Monday, January 23, 2006

The awards!

Of course, everyone already knows about today’s ALA award announcements, so no need to extrapolate here. "Show Way" by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Hudson Talbott received a Newbery Honor, which threw me for a loop. I should probably be embarrassed to admit here that I didn’t know picture books qualified for the Newbery. I thought "Show Way" would fall under the Caldecott category. Do I have this right, wrong, or am I simply furthering my foolery? Either way, I’m rushing out to get this one…well, after they attach the little metalic seal. Congrats to all!

3 comments:

rindambyers said...

It looks like what they often call a picture story book. They are not as common as picturebooks and to have the 48 pages so heavily illustrated is somewhat rare, too. I suspect what is happening is that picture story books are becoming more used in the earlier grades now, up to grades five and six even. They tend to read more like a short book, with lots more words than most picture books.

INTERESTING though, to see more pictures like this merged in with more words, almost verging off into a more graphic novel format but shorter....says a lot about how much more multi-media oriented young children of today are not just to words but other symbols and pictures, too, along with sounds and movement of the images. Used to be long ago that stories were things you listened to but didn't see pictures with.

It is still true, though, that the strength of a book, unless it is a purely nonverbal book, will lie in the strength of the words, especally how the words will sound aloud....I'm taking the view here, however, of two very famous picture book writers, Sendak and Potter....but...they should know...

Cynthia Leitich Smith said...

Picture books are eligible, though the committee tends to lean toward novels (non-fiction is eligible, too). One of my favorite honor books, The Great Fire by Jim Murphy, is an example of a non-fiction pb. The Caldecott is for the art (though poor text books seldom win), but Newbery would be text-art oriented. (I believe the Boston-Globe Hornbook is also a text-art award at the picture book level, but you'd need to double check).

rindambyers said...

Don, Robert Lawson is, I believe, still the only person who has ever won both the Caldicott and Newberry medals, and he was a artist/writer. His "Rabbit Hill" won the Newberry way back when it was not quite such a well-known award. It's a shorter book, beautifully illustrated with mostly black and white drawings (and oh how I love well-done black and white drawings). I love the story, too, the whole package of that book. I wish more of this type of combined text-and-art, early middlegrade fiction was being done now. I suppose, with the longer texts, publishers opt to drop an equal focus on the artwork becuase of added cost perhaps, more pages, more work for the artist, etc.