The winners of the 2011 major literary awards for children were recently announced at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Conference in San Diego.
Caldecott Medal Winner
A Sick Day for Amos McGee, illustrated by Erin E. Stead (written by Philip C. Stead)
Every day Amos McGee spends a little bit of time with each of his friends at the zoo, running races with the tortoise, keeping the shy penguin company, and even reading bedtime stories to the owl. But when Amos is too sick to make it to the zoo, his animal friends decide it’s time they returned the favor.
Newbery Medal Winner
Moon Over Manifest, by Clare Vanderpool
Abilene Tucker feels abandoned. Her father has put her on a train, sending her off to live with an old friend for the summer while he works a railroad job. Armed only with a few possessions, Abilene jumps off the train in Manifest, Kansas, aiming to learn about the boy her father once was. Abilene is disappointed to find that Manifest is just a dried-up, worn-out old town. But her disappointment quickly turns to excitement when she discovers a hidden cigar box full of mementos, including some old letters that mention a spy known as the Rattler.
Coretta Scott King Author Award Winner
One Crazy Summer, by Rita Williams-Garcia
Eleven-year-old Delphine has it together. Even though her mother, Cecile, abandoned her and her younger sisters, Vonetta and Fern. Even though her father and Big Ma will send them from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to stay with Cecile for the summer. And even though Delphine will have to take care of her sisters, as usual, and learn the truth about the missing pieces of the past. Rather than spend time with them, Cecile sends Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern to a summer camp sponsored by a revolutionary group, the Black Panthers, where the girls get a radical new education. Heartbreaking and funny, this is an unforgettable story told by a distinguished children’s author.
Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award Winner
Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave, illustrated by Bryan Collier (written by Laban Carrick Hill)
Dave was an extraordinary artist, poet, and potter living in South Carolina in the 1800s. He combined his superb artistry with deeply observant poetry, carved onto his pots, transcending the limitations he faced as a slave. In this inspiring and lyrical portrayal, Laban Carrick Hill’s elegantly simple text and award-winning artist Bryan Collier’s resplendent, earth-toned illustrations tell Dave’s story, a story rich in history, hope, and long-lasting beauty.
Geisel Award Winner (for beginning readers)
Bink and Gollie, by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGee, illustrated by Tony Fucile
Meet Bink and Gollie, two precocious little girls– one tiny, one tall, and both utterly irrepressible. Setting out from their super-deluxe tree house and powered by plenty of peanut butter (for Bink) and pancakes (for Gollie), they share three comical adventures involving painfully bright socks, an impromptu trek to the Andes, and a most unlikely marvelous companion. No matter where their roller skates take them, at the end of the day they will always be the very best of friends.
Sibert Award Winner (for non-fiction)
Kakapo Rescue: Saving the World’s Strangest Parrot, by Sy Montgomery, photographs by Nic Bishop
On remote Codfish Island, off the southern coast of New Zealand, live the last ninety-one kakapo parrots on earth. These trusting, flightless, and beautiful birds– the largest and most unusual parrots on earth– have suffered devastating population loss. Now, on an island refuge with the last of the species, New Zealand’s National Kakapo Recovery Team is working to restore the kakapo population. With the help of fourteen humans who share a single hut and a passion for saving these odd ground-dwelling birds, the kakapo are making a comeback.
For the complete list of this year’s award winners and honor books, take a look at the ALA website.