105 Ways to Give a Book

ALA Awards: Geisel, Newbery, and Caldecott (Oh My!)

The Geisel? The what? You know, the Theodor Seuss Geisel award for beginning readers. Particularly important this year because it goes to There’s a Bird on Your Head, by Mo Willems. Didn’t I say that was my favorite of the Elephant and Piggie books? Oh, yes I did. Go Mo!

The Caldecott Honor Awards go to Henry’s Freedom Box, illustrated by Kadir Nelson; First the Egg, written and illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger; The Wall, written and illustrated by Peter Sis; and... OMG, Knuffle Bunny Too, written and illustrated by Mo Willems. Let’s pause for a moment to reflect on that listing. No gold or silver for Let It Shine, but it did win the Coretta Scott King illustrator award, so maybe that will do. (Not really, but whatcha gonna do?)

But the surprise winner of the Caldecott, the award selection that will have everyone talking is... The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick. The cheers and applause were truly notable during the announcement of a book that everyone assumed would be shut out by being neither here nor there in terms of award categories. I know someone who will be pretty happy. I’m ecstatic. It truly deserved to win.

Now the Newbery Honor Awards have some familiar titles, namely Elijiah of Buxton, by Christopher Paul Curtis; The Wednesday Wars, by Gary D. Schmidt; and Feathers, by Jacqueline Woodson. The winner has not been a very big book outside the kidlitosphere, but it’s still a surprise to me (though not to Fuse#8, who totally predicted the whole list), Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!: Voices from a Medieval Village, by Laura Amy Schlitz and Robert Byrd.

Shut out from the awards was the much-praised The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, but I can guess that it was too mature for the Newbery and too young for the Printz. In any case, it did win the National Book Award. There’s better balance in the Newbery shortlist than last year’s list, which was all Girls In Trouble.

A complete list of all of the ALA awards is available here. Reactions, anyone?


EM said...

Go, Mo! And surprise, surprise, HUGO!

We are thrilled in my office today (well, the three of us who made it here despite the snow) because HELLO, BUMBLEBEE BAT won a Geisel Honor. To be in the company of Mo! (And April Sayre, who's one of my awesome authors too!)

Yee-frakkin'-ha, I say.

Jules at 7-Imp said...

I knew you'd deliver. You're one of the first blogs I checked for the news. How about that Mo?

I think I squealed as I read them all. I'm such a nerd.

Jules, 7-Imp

MotherReader said...

When I heard them announced live, I think I did a Fist Air Pumping gesture along with a loud All Right! Go by and tell Mo you're "totally stoked."

The Hugo Cabret win also got a huge Yeah! here at home, which caused the girls to race down from getting ready for school to see if I won the lottery. I'm a Big Book Nerd too.

Abby said...

Let's see... I am not at all surprised by any of the Newbery picks. I am shocked and delighted about Hugo Cabret. I am shocked and dismayed to not see Part-Time Indian anywhere. And, of course, I'm thrilled about Mo's win! :D

Susan Kusel said...

I am THRILLED about Hugo! Happy does not begin to describe it.

And I thought of you today as I placed Knuffle Bunny Too next to There's a Bird on My Head on the shelf of winners at my store. I thought you'd be thrilled, too.


Anonymous said...

I was very surprised that "The Absolutely True Diary" didn't get a Printz award. I even looked up the criteria (speaking of nerdy), and the age range is right there: 12-18.

My choice for the Caldecott was Lightship; which did get a Sibert honor.

Sara said...

MR, I absolutely thought of you when they said Mo's name twice. I figured you'd somehow managed to infiltrate the system. :)

So happy about The White Darkness; so sad that Part-time Indian didn't make it. I loved them both.

I've got an autographed copy of Hugo Cabret, obtained way back in February when it was released and Brian spoke at SCBWI (I read it non-stop on the train on the way back.)

Oh, and anybody else thrilled with Orson Scott Card as the Edwards award winner?

Erin said...

Both times they said "Mo Willems" I thought of how excited you would be. :)