On January 11 at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting – the children's award news was good!
The Caldecott Medal selection was a bit of a surprise, but a nice one: Finding Winnie: the true story of the world’s most famous bear with illustrations by Sophie Blackall and written by Lindsay Mattick. This was one of two books published last year presenting the touching tale of how Winnie the Pooh got his name (from a real little bear).
But oh, were we knocked on our keisters by the winner of the Newbery Medal, which usually goes to a chapter book or novel in recognition of the excellence of the text. It didn’t this year. A picture book won for the first time ever. The book we thought might snag the Caldecott instead reaped the Newbery – Last Stop on Market Street! (It did win a Caldecott Honor.) It is indeed a lovely book, about a boy and his grandmother taking a bus ride to a slightly bedraggled section of their city, and enjoying everything they see and everyone they meet. Nevertheless, it’s a picture book - and worth your time, however many - or few - words it has. (Our two top choices for the Newbery did win Newbery Honors: The War that Saved My Life, and Echo.)
We felt a little better when the winner of the Printz Award for teen literature was announced; this year it was Bone Gap, by Laura Ruby - our pick, too! This novel is a enigmatic mixture of fantasy and contemporary fiction, with a remarkable use of metaphor and particularly engaging characters.
And here’s the ALA notable books list for 2016, which includes the titles listed above. Enjoy!