Wednesday, January 24, 2007

ALA Awards announced

On Monday, Jan. 22 in Seattle, the American Library Association announced the major awards for children’s and young adult literature. You’ve probably already heard that the Caldecott award went to David Wiesner (again) for Flotsam and the Newbery award went to (librarian) Susan Patron for The Higher Power of Lucky. For a complete listing, check out Unfortunately, few poetry books appeared on the award lists (another reason that I’m grateful that the new Cybils Awards included poetry as a category). As I combed the lists, I found two titles of poetry among the winners. Interestingly enough, both are Coretta Scott King Illustrator honor books:

Jazz by Walter Dean Myers, illustrated by Christopher Myers (published by Holiday House)
Poetry for Young People: Langston Hughes edited by David Roessel and Arnold Rampersad, illustrated by Benny Andrews (published by Sterling Publishing)

You may remember that Jazz was also recognized as one of the five best poetry books for children chosen for the Cybils Award. It’s a vibrant picture book poetry collection that is a celebration of jazz music and history and a tribute to New Orleans. The language is vivid and participatory and the art is obviously prize winning—sprawling and expressive.

Poetry for Young People: Langston Hughes features a collection of 26 of Hughes’ best-known poems along with a brief introduction for each and a short biographical section, written by Hughes scholars and incorporating quotes from the poet himself. And of course, there’s the art, too—wonderful cubist collages and watercolors.

Look for these two gems—of poetry, of art, of African American pride. Each is also a treat to read aloud with young people of all ages.


Anonymous said...

Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom, winner of the Coretta Scott King Award for illustration and the Caldecott honor for, is a poem, albeit not a poetry collection. Moses is illustrated by Kadir Nelson and written by yours truly.
Carole Boston Weatherford

Sylvia Vardell said...

Thanks for posting. I'm glad to hear the author herself considers MOSES poetry. And congratulations on all the recognition that your book has received. I'm certainly a big fan of yours. Your poetry anthology, REMEMBER THE BRIDGE is a particular favorite of mine. Keep on!