Sy Montgomery, Nic Bishop win 2011 Sibert Medal

For Immediate Release
Mon, 01/10/2011


Communications and Marketing Office

ALA Media Relations


SAN DIEGO - Sy Montgomery and Nic Bishop, author and photographer/illustrator of “Kakapo Rescue: Saving the World’s Strangest Parrot,” were named the winners of the 2011 Robert F. Sibert Medal for the most distinguished informational book for children published in 2010. The award was announced today by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), during the ALA Midwinter Meeting held Jan. 7 – 11 in San Diego.

“Kakapo Rescue: Saving the World’s Strangest Parrot,” published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company,is an inspiring call to action. This visually appealing and engaging book takes readers on an unforgettable journey to New Zealand. Naturalist Sy Montgomery and wildlife photographer Nic Bishop document the successes and failures of the rescue team dedicated to saving a species of flightless parrot numbering fewer than 100.
“Montgomery creates a sense of immediacy and urgency throughout this superbly photographed, first-hand account of scientists fighting to save this endearing parrot,” said Sibert Medal Committee Chair Barbara L. Brand.
Montgomery is an award-winning writer whose publications include various works on nature and wildlife. "I write to illuminate the lives of nonhuman beings and our relationships with them.”
The author and photographer/illustrator of many critically acclaimed books, Bishop uses his writings and photographs to encourage children’s natural curiosity about the living world.
The Sibert Medal Committee selected two Honor Book(s).
“Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring,” written by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan, illustrated by Brian Floca, a Neal Porter Book,published by Flash Point, an imprint of  Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing.
From behind the scenes to actual performances, “Ballet for Martha” traces the evolution of the ballet “Appalachian Spring.”  Floca’s uncluttered watercolors support the spare, dynamic text, resulting in a balanced, insightful portrayal of creative collaboration.
Greenberg, a creative writing instructor and art educator, and Jordan, a former book editor and photographer, have collaborated for 20 years.
Floca has received two Sibert Honor Book Medals.
“Lafayette and the American Revolution,” written by Russell Freedman and published by Holiday House. 
This compelling biography of Lafayette looks at the whole of his life and fully illuminates the role he played in the American Revolution. Freedman leads readers through the events that shaped Lafayette’s character, portraying a young man in a time of change that would shape the rest of his life.
A trailblazer in nonfiction for children, multiple award winner Russell Freedman won the 1988 Newbery Medal and the 2005 Sibert Medal.
The award was established by ALSC and named to commemorate Mr. Robert F. Sibert, founder of Bound to Stay Bound Books, Inc., of Jacksonville, Ill. Sibert is known for his early work in establishing standards of bookbinding.
Members of the 2011 Sibert Medal Committee are:  Chair Barbara L. Brand, Johnson County Library, Shawnee Mission, Kan.; Ty R. Burns, Clear Creek Independent School District, League City, Texas; Ernie J. Cox, Mark Twain Elementary School, Iowa City, Iowa; Carol A. Doll, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Va.; Randall Enos, Ramapo Catskill Library System, Middletown, N.Y.; Kate Johnson, Sno-Isle Libraries, Monroe, Wash.; Jennifer C. Knight, North Olympic Library System, Port Angeles, Wash.; Carolyn Phelan, Northbrook Public Library, Northbrook, Ill.; and Sharon Rawlins, New Jersey State Library, Trenton, N.J.
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 its website at
For information on the Robert F. Sibert Medal and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit