January 25 – February 1, 2007 Edition

Wiesner, Patron

Win Caldecott,

Newbery Awards

SEATTLE, WA/1/22/07—The Association for Library Service at its midwinter meeting in Seattle, announced winners of two prestigious children’s book awards. David Wiesner won the Randolph Caldecott Medal for Flotsam (Clarion), and Susan Patron was awarded the John Newbery Medal for her novel The Higher Power of Lucky, illustrated by Matt Phelan (Simon & Schuster/Jackson)

The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. The John Newbery Medal honors the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.

Flotsam is a cinematic unfolding of discovery. A vintage camera washed up on the beach provides a young boy with a surprising view of fantastical images from the bottom of the sea. From fish-eye to lens-eye, readers see a frame-by-frame narrative of lush marinescapes ebbing and flowing from the real to the surreal.

“Telling tales through imagery is what storytellers have done through the ages. Wiesner’s wordless tale resonates with visual images that tell his story with clever wit and lively humor,” said Caldecott Medal Committee Chair Janice Del Negro.

In “The Higher Power of Lucky,” Newbery winner Patron takes us to the California desert community of Hard Pan (population 43). Ten-year-old Lucky Trimble eavesdrops on 12-step program meetings from her hiding place behind Hard Pan’s Found Object Wind Chime Museum & Visitor Center. Eccentric characters and quirky details spice up Lucky’s life just as her guardian Brigitte’s fresh parsley embellishes her French cuisine.

“‘Lucky’ is a perfectly nuanced blend of adventure, survival (emotional and physical) and hilarious character study. . .as well as a blueprint for a self-examined life,” said Newbery Medal Committee Chair Jeri Kladder. “Through Lucky’s experiences, we are reminded that children support one another just as needy adults do.”

Named as Caldecott Honor Books were: Gone Wild: An Endangered Animal Alphabet by David McLimans (Walker & Co.); and Moses, illus. by Kadir Nelson, written by Carole Boston Weatherford (Hyperion/Jump at the Sun). Receiving Newbery Honors were: Penny from Heaven by Jennifer L. Holm (Random), Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson (Delacorte); and Rules by Cynthia Lord (Scholastic).