With 2008 drawing to a close, it's time to start thinking about annual book awards. The National Book Award finalists were recently announced; yesterday's New York Times included their fall children's book special, with the 10 best illustrated books of the year (click for a slide show of double-page spreads from each title!):
- A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams written by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Melissa Sweet (Eerdman's)
- We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball written and illustrated by Kadir Nelson -- a particular favorite of ours! (Jump at the Sun/Hyperion)
- Ghosts in the House! written and illustrated by Kazuno Kohara (Roaring Brook)
- Wabi Sabi written by Mark Reibstein and illustrated by Ed Young (Little, Brown)
- The Black Book of Colors written by Menena Cottin and illustrated by Rosana Faria (Groundwood/House of Anansi)
- The Little Yellow Leaf written and illustrated by Carin Berger (Greenwillow/HarperCollins)
- Wave written and illustrated by Suzy Lee (Chronicle)
- A is for Art written and illustrated by Stephen T. Johnson (Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster)
- Pale Male: Citizen Hawk of New York City written by Janet Schulman and illustrated by Meilo So (Knopf)
- Skim written by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki (Groundwood/House of Anansi)
Meanwhile, the internet is buzzing with speculation about contenders for the upcoming Newbery and Caldecott medals. (Okay, maybe the entire internet isn't buzzing -- but the children's lit corner of it definitely is!) Many book clubs and libraries host mock Caldecott or Newbery award committees; here are some sites to catch you up on the front-runners so you can make your predictions -- or host a mock committee of your own!
Fuse #8 (a School Library Journal blog)'s predictions
Eva Perry's Mock Newbery Club -- voters are kids and teens weighing in on their reading!
Child Lit List Serv -- hotly debating all things children's lit, all hours of every day
Children's Literature Book Club
Let us know what your choices are -- we'll be posting our picks too!