The ALA Youth Media Awards are almost upon us which means that very soon, our Caldecott and Newbery winners will be announced for this year! The Caldecott Medal is awarded annually to an American illustrator for the most distinguished picture book. Click here for our picks for the Newbery award, and watch out for the official announcement February 12!
There is always a lot of buzz among schools and libraries about which books should win these prestigious awards. Here are some books that our Youth Services staff feel merit consideration:
Our picks for the Caldecott Medal
Pup and Bear by Kate Banks; illustrated by Naoko Stoop
Pup and Bear is a story of trust and acceptance as an abandoned wolf pup is taken in by one of its natural predators, a polar bear. Stoop’s soft illustrations are a perfect accompaniment to Banks’s simple yet powerful prose. Jennifer Johnson says, “I have been a huge fan of Naoko Stoop’s art since Red Knit Cap Girl. It has an innocent charm about it. There’s a spread in Pup and Bear where the pup is alone on an ice floe in the middle of the ocean and it looks so small and forlorn. It was so heartbreaking to me. That’s when you know an illustration is good, when it really makes you feel something.”
Grand Canyon written & illustrated by Jason Chin
This non-fiction title would be a splendid read before visiting this marvel of nature. Chin’s illustrations wonderfully depict the epic proportions of the canyon, but also even the smallest of creatures that inhabit it. Angela Stanbrough, Youth Services Assistant, says, “Of all the books I’ve seen talked about for the Caldecott, I think I would be happiest if this one won.”
Windows by Julia Denos; illustrated by E.B. Goodale
The poetic text of this picture book is only enhanced by the twilit illustrations as a young boy takes his dog for an evening stroll around the neighborhood. As the sun’s light fades, the boy is offered a glimpse into the lives of his neighbors through the light from their windows. Jennifer Johnson says, “I’d be right there with this boy, taking in the brief glimpses of how other people live. I think it really allows you to see the humanity and similarities that you share with other people. This deceptively simple book carries some very deep concepts.”
This is Goodale’s picture book debut.
After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again written & illustrated by Dan Santat
What if Humpty Dumpty managed to be put together again? What would his recovery look like and could he ever muster the courage to venture up onto that wall again? This inspiring story of overcoming fear and doubt has received a lot of Caldecott buzz. Santat’s illustrations capture the anxiety and uncertainty that Humpty Dumpty feels trying to go about his daily life after such a traumatic experience. Katelyn Wolfe, Teen Librarian, says, “I am definitely expecting After the Fall by Dan Santat to at least be on the honors list for Caldecott.”
Santat previously won the Caldecott Medal in 2015 for The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend.
Full of Fall written & illustrated by April Pulley Sayre
If this book were to win the Caldecott Medal, it would be the first of its kind to do so. Instead of traditional illustrations, it features bold, full-color photographs. The colors and composition of Sayre’s photographs, coupled with the spare text, beautifully capture the atmosphere of autumn. Angela Stanbrough says, “I’d like to see a book with photographs win the Caldecott. I think it will be a tragedy if [Sayre] doesn’t win eventually.”