SAN DIEGO - Clare Vanderpool, author of “Moon Over Manifest”and Erin E. Stead, illustrator of“A Sick Day for Amos McGee,”are the 2011 winners of the John Newbery and Randolph Caldecott Medals, the most prestigious awards in children’s literature.
Clare Vanderpooland Erin E. Stead were among the award winners announced January 10, by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Diego, Jan. 7 - 11. The Newbery and Caldecott Medals honor outstanding writing and illustration of works published in the United States during the previous year.
The 2011 Newbery Medal for the most distinguished contribution to children’s literature went to Clare Vanderpool for “Moon over Manifest,” published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc.. This big-hearted, multi-generational epic set in small-town Kansas alternates between World War I and the Great Depression, but never strays too far from the tough-yet-vulnerable heroine Abilene Tucker. With a mix of letters, newspaper articles and a fortune teller’s tales, the eclectic people and mysteries of Manifest spring to life.
“Vanderpool illustrates the importance of stories as a way for children to understand the past, inform the present and provide hope for the future,” said Newbery Medal Committee Chair Cynthia K. Richey.
The town of Manifest is based on Frontenac, Kan., the home of debut author Clare Vanderpool’s maternal grandparents. Vanderpool was inspired to write about what the idea of “home” might look like to a girl who had grown up riding the rails. She lives in Wichita with her husband and four children.
The 2011 Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished picture book is awarded to Erin E. Stead for “A Sick Day for Amos McGee,” written by Philip C. Stead, and is a Neal Porter Book, published by Roaring Book Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing. In this tender tale of reciprocity and friendship, zookeeper Amos McGee gets the sniffles and receives a surprise visit from his caring animal friends. Erin Stead’s delicate woodblock prints and fine pencil work complement Philip Stead’s understated, spare and humorous text to create a well-paced, gentle and satisfying book, perfect for sharing with friends.
“Endearing, expressive characterization in spare illustrations rendered in muted tones distinguish this timeless picture book. It’s a great day for Amos McGee!”said Caldecott Medal Committee Chair Judy Zuckerman.
Erin E. Stead lives with her husband Philip in a renovated 100-year-old barn in Ann Arbor, Mich. “A Sick Day for Amos McGee,” her first book, appeared on The New York Times 10 Best Illustrated Children’s Books list of 2010.
Four Newbery Honor Books were named:
“Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night” by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Rick Allen and published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Welcoming her readers into the “wild, enchanted park” that is the night, Joyce Sidman has elegantly crafted twelve poems rich in content and varied in format. Companion prose pieces about nocturnal flora and fauna are as tuneful and graceful as the poems. This collection is “a feast of sound and spark.”
“Heart of a Samurai” by Margi Preus, published by Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS. Shipwrecks, whaling, a search for home and a delightful exploration of cultures create a swashbuckling adventure. This historical novel is based on the true story of Manjiro (later John Mung), the young fisherman believed to be the first Japanese person to visit America, who against all odds, becomes a samurai.
“One Crazy Summer” by Rita Williams-Garcia, published by Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. The voices of sisters Delphine, Vonetta and Fern sing in three-part harmony in this wonderfully nuanced, humorous novel set in 1968 Oakland, Calif. One crazy summer, the three girls find adventure when they are sent to meet their estranged poet-mother Cecile, who prints flyers for the Black Panthers.
“Turtle in Paradise” by Jennifer L. Holm, published by Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc. Sassy eleven-year-old Turtle finds her life turned on end when she is sent to live with her aunt in Depression-era Key West. With vivid details, witty dialogue and outrageous escapades, Jennifer Holm successfully explores the meaning of family and home… and lost treasures found.
Two Caldecott Honor Books were named:
“Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave,” illustrated by Bryan Collier, written by Laban Carrick Hill and published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc. Collier’s arrestingly beautiful artistic interpretation of Hill’s poetic text reveals Dave the potter’s artistic process while also conveying the dignified triumph of his humanity in the face of oppression. Lush, earth-toned, multimedia collages are illuminated in soft, ethereal light that focuses the eye on the subject of each spread.
“Interrupting Chicken,” written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein and published by Candlewick Press. Stein’s hilarious story presents Little Chicken and her long-suffering Papa, who just wants to get through a bedtime story without his daughter’s metafictive disruptions. Exuberant artwork shifts media and style, taking readers into three fairy tales, culminating in Little Chicken’s “Bedtime for Papa,” but truly delivering a story for all.
Members of the 2011 Newbery Medal Selection Committee are: Chair Cynthia K. Richey, Mt. Lebanon (Pa.) Public Library; Samuel I. Bloom, Public Library of Cincinnati/Hamilton County, Groesbeck Branch Library, Cincinnati; Madeline J. Bryant, Los Angeles Public Library; Louise A. Capizzo, Falmouth (Maine) Memorial Library; Dan Darigan, West Chester University of Pennsylvania, West Chester, Pa; Julie E. Dietzel-Glair, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore; Brian Fahey, Wilmington (Del.) Friends School; Jana R. Fine, Tuscaloosa (Ala.) Public Library; Marianne Crandall Follis, Irving (Tex.) Central Public Library; Jean B. Gaffney, Dayton (Ohio) Metro Library; Kathryn B. Shepler, Aurora Elementary School, Oakland, Calif.; Karin Snelson, Seattle; Nancy J. Snyder, Derby, (Kan.) Public Library; Pat Stainbrook, Spokane (Wash.) County Library District; and Bina Williams, Bridgeport (Conn.) Public Library.
Members of the 2011 Caldecott Medal Selection Committee are: Chair Judy E. Zuckerman,
Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library; Carolyn R. Angus, George Stone Center for Children’s Books, Claremont (Calif.) Graduate University; Ruth Anne Champion, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore; Kevin Delecki, Dayton (Ohio) Metro Library; Heidi K. Hammond, St. Catherine University Library, St. Paul, Minn.; Shelley Haley Huntington, New York; Karen Kessel, Tobias Elementary School, Kyle, Texas; Megan D. Lambert, Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, Mass.; Portia Latalladi, Chicago Public Library; Morgan McMillian, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, Texas; Debra Nelson, Prince George's County Memorial Library, Largo, Md.; Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, Rio Rancho (N.M.) Public Library; Gail Nordstrom, Viking Library System, Fergus Falls, Minn.; Elsworth Rockefeller, Martin Luther King Library, Washington, D.C.; and Robin Smith, Ensworth School, Nashville, Tenn.
ALSC is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,000 children’s and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty, ALSC is committed to creating a better future for children through libraries. To learn more about ALSC, visit their Web site at www.ala.org/alsc
For information on the John Newbery and Randolph Caldecott Medals and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit www.ala.org/yma