ALA Awards 2014: Horn Book reviews of the winners

diCamillo_Flora

     The most prestigious honors in children’s literature, the Newbery and Caldecott medals, were awarded to Kate DiCamillo and Brian Floca on January 27, 2014, at the American Library Association’s midwinter meeting in Philadelphia. Also announced at the gathering were the winners of the Coretta Scott King, Pura Belpré, Michael L. Printz, Robert F. […]

2014 Coretta Scott King Award winners

Hill_When_the_beat

Reviews of the Coretta Scott King Author Book Award winners: Winner: P.S. Be Eleven; Three Honor Books: March: Book One, Darius & Twig, Words with Wings. Reviews of the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Book Award winners: Winner: Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me; Honor Book: Nelson Mandela. Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award: […]

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 […]

CSK Illustrator Award Acceptance

I, Too, Am America by Langston Hughes

Thank you to everyone who has come to be a part of this wonderful celebration of African American stories and imagery created by today’s best writers and illustrators. I give special thanks to God 
and family and to my publisher Simon & Schuster and all its great designers like Laurent Linn as well as other […]

A Profile of Bryan Collier

Bryan's "self-portrait."

It was June 14th, 2011, pretty much a workday like any other at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. An art director’s job consists of juggling e-mails, meetings, art notes, book designs, and 
the like. I knew one highlight that day would be Bryan Collier bringing in his first finished piece of art for […]

Coretta Scott King Author Award Acceptance

Hand in Hand

This morning, I would like to talk to you about black men. Let’s 
face it: as an African American woman, it is perhaps unlikely that 
I have authored a book and am speaking on behalf of black men. 
But here I am. So, to begin, I’d like to share the story of a man whose […]

A Profile of Andrea Davis Pinkney

From left: Dobbin Pinkney, Andrea Davis Pinkney, Brian Pinkney, and Phil Davis Jr.

“My Word-y Wife” by Brian Pinkney When I met Andrea in 1986, I immediately knew she would be my wife. Andrea is a phenomenal combination of self-disciplinarian and joy-seeker. When it comes to writing, her focus is razor-sharp. When it comes to having fun, she finds pleasure in paddling her kayak, or sitting in the […]

A very good question

Lee and Low’s blog is asking a good question: “Why hasn’t the number of multicultural books increased in eighteen years?” They have assembled a good variety of responses, and I have two more, one only semi-facetious and one perhaps semi-impolitic: Semi-facetious response: While the blog states the disparity between the non-white population in this country […]

Books for black kids

There’s a provocative new comment over on Yolanda Hare’s “Beyond the Friends.” It has me wondering if the CSK awards ever suffer from Newberyitis, where some kids see the sticker and think, “oh, this is one of those books that’s supposed to be good for you.” Because light escapist fare they ain’t. (Nor are they […]