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Each year, individual committees that work independently select honor books and one winner for each of the major children’s and young adult book awards. The official announcement of the 2011 Caldecott, Newbery, and Coretta Scott King Awards (opens in a new window) — and others — were made today in San Diego. Interesting to note that there was some overlap among the books.

As often happens, I was surprised — but nonetheless delighted — by the winners.

The Caldecott Medal was awarded to illustrator Erin E. Stead for A Sick Day for Amos McGee, (opens in a new window) written by Philip Stead (Neal Porter/Roaring Brook). It is a sweet, appealing story of friendship and kindness returned, gently and expressively illustrated.

There were two Caldecott Honors named.

Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave, (opens in a new window) (Little Brown) illustrated by Bryan Collier and written by Laban Carrick, is based on the life of an African American who did not allow his enslavement in 19th century South Carolina inhibit his creativity and talent. Strong images combine with minimal text for maximum impact.

Bryan Collier (opens in a new window) (who received a Caldecott Honor for Martin’s Big Words (opens in a new window) published by Hyperion) also received the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration for Dave the Potter.

The second honor book is about as different from the other books as possible but nonetheless engaging and appealing. Interrupting Chicken (opens in a new window) written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein (Candlewick) is a comic bedtime tale with a twist with almost frenetic illustrations.

Together, these books represent what the 2011 Caldecott Committee determined to be the most distinguished American picture books published in 2010. They certainly represent a range of books, styles, and topics in picture books.

It’s always a surprise — and fun to guess what will win. And just think, it’s time to start looking for and thinking about what will happen in 2012!

About the Author

Reading Rockets’ children’s literature expert, Maria Salvadore, brings you into her world as she explores the best ways to use kids’ books both inside — and outside — of the classroom.

Publication Date
January 10, 2011