• Grace McKinney

Some Squealing about the Youth Media Awards

Hello, everyone! We're here! We promise!

After a little hiatus, Gaby and I are so excited to be getting back to Cosmic Bookshelf. We've got some plans in the works, but to start off the new year right, we want to do a little bloggish happy dance in response to today's awards.

What awards, you say? Only the awards of the year. We briefly talked about the American Library Association's Youth Media Awards on this blog post, but today was the day of days in which authors and illustrators around the country received some early-morning calls from each committee, recognizing them for their contribution to literature for young people in 2018. We're particularly excited about a few winners and honors and wanted to share the excitement with all of you!

First and (unsurprisingly) foremost, we want to give three—no, three hundred—cheers to our favorite, and the winner, of the Caldecott Award for the most distinguished picture book of 2018: Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall. We've been singing its praises for months and are so thrilled it's getting recognition from the committee.

We're also so, so delighted with the four (!) Caldecott Honor books selected, some of which may sound familiar from our previous posts: A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin, Alma And How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal, Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora, and—a new one to us!—The Rough Patch by Brian Lies. It's very exciting to see so many familiar titles, and also very interesting to note that all awarded titles here are both authored and illustrated by a single person. There's something to that unique unity of form, I suppose!

As for the Newbery Award Winner and Honor books, we were a little less familiar, but are always happy to cheer for Meg Medina, author of Abuela, Mango & Me, for her medaled Merci Suárez Changes Gears. In a year where we're already hoping to sink our teeth into more middle grade, Merci Suárez and company look like an excellent starting point.

A few other awards that made us give a little cheer were the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award winning Stuff of Stars, illustrated by the ever-fabulous Ekua Holmes; the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award for Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora (double the fun!), and the Pura Belpré Award winner Dreamers by Yuyi Morales.

But rather than give a rundown of all the winners, we'll just direct you to the full list here. Any favorites you're excited to see? Any new titles you're rushing out to snag before the crowds rush the bookstore and the library hold list lasts for months (am I being dramatic)?

We're mostly feeling impressed by the long, difficult work that led to these wonderful choices by the ALA committees, but we're also left with the notion of just how incredible of an offering 2018 made for young people. It's a joy to see so many titles recognized for their merit, but it's also noteworthy that here's enough good stuff out there that we're left with some heartache, too. Here's to another year of beautiful books for young people!

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