Reviews of the 2014 Sibert Award winners

parrots over puerto rico

Winner: Parrots over Puerto Rico by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore; illus. by Susan L. Roth (Lee & Low) This gorgeously illustrated history of the critically endangered Puerto Rican parrot, along with the settlement and development of Puerto Rico, underscores the environmental consequences of human populations on indigenous animal species. The beautiful green and […]

Reviews of the 2014 CSK Author Award winners

p.s. be eleven

Winner: P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia (Amistad/HarperCollins) Against Big Ma’s objections, in One Crazy Summer (rev. 3/10) Delphine and her sisters Vonetta and Fern flew off to Oakland to get to know their mother, Cecile, and learned about the Black Panthers. Here, they’ve returned, and before they even get home to Bedford-Stuyvesant, they outrage […]

Reviews of the 2014 CSK Illustrator Award winners

knock knock

Winner: Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me by Daniel Beaty; illus. by Bryan Collier (Little, Brown) Each morning, a little boy looks forward to playing the knock-knock game with his father. The boy pretends to be asleep until his dad approaches. “Then I get up and jump into his arms.” One day, though, and […]

Reviews of the 2014 Printz winners

sedgwick_midwinterblood

 Winner: Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick (Roaring Brook) Sedgwick takes us backwards, first by sixty-year intervals and then by leaps of centuries, in seven short stories centering on a remote northern island and the potent, drug-laden flower that blooms there. Each story begins with love and ends with death, whether of young lovers, parents and children, […]

Reviews of the 2014 Caldecott Award winners

locomotive

Winner: Locomotive by Brian Floca; illus. by the author (Jackson/Atheneum) Talk about a youth librarian’s dream come true: a big new book about those ever-popular trains from a bona fide picture-book-nonfiction all-star. Striking cinematic endpapers lay the groundwork, describing the creation of the Transcontinental Railroad in the 1860s. Then, in a sort of historical-fiction-meets-travelogue narrative, […]

Reviews of the 2014 Newbery Award winners

diCamillo_Flora

Winner: Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo; illus. by K. G. Campbell (Candlewick) Ten-year-old Flora Belle Buckman’s life changes when she resuscitates a squirrel after his near-death experience with her neighbor’s Ulysses 2000X vacuum. Flora discovers that the incident has caused the squirrel, whom she also names Ulysses, to acquire superpowers. Despite […]

One question for eight people: the Newbery/Caldecott edition of Five Questions

journey

We’ve asked people in-the-know for their 2014 Newbery and/or Caldecott awards predictions — what do you think will win? Or what do you hope will win? Martha Parravano, executive editor, The Horn Book, coauthor, Calling Caldecott blog: I’m predictably terrible at predicting award winners. My choice almost never wins, and when it does, it’s a […]

In which we check in with current Caldecott committee member Travis Jonker

travis photo

Time for a reality check, everybody! Robin, Lolly, and I have been immersed in our mock Caldecott world, but in fact there is an actual 2014 Caldecott committee out there ;), feverishly preparing for their closed-door marathon sessions at ALA Midwinter in Philadelphia, which begins on January 24. Travis Jonker – Michigan elementary-school librarian; author of the 100 Scope […]

Hand in Hand: Author Andrea Davis Pinkney’s 2013 BGHB Nonfiction Honor Speech

Hand in Hand

Anyone who has dared to reach for a far-off horizon knows what it takes. It takes a mighty pair of hands to craft a chain, build a bridge, make a change. It takes a mighty pair of hands to seize an opportunity. To grab a ball and run with it. To hold on tight as […]

Dreaming Up: Author/Illustrator Christy Hale’s 2013 BGHB Nonfiction Honor Speech

dreaming up

Many summers ago I studied painting in Barcelona. I visited several Antoni Gaudí buildings but was awestruck by La Sagrada Família. The fluid, twisting turrets were unlike anything I’d ever seen — except maybe a sandcastle. Gaudí’s work is as playful and exuberant as a child’s. Dreaming Up is my celebration of the ways that […]