|Casper Journal Articles
From the Natrona County Public Library
Newbery and Caldecott Awards
By Brenda Thomson, Community Relations Coordinator
February 4, 2009
For television, it is the Emmys; for cinema, the Oscars and Golden Globes; and for music, the Grammy’s. Literature also has a number of awards paying tribute to the best of the best. For children’s literature, these include the prestigious Newbery and Caldecott awards recently announced by the American Library Association.
This year’s Newbery Award, named for the eighteenth century British bookseller John Newbery, goes to Neil Gaiman for “The Graveyard Book,” illustrated by Dave McKean. A delicious mix of murder, fantasy, humor and human longing, the tale of Nobody Owens is told in magical, haunting prose.
A child marked for death by an ancient league of assassins escapes into an abandoned graveyard, where he is reared and protected by its spirit denizens. This book can be found in NCPL’s Teen Zone, and is appropriate for upper elementary and middle school students.
Neil Gaiman is an English author of science fiction and fantasy short stories, graphic novels, comics, and films. His notable works include “The Sandman” comic series, “Coraline” and “The Wolves in the Walls.”
Four Newbery Honor books were named as runners-up, also exhibiting the qualities of excellent literature. These include: “The Underneath” by Kathi Appelt; The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom” by Margarita Engle; “Savvy,” an excellent read for 9-12 graders by Ingrid Law; and “After Tupac & D Foster,” a young-adult novel by Jacqueline Woodson.
The Caldecott Medal, named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott, is given to the artist of the most distinguished picture book published in the U.S. This year’s winner is Beth Krommes for her illustration of “The House in the Night,” written by Susan Marie Swanson.
Richly detailed black-and-white scratchboard illustrations expand this timeless bedtime verse, offering reassurance to young children that there is always light in the darkness. Krommes’ elegant line art, illuminated with touches of golden watercolor, evoke the warmth and comfort of home and family, as well as the joys of exploring the wider world.
Caldecott Honor Books were named as well. These beautifully illustrated books include: “A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever,” written and illustrated by Marla Frazee in lively, detailed, subtly retro cartoons; “How I Learned Geography,” written and illustrated by Uri Shulevitz, depicting a boy liberated from his dreary existence through flights of fancy inspired by the map his father buys in the village market; and “A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams,” written by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Melissa Sweet, whose mixed-media collage and primitive watercolors flow seamlessly with Bryant’s prose to reveal the important bits and pieces of Williams’ ordinary, yet extraordinary, life as a doctor and poet.
The awards for great new literature do not stop with the Newbery and Caldecott winners! Ask a librarian for award-winning books for young adults, for nonfiction or specific genres, as well as many other award categories. You are invited to come down to the Natrona County Public Library and be among the first to get your hands on these wonderful books!
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