Today is the day! It's AWARDS day! And WHAT A DAY!
The American Library Association announced the Youth Media Awards today to much fanfare, and let me tell you, it was so thrilling to see books that I have read and loved being recognized for their excellence. I shouted with joy as I watched. These awards are the Oscars of our industry, and celebrating them makes me so very happy.
I had planned to feature the cover of the book that won the Caldecott today, but I've featured it on this blog already. So instead, let's take a brief look at all four covers of the books that got Caldecott recognition. Check these out:
The Undefeated (winner), illustrated by Kadir Nelson
I love the power and the simple eloquence of that raised fist. It says it all.
Going Down Home With Daddy (honor book), illustrated by Daniel Minter
Can we talk about the use of color here? I love the way the different shades of brown in the soil add depth to it. And I also love the way the kids' jeans are almost translucent, and the way the squashes on the ground are nothing more than white lines carved into the paint. And the way those kids' faces almost glow in the light! Fantastic.
Double Bass Blues (honor book), illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez
I love the swoop of the curving lines that adorn this cover and direct the reader's eyes along the curve of the bass, across the dancing notes, down the boy's spine and along his arm and back to that bass, and around his head. Those lines make this cover MOVE. They bring it alive.
Bear Came Along (honor book), illustrated by LeUyen Pham
I love Bear's eyes, staring right out at us. I love that the letters in the title are translucent, and we can see the trees behind them. I love that the branches of the pine trees, with their needles drooping down, are almost like wings. I love the geometric shapes of the shrubbery. This is gorgeous. It's art.
And now that you've seen all four covers, I hope you've noticed what I noticed right away: every single one of the people recognized this year is a person of color. This might be the first time in history that this has happened. We are finally doing the work of addressing the imbalance of representation that has plagued children's publishing since the very beginning.
Your turn: what do YOU love about these covers? Drop your thoughts in the comments, and let's continue the conversation!