At last month´s mid-winter meeting of the American Library Association the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, announced the winners of this year´s newbery and caldecott awards.
The newbery Medal was named for eighteenth-century British bookseller John newbery. This coveted prize is given to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. The term "children" is used to cover an age range from birth to the early teens.
This year´s gold medal winner is a sequel to a newbery honor book. Richard Peck continues the story of fifteen-year-old Mary Alice and her Grandma Dowdel, in depression era rual Illinois. A Year Down Yonder, is unfolds in a series of vignettes. Grandma Dowdel is not a "Hallmark card" type of grandmother. Her schemes can be quite humorous, if you aren´t her granddaughter.
"Peck´s characters are fully realized, from the quiet widow nursing her war-injured son, to Maxine Patch, running out of Grandma´s house draped only in the biggest snake outside the Brookfield Zoo," said Caroline S. Parr, chair of the Newbery Award Selection Committee. "These stories will, like Maxine, streak ´straight into the annals of undying fame´"
The Caldecott was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.
Often Caldecott award books have very few words. They may also be books that cannot fully tell its story without the illustrations. This year´s gold medal winner is So You Want to be President?, illustrated by David Small (text by Judith St. George).
In illustrations rendered in a harmonious mix of watercolor, ink, and pastel chalk, David Small employs wiry and expansive lines with an echo of political cartooning investing this personable history of the presidency with imaginative detail, wry humor, and refreshing dignity.
"Small´s illustrations liberate the presidents from years of bulletin-board duty. He humanizes these oh-so-familiar icons with art that captures the spirit of the individual and collectively provides a genuinely enlightening overview of this unique American institution," said Connie Rockman, chair of the Caldecott Award Selection Committee.
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