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Newbery / Caldecott 2012: The Fall Prediction Edition

newbery caldecott logos 300x282 Newbery / Caldecott 2012: The Fall Prediction Edition*sniff sniff*

Smell that?  That’s the sweet scent of an upcoming award season.  It’s already beginning to drift our way from the future.  Things are clearly heating up since we’re seeing two award-based blogs up and running.  For Newbery fans Heavy Medal has already come out of the gate swinging.  Between the inevitable comparison between Okay for Now and Dead End in Norvelt to a discussion of how to consider Wonderstruck (more on that in a second) and Jonathan Hunt’s plea for a little editing regarding 300+ paged books (there are a couple I’ve read this year that could have used a machete) there’s a lot to chew on already.

On the Caldecott side is Calling Caldecott, Horn Book Magazine‘s answer to the Caldecott void.  Not much is up and running there yet, but stay tuned.  More is on the way.

For my part, it’s time for the third in our four part prediction series.  If you’ll recall, back in the spring my heart was captured by the newest Penderwicks and The Secret RiverMid-year came along and suddenly I was making eyes at Tony Abbott and Philip Stead.  Now fall has arrived and it’s time to cool things down a bit.  The big contenders are separating themselves out.  Things are in motion.  Favorites are garnering fans.  And me?  I just figured out this year’s theme.

See, every year I like to apply a big generalized stamp on the Newbery/Caldecott year.  I throw titles at them like “Wild Card Year” or “Breaking Boundaries Year”.  Technically, according to my formula, this year should be another Breaking Boundaries year, but I’ve decided to give it a different name.  After looking at the contenders I’m calling 2012 The Year of the Bridesmaids.  Which is to say, I could easily see the gold going to two fellers (Gary D. Schmidt and Kadir Nelson) who have always won Honors but never the medals outright.  But let’s just see what I think of some of the upcoming contenders:

2012 Newbery Predictions

Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt – Still the one to beat.  After the initial lovefest a small backlash arose from people complaining about two major parts of the novel: The Broadway elements (or maybe just the New Yorkers have complained about that) and the dad’s seeming suddenly-I-love-purdy-flowers turnaround.  Personally, I think these elements will give the Newbery committee a lot of stuff to chew on, but books that do well in Newbery voting are the ones with heart.  And Schmidt really does get the reader emotionally involved.  Will that be enough to push it over the top?  I’d have thought so, but then I read the one book this year that may have what it takes to give Doug Swieteck a run for his money.  A little number I like to call . . .

Jefferson’s Sons by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley – And suddenly everything’s up in the air!  Surprisingly few folks have read this one at this point in time, which is surprising considering that it’s out this month.  Still, those I’ve spoken to who have read it have been wowed.  Seriously wowed.  In terms of an emotional punch, the ending of the book socks you right in the gut.  I’m looking forward to hearing some debates about this one.  Surely there will be objections to it, and I want to know what those will be.  Because frankly, at this point, I’m sort of gaga over it.

Amelia Lost by Candace Fleming – And then there’s this little number.  Nonfiction always gets the short end of the stick when the Newbery season comes around.  Still, this book has a couple advantages.  It’s infinitely readable and interesting, it introduces you to aspects of Amelia’s life you won’t find in any other bio for kids (the whole self-promotion detail), and it (this keeps coming up) packs an emotional punch.  According to her bio on the Sheboygan Children’s Book Festival website, “Candace Fleming awarded herself the Newbery Medal in fifth grade after scraping the gold sticker off the class copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond and pasting it onto her first novel—a ten page, ten-chapter mystery called Who Done It?“  Which may be the best thing I’ve ever read.  Candace, you can put that in your Newbery acceptance speech someday.

Sparrow Road by Sheila O’Connor – Surprise!  Here’s a fresh new face for my listy list (pay me cold hard cash and I will promise never to use the term “listy list” ever again).  This one comes after a query from my pal and co-writer Peter Sieruta.  According to him it has a kind of Newbery feel to it, and I can see where he’s coming from.  It’s a thoughtful one and it has all the requisite elements.  Orphans.  Surprise fathers.  A scrappy granddad.  I’m not sure it’ll quite make it to the finish line, but it may at least get some good discussions rolling in Mock Newbery talks across the country.

The Mostly True Story of Jack by Kelly Barnhill (not to be confused with Newbery Honor winning book The (Mostly) True Adventures of Homer P. Figg) – I keep this one here though I know it remains a dark horse candidate.  Personally, I think it can do no wrong.  I have heard complaints about it, but they’ve struck me as pretty minor (example: Jack lies at the beginning of the book but later says he never lies).  To my mind the plot was tight, the writing excellent, and the story truly compelling.  Plus it’s different from every other fantasy out there.  And that includes . . .

Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu – Its darkness could hurt it in the long run and it chooses to end with a quiet ending rather than (you guessed it) an emotional punch.  Still, the writing is extraordinary and who can resist the incorporation of so many Andersenian elements?  I would not be surprised if this book did a sneaky creep towards the gold when folks were looking the other way.  Then again I said the same thing about A Tale Dark and Grimm and look where that got me.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness – I’m about to read this one but sources I trust (read: Monica) have informed me that it is utterly worthy and entirely breathtaking.  So I’ll give it a go.  Some debate arose over whether or not Ness is even eligible for a Newbery, but apparently he is.  Ho ho!  Off to give it a looksee then . . .

The Trouble with May Amelia by Jennifer L. Holm – Ignore the pink bra strap on the cover!  Ignore it, I say!  Boy, you’d think that with a book of this caliber and Holm’s batting average (three Newbery Honors to her name) they would have done better than to slap a stock photo on this book (we know it’s a stock photo because it nearly ended up on Egmont’s A & L Do Summer).  Once I stuffed its jacket in my refrigerator’s crisper I discovered that this book not only stands on its own (technically it’s a sequel) but it’s also hugely gutsy.  Holm dares to make her trusted adult figures not just wrong but criminally so.  The sheer amounts of unfairness in this story just ripple off the pages.  Emotional punch?  It’s got that and a couple slaps besides.  And you know . . . if this is truly The Year of the Bridesmaids then maybe Holm’s the one who’s going to get the gold after all . . .

Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai – I maintain that you can’t discount Lai.  A debut author, this is one of the rare contenders that can be read by kids on the younger end of the scale.  Folks who read my prediction lists are pretty aware that I’ve a bias against any and all Newbery eligible YA, so I always hope for younger fare.  This could do it.  And speaking of younger . . .

Never Forgotten by Patricia McKissack, illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon – A picture book!  Well, why not?  It happened to Jackie Woodson and it could happen to Patricia McKissack.  The topic’s stellar, of course, but the writing is on another level.  If I were to hold up one picture book for serious consideration, this would have my vote.  Even if you take all the pictures away, it stands entirely on its own.  Just sayin’.

And possibly . . . The Penderwicks at Point Mouette, Lunch-Box Dream, Small Persons With Wings, and Dead End in Norvelt.  That said, I’m wavering on these.  I love them dearly, I do, but there’s something about each one that may sink it sooner rather than later.  Dunno.  I have been known to be wrong.

2012 Caldecott Predictions

Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans by Kadir Nelson – Oh.  Did you think that when I mentioned earlier that Kadir might win it all that I was referring to his Joe Louis book A Nation’s Hope?  No, I thought that a season ago but a number of folks I trust convinced me that the text of that title would probably sink even its Caldecott chances.  Heart and Soul on the other hand might do just fine.  I am having a devil of a time getting my hands on a copy (Harper Collins must be hoarding them since there’s not a single review of it on Goodreads as of this posting) so I don’t know for sure yet, but from what I understand it avoids the problems that dogged We Are the Ship and kept it from Caldecott glory.  We all know that Kadir deserves to win one of these days, but he keeps getting bogged down by his authors.  Perhaps if he is entirely on his own then . . .

All the Way to America by Dan Yaccarino – This one has been fascinating to watch.  The buzz started early in the year and I wondered if it might ebb away by this point.  Instead I’m hearing its name mentioned more and more.  Yaccarino has never won a Caldecott in any form, in spite of his fabulous style.  This book might be the one that has enough of that personal family connection to distinguish him from the pack at long last.

A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka – I hate to say it but I’m almost convinced that this book’s Honor is a sure thing.  I’ve seen grown women practically cry over this book.  Me?  I’m unaffected but that’s more because I’m not a dog book lover.  I can appreciate, though, the artistry Raschka’s poured into this one.  If it does anything well, it’s emotion.  Canine emotion, but emotion just the same.

Never Forgotten by Patricia McKissack, illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon – Sometimes I entertain the fantasy of a book winning both the Newbery and the Caldecott at the same time (the only time we came close in recent memory was A Visit to William Blake’s Inn back when I was four).  In any case, the Dillons already have Caldecotts to their names, but it’s been a while since they had any serious entries.  Earlier this year I thought The Secret River, also illustrated by the Dillons, might have a shot.  Now I see that of the two Dillon titles, this is the stronger piece.  The only question is, how strong?

Perfect Square by Michael C. Hall – I still love it, but it’s been around since the beginning of the year.  Can such early publication hurt a book’s chances at the end?  Supposedly not, but one can’t help but wonder . . .

Queen of the Falls by Chris Van Allsburg – I still love this book, dammit!  I want it to win something!  And not just a Sibert either.  My fear is that much like its subject, the book will be passed over for fare that doesn’t star an elderly woman.  Here’s hoping just the same.

Swirl by Swirl by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Beth Krommes – This is one of those beauties that automatically gets to be in the running by pedigree alone.  And it truly is a lovely book.  Krommes has The House in the Night to her name Caldecott-wise and Sidman’s good luck for her artists (just look at Song of the Water Boatman if you disagree).  Together they could potentially take it all home.  Potentially . . .

Then there are the other books like Lane Smith’s Grandpa Green or Paterson/Dalton’s  Brother Sun Sister Moon.  These are books with potential but I’m just not feeling the love for them.  Smith’s is being discussed at Calling Caldecott, and for me the book feels like nothing so much as Drummer Hoff.  Still… I dunno.  Emotional punch?  Not there for me.  Meanwhile Blue Chicken, Me…Jane, Jonathan and the Big Blue Boat could do well but I’m not sure that they’ll get to the finish line.

And finally . . .

What the Heck Do We Do About Wonderstruck?

Because that’s the million dollar question floating around today.

Back when Hugo Cabret was released there wasn’t much serious talk about its Newbery chances.  If we’re being honest there weren’t a lot of people proposing it for the Caldecott either before it swooped in and won the gold.  Wonderstruck, Brian Selznick’s newest book, is different.  We already know that there’s Caldecott potential there since he did it before.  What surprises me is that the book is being seriously debated in terms of the Newbery!

This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise.  Selznick outdoes himself with the writing in this book, making a product significantly stronger than Cabret.  Over at Heavy Medal the debate has raged on.  I was willing to discount the book as a Newbery winner as recently as yesterday.  But then I read Nina Lindsay’s thoughts on the matter.

“With other examples of illustrated contenders for the Newbery, the ‘trick’ for considering them is to cover up the illustrations so that one can focus solely on the worded text.  That doesn’t quite work here, because the worded text doesn’t tell the whole story.  Must it, under the Newbery criteria? I don’t see where the criteria call for that.”

She doesn’t?  I had assumed that it was there.   Jonathan Hunt put it another way:

“I don’t see anywhere in the Newbery criteria where it states that the text and the text alone must convey the entire story. What they do say, however, is that if we give recognition to WONDERSTRUCK it must be for the text, and that in order to do that there must be distinguished features in the text . . . I’d also like to say that when we cover and/or ignore illustrations, it’s not to pretend as if they do not exist, nor to demand that the story make sense without them, but rather to gauge how we respond to the text without their presence.”

So there’s apparently Newbery potential here, if you’re willing to consider it in that light.  Now what about a Caldecott?  After all, the book’s pictures here are different than those in Cabret.  Or, to put it another way, over at Calling Caldecott Roger Sutton said:

“… I wonder (heh) if Wonderstruck is as eligible as Hugo. The words and pictures interact very differently in Wonderstruck than they do in Hugo. I hope Lolly and Robin take this on.”

Me too.

I tell you, you guys have informed my reading for the coming year.  I apparently need to get my hands on With a Name Like Love by Tess Hilmo and Joanne Rocklin’s One Day and One Amazing Morning on Orange Street before my final prediction list.

So what have I missed?

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Elizabeth Bird About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently New York Public Library's Youth Materials Collections Specialist. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of NYPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.

Comments

  1. Laura says:

    I loved Matthew Kirby’s ICEFALL. The characters are wonderful, especially his noble but entirely believable heroine, and the plot is gripping. It’s beautifully layered, with the heroine’s development as a skald paralleling the intrigue in the story. Also, it feels big–mythic and spacious and suspenseful. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for ICEFALL.

  2. A Monster Calls is a YA novel without question. It has NO business as a Newbery contender. If I were the parent of a 4th grader told by a teacher to “pick something off the Newbery list” and he chose this book, I would be upset. YA Lit doesn’t belong in Newbery. Period. itionally, it is the 3rd book in a series.

    Breadcrumbs is hands down the best in the lot, with the exception of Wonderstruck. I think The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann is the best MG book of the year though…

  3. Jean says:

    Karis–A Monster Calls is actually not the 3rd book in a series–it is a stand alone novel. Perhaps you are thinking of Monsters of Men (2010), by Patrick Ness, which was the 3rd book in the Chaos Walking Series.

  4. Gwenda says:

    I’m throwing Bigger Than a Breadbox by Laurel Snyder into the Newbery wild-card ring. I think it’s a beautifully written book with a classic feel, and the straightforward way the fantasy element is handled might help it in the judging process (where traditional fantasies sometimes find it tougher going). And I think it speaks to modern family dynamics and divorce in a very deep, direct way.

  5. Dan Santat says:

    I’m a little surprised. No love for “I Want My Hat Back”?

    • Elizabeth Bird says:

      So many I haven’t read!

      And Dan, I’d love to consider Klassen but I’ve a suspicion that “I Want My Hat Back” is a bit too much for the committee. PROVE ME WRONG, CALDECOTTERS!

  6. Danielle says:

    I think that Karis is referring to Monsters of Men, also by Patrick Ness that is the third book in the Chaos Walking trilogy. A Monster Calls is a different book that is separate from the trilogy, and is suitable for a younger audience than the Chaos Walking books.

  7. Scope Notes says:

    I’d like to offer up Melvin and the Boy by Lauren Castillo for Caldecott consideration. The artwork is beautiful, with a unique style full of subtle skill that comes out more and more upon close inspection. And the story, about a boy who slowly comes to realize that his new pet might be better off in the wild, shines as well.

  8. DaNae says:

    Karis is getting Mosters of Men mixed up with A Monster Calls

  9. Eric Carpenter says:

    I’m going to agree with Dan Santat and heap some praise on “I Want My Hat Back.” Klassen does so much with just a few brush strokes. Wasn’t sure how students would react to the dark humor but my students loved it (as did every teacher’s class who I shared it with).

    Hopefully HarperCollins is sending along a few boxes of “Heart and Soul” with Kadir Nelson for his discussion tomorrow night at the Auburn Avenue Research Library.

  10. Sarah says:

    I’m excited to hear that the Ness title is eligible, because I’ve heard differing opinions on eligibility. I was solidly team “Okay for Now” until I read “A Monster Calls.” It’s fabulous! Definite emotional punch! I would consider it older middle-grade to YA, but I think it’s appropriate for 12-14 year-olds. I’d be 100% pleased if the committee chose either the Schmidt or the Ness.

  11. Betsy says:

    3 Cheers for Inside Out and Back Again–a novel that definitely is approachable to the younger audiences while still give lots of food for thought to the older end of the Newbery reader age range. And it’s in verse AND readable–often hard to do. And it’s beautiful.

  12. I’m hoping for Queen of the Falls to get some love too-it’s been on my watch list since I read it earlier this year. It seems to me that there haven’t been as many favorite picture books that everyone is talking about this year. Usually there are some buzz titles that I know I have to check out, but this year it’s been all over the place! I do think Okay for Now is the book to beat for Newbery, though.

  13. Oh and I’ve gotta put a plug in for Blackout by John Rocco-I really liked that book and has beautiful artwork!

  14. Cathy says:

    I think Small as an Elephant is a contender this year. It came out early in the year.

  15. Kathy J says:

    I’m with Laura — ICEFALL is a strong contender. It’s coming out next month and I can’t wait to hear some more opinions.

  16. My two favorites so far for the Caldecott: Me…Jane and Naamah and the Ark at Night.

    For the Newbery: So far, I don’t have a favorite that I really, really want to win. I’ve read some terrific books and would be happy with several titles going for the gold. But none that would cause me to plop to the ground and cry like an overtired toddler because it didn’t win. (That hasn’t happened since 2008.) I have a fondness for Young Fredle, though, and I haven’t seen that mentioned much anywhere. Is it the mouse thing? Is there an overabundance of mouse adventure stories?

  17. Sam Bloom says:

    Hey Betsy, I’m in the middle of Mostly True Story of Jack, and I’m definitely impressed with a few of the elements – plot and setting are unique and well-done – but I don’t agree with your lauding of the writing. It seems pretty pedestrian to me – quite a few spots of painfully obvious telling instead of showing. This is not something that usually bothers me, but it has bugged me with this one. I agree with you on Amelia Lost, though – I would love to see some gold on that one.

    I love Kadir Nelson dearly, and Heart & Soul has got to be my most anticipated book pretty much ever. I was living under a rock back in 2008 and missed the discussion on We are the ship, which is one of my very favorite books… what are the issues that dogged that one? Of course, this may not be the appropriate venue for that, so if you have time and want to email me I’m dying of curiosity here…

    Another great list. Thanks for growing my to-read pile almost doubly!

  18. Sam,
    From the Heavy Medal blog 2008 archives: http://blogs.slj.com/heavymedal/2008/11/25/we-are-the-ship-2/
    Here you can read some thoughts on the issues some had with We Are the Ship. Bear in mind these comments have nothing to do with why the book might have been robbed by the Caldecott committee.
    I’ve always guessed that the Newbery committee members assumed that the Caldecott committee would award Nelson for his art so they looked for another book to honor with their medal and the Caldecott committee assumed that the Newbery committee would honor Nelson for his text so they left it to them and found other books to honor. Imagine how embarrassed the committee members must have felt when the announcements had been made and they saw that the best book of 2008 was left out of both awards!

    Getting my copy of Heart & Soul tonight…can’t wait!

    • Elizabeth Bird says:

      As for me, my theory was always that since the text and the images don’t interact much with one another (there are times when the picture on a given page has nothing to do with the text) that made it ineligible in the eyes of the committee. Caldecott committees like it when text and image intersect with one another. But like Eric I’ve not real notion why it didn’t get anything.

  19. Brianna says:

    So…is there still any buzz around Chime by Franny Billingsley? I remember it being on your previous prediction list, and I am seeing it pop up on Mock Newbery lists around the kidlitosphere. Should I make room for it on my to-read-before-January pile?

    • Elizabeth Bird says:

      I’m waiting to hear what Heavy Medal has to say about it. A lot of folks have told me that it’s clearly 14+ and therefore not eligible. The overwhelming love o’ Billingsley seems to spur the conversations about its eligibility. Printz, yes. Newbery? The jury is out.

  20. Melinda says:

    Is Akata Witch by Nnendi Okorafor eligible for the Newbery? I heard it mentioned on another blog as a possble contender, though I feel like it’s more of a YA book. THIS BOOK HAS THE GOODS, OMG. The writing, characters, world, plot were so fresh and new and amazing.

  21. Sam Bloom says:

    Thanks for the link/thoughts on WE ARE THE SHIP, Eric and Betsy. We was robbed! He coulda been a contender! Actually, it seems kind of greedy to want more gold (or silver) on that cover – there are 3 lovely medals there already! Kind of makes you wonder – how many books out there have 3 or more medals on the cover? House of the Scorpion, Claudette Colvin, One Crazy Summer, Monster, and We Are the Ship are the ones that spring immediately to mind… Peter, this has the makings of a Collecting Children’s Book trivia question!

    To chime in on Chime (yuk yuk), it seems too old for Newbery in my opinion. Beautifully written, though – I’m hopeful that it gets a Printz Honor. Seeing as how Mal Peet’s Life: an Exploded Diagram should win the gold in that department, of course.

  22. marjorie says:

    THANK YOU for mentioning Amelia Lost! I haven’t read all the books you’ve listed (I WILL, I SWEAR) but ohhhh, I thought Amelia Lost was something special. So nuanced, so thoughtful, so beautifully designed, so well-researched…and all the info about the savvy ways Amelia Earhart marketed herself was fascinating, and I think very relevant to girls today.

  23. chaz says:

    Let me guess what will win the Caldecott this year.
    there are three choices to pick from. The same 3 choices every year.

    1. An old fashioned style illustration with a slight contemporary twist.

    2. A highly rendered piece where the art does not correlate to the words, but the images are so
    great it needs to win something.

    3. Some wildly crazy style that appears to be full of flair and content. But after all the orgasmic
    rantings from the lunatics subsides, the art reveals itself as empty calories.

    The committe has consistently floundered over the years. This system is broken and lacks confidence to find the book that matches the criteria set forth in the Caldecott Standards.

  24. Sharon says:

    What are the chances of a book like “Into the Unknown”? I’m thinking mainly Caldecott because of Stephen Biesty’s wonderful cross-section illustrations throughout. I know any chance would be outside, but just how far outside do you think?

    • Elizabeth Bird says:

      Well, here’s the problem with Biesty. I’m pretty sure he’s still living in the UK and the Caldecott can only go to someone living in the U.S. Otherwise I’d say he might have a shot at it. You bet.

  25. I would like to see Say Hello to Zorro by Carter Goodrich be given some consideration. His watercolor illustrations certainly convey every little canine nuance and compliment the text perfectly. Plus the kids love this book!

  26. As for the Newbery award many worthy titles have been mentioned. Although I have not read Matthew Kirby’s new Icefall, if it even comes close to The Clockwork Three which I absolutely loved, it gets my vote which says alot as Okay For Now was spectacular despite what some say. And I know that Sidekicks by Jack D. Ferraiolo probably doesn’t have a prayer but it was a great, funny read.

  27. Linda says:

    Have you seen Marla Frazee’s STARS yet? I love Mary Lyn Ray’s text and the illustrations are just plain magical.

  28. chaz says:

    Just named it the marla frazee award,

  29. dave r says:

    Loved OKAY FOR NOW and just finished A MONSTER CALLS. Both are in my top three picks so far this year. Rounding out that list is one coming out next week, WITH A NAME LIKE LOVE by Tess Hilmo.

    Of course, I may not be the best person to ask. I rooted for City of Ember, Alabama Moon, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, A Tale Dark and Grimm and Because of Mr. Terupt — and obviously, the committees didn’t see what I saw.

  30. Martha P. says:

    I think you are:
    1) giving too much credit to Breadcrumbs, which despite its distinctive voice falls apart in the middle
    2) not giving enough credit to Dead End in Norvelt, which achieves a remarkable balance between outright hilarity and true profundity and never wavers from its child’s point of view
    3) not giving any credit at all to Pat Schmatz’s Bluefish, which hopefully will start to get some attention soon!

    • Elizabeth Bird says:

      Bluefish? Bluefish! No one has even mentioned Bluefish to me yet! Criminy! Must get grubby hands on that book. Unfortunately I’m pretty sure I already had my grubby hands on it and dismissed it as YA. Consarn it.

      As to the other two points, since Breadcrumbs is split into two parts I’m not certain what would constitute the middle. Do you mean when Hazel enters the woods? Because that’s the point at which I think it really picks up.

      And yes, Dead End in Norvelt is brilliant. Though, I just recently discovered that only the earliest of early galleys included his photographs of his family. A real pity since I thought they added a lot to the book.

  31. Melissa says:

    Okay For Now was my first pick and is still my first love, but oh, With A Name Like Love is so good. And I loved, loved, loved Breadcrumbs. But I think A Monster Calls is too old.

  32. Jenn says:

    I loved I’ll Be There. Unfortunately, it seems too mature for Newbery and too young for Printz.

  33. Suzanne says:

    I think Kadir’s new book, while stunning, is not eligible for the Caldecott. I’ve just started reading it, so I may change my mind, but at first blush it looks like an illustrated book, as opposed to a picture book.

    To quote definition 1 from the award criteria, “A ‘picture book for children’ as distinguished from other books with illustrations, is one that essentially provides the child with a visual experience.”

    I think both Heart and Soul and We Are the Ship do not provide an experience that’s essentially visual. The illustrations serve to augment the text. Of course, this year’s committee could interpret the book or the criteria differently. That’s what makes the awards such an adventure!

  34. Alex says:

    I am in the third grade, and I think that Queen of the Falls should win.

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