guadalupe (which any Mexican will tell you, is an important lady) was through his picture-book retelling of the beautiful old story, and I still think of it every time I walk by the picture at church.

Kudos to Grace Lin and Mo Willems for their Geisel honors. We all know that Willems is already an early-reader powerhouse with Elephant and Piggie, but I'm hoping we'll see more early readers out of Lin, because Ling and Ting was so cute!

I freely admit: I haven't read one of the Pura Belpre illustration award winners. Most of them I hadn't even heard of. This makes me sad. I'm going to change that.

Okay, seriously. Where was Nikki McClure's Mama, Is It Summer Yet? With the beautiful cut-paper technique and the subtle changes in color? Guess this is one I'll just have to read at storytime over and over and over again.

Also, I'm not entirely clear on the guidelines for the new Stonewall award (maybe picture books aren't included?) but I'd dearly love to see some recognition next year for picture books. I realize that most of the awards I talked about in this post were for illustration, but that's only half the equation. How about some Todd Parr, with his reassuring messages of self-acceptance? Some Marla Frazee, with her sweet images of same-sex parents? Okay, suggest some more picture-book and early-reader authors to me.

Awards aren't everything, though, and as someone (Mitali Perkins, perhaps?) pointed out, this just means we'll have to roll up our sleeves and show off the books that didn't get official love. Because no matter how many shiny gold stickers there are on a book, all that matters in the end is that a child loved it.

ETA: I've done a similar post for the YA and MG winners over at Confessions of a Bibliovore. Stop in!

ETA again: In the comments section on my other blog, Jennifer reminded me about the wordless deliciousness that was Chalk - also never mentioned on Monday. Awwww . . .

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