Tuesday, January 27, 2009


That brainy Michelle had the awesome idea to round up our previous reviews of this year's winning books. Turns out we've had a lot to say about quite a few of the winners and honorees...

I reviewed the Caldecott Honor book A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos WIlliams, written by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Melissa Sweet, a few days ago:
Williams's own poems blend with Jen Bryant's biographical text and Melissa Sweet's mixed media/watercolor illustrations to create a collaboration that is essentially a collage of collages. Typography features heavily in Sweet's images, giving words power on every page, even those without conventional "text." In her excellent backmatter, Bryant provides readers with plenty of historical context for Williams's life. This unusual book has something to offer aspiring poet, aspiring artist, picture book critic, literary history buff, and biography fan alike.
If you've been following the blog for a while, you know we love Neil Gaiman's Newbery-winning The Graveyard Book, illustrated by Dave McKean. But did you catch Rachel's staff pick for it?
This captivating story of a boy raised by ghosts is sure to delight readers. Nobody Owens gets into all the trouble a growing child (who has run of an old English graveyard) can -- but his guardian Silas is always there to get him out of it. A heartfelt, beautifully crafted, perfectly eerie read.
Rachel, literary trendsetter that she is, likewise recommends the Newbery Honor book Savvy by Ingrid Law, in another staff pick:
The Beaumonts are an unusual family -- on their 13th birthdays, they each discover a unique savvy, a special know-how. When Poppa is hospitalized in a distant town the day before Mibs turns 13, she is convinced that her hidden savvy can save him—if she could only get there in time.
Michelle reviews Printz Honoree Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan in her staff pick:

This beautiful, brutal novel is much more than a retelling of Grimms' "Snow White and Rose Red." After awful cruelties, Liga is given her heart's desire: a "heaven" in which to raise her daughters; yet even here reality breaks in. A folksy lyricism softens this tale about the devastating beauty of being human.
Back during baseball season, blog alumna (and resident Kadir Nelson devotee) Bethany wrote about We Are the Ship, which won both the Coretta Scott King Author Award and the Sibert Award.
Devour the gorgeous paintings in Kadir Nelson's We are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball -- the clean design and informative but friendly text make this heavily illustrated gem a must-have for baseball fans and art enthusiasts alike.
We're obviously already fans of lots of the books recognized by ALA yesterday, but we're looking forward to discovering the others with you! Check the blog for updates on which award winners have just arrived -- today's shipment included more copies of The Graveyard Book, Jacqueline Woodson's After Tupac and D Foster, and Ingrid Law's Savvy, and tomorrow's sure to bring even more goodies!

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