Moon over Manifest, written by Clare Vanderpool, is the 2011 Newbery Medal winner. I have this book on my TBR shelf and imagine that I’ll be reading it this afternoon now. Total surprise in that I’ve heard nothing about this book around the kidlitosphere.
There were four Newbery Honor Books named. Turtle in Paradise, by Jennifer L. Holm, I have read and enjoyed. I’ve seen some talk about it for Newbery, and am very happy to see it in the list. One Crazy Summer, by Rita Williams-Garcia, was altogether expected to make the Newbery list, and many people thought it would pull in the gold. Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night, written by Joyce Sidman, was a book I’d been hearing in conjunction with the Caldecott Award. I’d never thought of it for Newbery and haven’t read it yet. I do like Sidman’s poetry, so I expect to enjoy this title. Heart of a Samurai, written by Margi Preus, is another book that appeared out of thin air as an award-winner. I’ve seen the book, but had not heard any buzz about it in terms of awards. Shut out of the Newbery winners were Keeper, Countdown, and Forge — all books that were talked about as near-certainities.
The Caldecott was a little more in line with expectations, though the committee seriously needs to choose more titles for honor awards. This year it was really a travesty as there were some wonderful possibilities that were passed by.
A Sick Day for Amos McGee, illustrated by Erin E. Stead (and written by Philip Stead), is the 2011 Caldecott Medal winner. A lot of folks were looking at this title for gold or silver. Interrupting Chicken, written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein, was a surprise for Caldecott. I like the book, but had not heard it mentioned in Caldecott predictions. Out of left field was honor book Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave, illustrated by Bryan Collier (and written by Laban Carrick Hill). I vaguely remember hearing about this book earlier in the fall, and then it dropped off the radar.
What is more notable are the many titles that were not represented in the Caldecotts. I was personally pulling for Chalk, by Bill Thompson, because I think that the illustrations are amazing in their details, expressions, and perspectives. I thought Flora’s Very Windy Day was a long shot, but I couldn’t help but hope for its enchanting illustrations to be noticed. I’d heard Ballet for Martha and Dark Emperor suggested from more than one source. Personally, I was never convinced of the predicted win of City Dog, Country Frog.
So, what turns out to be correct is the most widespread prediction of this years awards — that they were wide open. Back later with some more awards.
Links to material on Amazon.com contained within this post may be affiliate links for the Amazon Associates program, for which this site may receive a referral fee.