Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Reaction Post: 2013 Caldecott, Geisel, etc

Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that yesterday the ALA announced their 2013 youth media awards. What did I think? Read on.

The Caldecott announcement made me very smug, I admit it. Some years, I hardly know any of the books. This year, I not only read and loved the winner (This is Not My Hat), but I also read and loved four out of the five honor books, the only exception being Sleep Like a Tiger. And I just can't shake the thought that I've read that one and maybe just didn't record it. Entirely possible with such short books. I was a little sad that in a year of many Stead books, both Phillip and Erin, neither got a nod. Erin Stead's illustrations for And Then It's Spring charmed me thoroughly, and Phillip's A Home for Bird is one I'm inflicting on all my groups this year. But they're just starting out and they've got lots of years and lots of books ahead of them.

My track record on the Geisel award keeps me humble. I haven't read the winner, and of the three honor books, I've only read Let's Go for a Drive! But I'm not well versed in early readers overall, so the other books are going directly on my list.

The other picture books honored were all scattered amongst different awards, and there are none that prompt a strong reaction. I've seen Christopher Myers' H.O.R.S.E., which won the Coretta Scott King illustrator award, around my library, and I've enjoyed his other stuff.

I do wonder if the Batchelder award, for translated books, covers translated picture books. We've been getting some marvelous ones this side of the pond lately, and it would be nice to see some of those recognized.

What did I think of the books for older kids? Stop by Confessions of a Bibliovore to find out.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Book Review: Z is for Moose, by Kelly Bingham, illustrated by Paul O Zelinsky

Book: Z is for Moose
Author: Kelly Bingham
Illustrator: Paul O Zelinsky
Published: 2012
Source: Local Library

It’s an alphabet book like any other. A is for Apple, B is for Ball, C is for Cat . . . until a terribly impatient moose butts in line, asking when it will be his turn. He loses his temper entirely when they decide to go with “Mouse” instead (“Wait! No! That was supposed to be me! Moose! With an M!”) and rampages throughout the alphabet until his friend Zebra finds a way to include him after all.

Oh, did the kids get a kick out of this. As Mo Willem’s pigeon has proved, there’s enormous appeal in a protagonist losing all control, throwing first a temper tantrum and then sobbing heart-brokenly. (Yep. I’m an awful person.) The kids sympathized with his impatience, delighted in his terrible behavior, and smiled when he finally what he wanted: to be in the alphabet book. Paul Zelinsky’s is not only lovely, it’s brain-bending, playing with the traditional page boundaries to show Moose’s rampage.

Like the best picture books, this is a simple concept executed very, very well.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Reading Roundup: 2012

By the Numbers
Picture Books: 213
Early Readers: 11

Review Copies: 2
Library: 222

Writing: Selected in August: Z is for Moose by Kelly Bingham, illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky "Moose isn't patient enough to wait for his turn in the alphabet show, and horns into earlier letters. Kids will love impetuous Moose, and also pointing out that "I" doesn't have anything to do with the word Moose."
Illustration: Selected in June: The Tree House by Marije Tolman and Ronald Tolman
"This wordless picture book follows a couple of bears who discover a tree house and are joined by friends. Read it through a few times. Linger for awhile. You'll find yourself wanting a treehouse of your own."
Overall: Selected in March: And Then It's Spring by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Erin E. Stead
"You know that early-spring feeling? When it feels like you'll never see anything but mud again? That brown, brown, brown, wait-what's-that feeling? The pairing of Fogliano and Stead capture it beautifully."

This was a bitter battle, as always. The Overall Standout, in particular, almost ended up a four-way tie. I finally went with the Fogliano/Stead pairing because the others (Press Here, I Want My Hat Back, and Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs) have already gotten so much love out there that I wanted to spread it around some.

All the 2012 roundups