Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Newbery and Caldecott Announcements

It was the like Golden Globes - only better!! ALA held their press conference to announce the winners of all Youth Media awards. That includes picture books through middle grade readers to young adults, plus film and audio books. There was a webcast of the event, which I had trouble getting, but I did get some of the slides and felt a part of the proceedings.

I'll be giving you my feedback on the awards for the next couple of days. I'll start with the two top awards. The Newbery and Caldecott medal winners were both bold and excellent choices. GoodMasters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village is a fabulous book, so different in style from most winners. I read it a couple of months ago and have been mentioning it to everyone as a potential winner. What makes it so unique is "the voice." You can picture a real medieval town. Imagine Voorheesville residents telling us about their jobs and their life. Through the monologues you observe a town, the adults, the peasants, the children, and the upper class. The design of the book is beautiful,too. The illustrations help define the times, and there are definitions and explanations of words and phrases. It does not need to be performed. Reading it was a delight!
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick is a book to carefully read the text and the pictures. You can't have one without the other. The book begins with many illustrations as Selznick brings you into the book, into the story, into Paris, into the world of a young boy. The black and white illustrations have a softness about them that gives the characters a vulnerability. And there is wonder in the broken down machines we discover. It is a very different type of Caldecott medal winner. I think young people from third grade and up will enjoy this book, and look at it over and over again. Joyce Laiosa

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