One and Only Ivan
A week ago in Seattle over 10,000 librarians, exhibitors and book lovers gathered together for the American Library Association’s Midwinter meeting in Seattle, WA. One of Midwinter’s highlights was the Youth Media Awards, naming some of the year’s best books, audiobooks and videos for children.
This year’s awards provide some wonderful books for children, not the least of which is the John Newbery Medal winner, Katherine Applegate’s The One and Only Ivan. Ivan is a silverback gorilla living in the Big Top Mall and Video Arcade. He is also an artist who is just as likely to eat his crayons as draw with them, and his charm will capture readers as surely as it does Ruby, the baby elephant in the cage beside him, and Julia, who delivers him crayons and finger paints. This is a book that is worth sharing, savoring, or reading aloud.
This Is Not My Hat
The Randolph Caldecott medalist for the most distinguished picture book for children was awarded to Jon Klassen, author/illustrator of This Is Not My Hat, the charming and sly story of a minnow with a stolen chapeau, oblivious to his misdeeds. Mr. Klassen, who was born in Manitoba and grew up in Ontario, also wrote the text for one of this year’s Caldecott honor books, Extra Yarn, illustrated by Mac Barnett.
R. Hartman (on the left) at the ALA Midwinter conferenceAnother Canadian author did very well at the awards; it was my great pleasure to congratulate Rachel Hartman in person just before she was awarded the Morris Award for the best YA book by a debut author for Seraphina. Seraphina was also voted to the lists of Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults and Notable Children’s books. Seraphina Dombegh is a talented musician living in a world where dragons can take human form, and the two have had a peace treaty for 40 years. Seraphina’s mother, also a musician, died in childbirth, and Seraphina has been keeping a dangerous secret ever since. When a prince is murdered, a dragon is immediately suspected of being the killer, and Seraphina’s unique position in the court makes her the ideal person to investigate and possibly prevent war.
Congratulations to all of the winners and honorees!