Monday, January 10, 2011

Favorite Picture Books of 2010 (and Newbery & Caldecott Winners!)

ETA: Well, this is embarrassing! Somewhere I got the date wrong...and thought that the Newbery and Caldecott awards were being given *next* week. So this post I just put up this morning was partly my speculation over what might win the Caldecott this year. I just realized, however, the awards are out today. I've not peeked yet, but am off to do so now...

Well, shows what I know! Congratulations to the Caldecott Medal winner for 2011: A Sick Day for Amos McGee illustrated by Erin S. Stead, and to the 2011 Newbery winner: Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool.

And please kindly disregard my belated speculation and just read this post in its main spirit: a short list of some of our family's favorite picture books published in 2010. Links are to my longer reviews on Epinions.

~All Things Bright and Beautiful illustrated by Ashley Bryan

Vibrant colors and beautiful paper collage accompany the old hymn text by Cecil F. Alexander. This one came out in early 2010, but we remember it well (though it's been months since we've had it out of the library). We recently thought of it again and are hoping to do some Bryan inspired collage art soon.

~City Dog, Country Frog by Mo Willems, illustrated by Jon J. Muth

One of our favorite picture book author-artists, Mo Willems, handles the writing in this one, while the delicate water color illustrations are done by the wonderful Jon J. Muth. A winning combination, and a poignant book about friendship.

~A Nest for Celeste by Henry Cole

A wonderful look into the life and works of John James Audubon. We loved using this as a companion for our Audubon studies (and we loved Audubon so much that we're probably going back to him this spring, when the birds arrive back.)

I'm cheating just a tiny bit with the inclusion of this book. It's actually a mid-grade novel, but the plethora of beautiful pencil sketches do so much to help tell the story. So much so that I wonder if it will not get some attention from the Caldecott committee despite the fact that they tend to favor standard picture books. Hugo Cabret showed they can go this route, so we'll see.

~Mirror, Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse by Marilyn Singer, illustrated by Josee Masse

An amazing book...creative poetry (in the "reverso" form created by Singer) and gorgeous pictures that play with symmetry and shared borders and shapes. I've been seeing a lot of people talk about this book lately...we fell in love with it early in the fall.

~Knuffle Bunny Free by Mo Willems

Can Willems be given a Caldecott Medal for a series, a la Peter Jackson's Oscar for the third Lord of the Rings film? He's already taken home Caldecott honors for Knuffle Bunny and Knuffle Bunny Too. This third and final installment is an absolutely amazing, age-appropriate ending to these books. We've watched Trixie grow and change from toddler to preschooler and now elementary aged girl, her responses so perfectly authentic every time, her passion, love and excitement for life (and for Knuffle Bunny) shining through every page. Kudos to Willems for using the picture book format to really tell an ongoing story with a great depth of character development in our heroine. This last book (which literally made me both laugh and cry) was so perfect for our eight year old right now. It celebrates growing up, giving deep, and how small acts of measured, loving kindness can be truly courageous.

We loved a lot of picture books this year, but these were some of our very favorites published in 2010.


Erin said...

And a grand list it is, too! And I'm going to be looking for most of these at the library soon... :)

Beth said...

Yes, well...(she says, slightly crestfallen) they're all wonderful books, but not a one of them got a mention in today's awards! Which mostly goes to show you what a wonderful bunch of books are being written and illustrated for children these days!

The award list has given me a whole new layer for my TBR pile too!