Tag Archives: awards

Which do you like best?


A panel of judges recently named a list of the best illustrated children’s books of 2015.  Here are a few of them that are currently available at the Fountaindale Public Library, with our thoughts:

A fine dessert : four centuries, four families, one delicious treat
A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious Treat by Emily Jenkins & Sophie Blackall
“Sometimes teachers ask us for a title that illustrates the concepts continuity and change.  This book is a great example.  In each of the four centuries, a child is helping a parent make the dessert blackberry fool (made with fruit and whipped cream).  While those elements stay the same, the technology and the ways people interact relate to each other change a great deal.”  -Ms. Sarah
This title is also available to download as an ebook.

Leo: A Ghost Story
Leo: A Ghost Story by Mac Barnett
“I read Leo: A Ghost Story by Mac Barnett.  It was funny, sad, and happy all in one book.  Poor little Leo lived all alone and got excited when a family moved into his home.  The family was not accepting of his presence and he left his home knowing he was unwanted.  While wondering the streets of a busy city, everything turned around when he met his new best friend.  In the end, Leo becomes a hero and he find his place in his new home.  ‘Most people cannot see ghosts. Can you?’ Great story!”  -Ms. Ashley

Sidewalk Flowers
Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson, illustrated by Sydney Smith
“This picture book is told only in pictures, no words. Mostly all the pictures are black and white with just some color pictures throughout the book. The young girl with her red hoodie is picking up flowers along the sidewalk and then giving them to various recipients along the way. I love the idea of this book about how important the little things in life are.”  -Ms. Nancy
This title is also available to download as an ebook.

Tricky Vic: the impossibly true story of the man who sold the Eiffel Tower
Tricky Vic: The Impossibly True Story of the Man who Sold the Eiffel Tower by Greg Pizzoli
“You can’t blame the author for wanting to tell this true story: a con man, Al Capone, a prison escape, the Eiffel Tower, Alcatraz… all great story elements.  The illustrations are intriguing, too.  The author/illustrator of Number One Sam and The Watermelon Seed uses an old-fashioned style with a few unique touches.  Most of the characters in the story have cartoon faces, but the criminal main character has a mysterious fingerprint for a head.  One of the marks, surnamed Poisson, has a fish head.  There are a few collage elements (in the notes at the end, Greg Pizzoli mentions using photographs and rubber stamps).  You’re not exactly sorry to see Victor Lustig caught and punished at the end, but the character is a con man and he does make you want to like him.” -Ms. Sarah

Best New Comics: Eisner Award Winners and Nominees

Best Limited Series
Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland
Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland by Eric Shanower & Gabriel Rodriguez
“An all-new, all-ages series full of magic and whimsy from award-winning creators Eric Shanower (Adventures in Oz) and Gabriel Rodriguez (Locke & Key)! Spinning out of Winsor McKay’s brilliant early 20th Century strip, Return to Slumberland sees King Morpheus’ daughter, in the Royal Palace of Slumberland, selecting her next-playmate – Nemo! Only Nemo has no interest in being anyone’s playmate, dream or no dream!” (Diamond Comics Distributors)

Best New Series
Lumberjanes by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson, & Brooke A. Allen (BOOM! Box)
Five friends attend a summer camp that just happens to be the home of yetis, talking statues, and other supernatural monsters. This title also won Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17), for which it shared a nomination with The Dumbest Idea Ever, by Jimmy Gownley (author of Amelia Rules!).

Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 7)

The Zoo Box
The Zoo Box, by Ariel Cohn & Aron Nels Steinke

Left home alone for the evening, Erika and Patrick discover a mysterious box in the attic, and when they take a peek inside the box, animals begin to pour out, turning their world upside down. – (Baker & Taylor)

Other nominees in this category:

BirdCatDog, by Lee Nordling & Meritxell Bosch

“Tells the story of a bird, a cat, and a dog through wordless comics. Everyone is a hero in his own story and every story is connected”– – (Baker & Taylor)

A Cat Named Tim and Other Stories
A Cat Named Tim And Other Stories by John Martz
In Tim’s world, a cat can paint on the ceiling and a happy pig couple can wait months for the bus. A duck and a mouse love to go flying, in a plane, of course. Every page is an adventure and each character is colorful in this collection of comics.

Hello Kitty Hello 40
Hello Kitty, Hello 40: A Celebration in 40 Stories edited by Traci N. Todd & Elizabeth Kawasaki

Featuring contributions by the creators of Babymouse, a 40th anniversary tribute collects stories and artwork by a range of comics artists, muralists and toy creators. – (Baker & Taylor)

“No one knows much about Mer, the underwater kingdom where Mermin the Merman was born, but due to a rising conflict with the people of Atlantis, Mermin is needed back home immediately. Which means that his human friends get to accompany him and see all the aquatic wonders of Mer. But once again, Mermin is tight-lipped about his past – even when it’s swimming right in front of him. And there are enemies lurking in the seedier depths of Mer who’ve got their sights set not only on Mermin, but on Pete and his friends!” –Amazon.com

Best Publication for Kids (ages 8-12)


El Deafo
El Deafo, by Cece Bell
Based on Cece Bell’s own story, El Deafo tells the story of a rabbit girl making friends at school while dealing with the pros and cons of a large, awkward hearing aid. This title was also nominated for Best Reality-Based Work, along with Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: Treaties, Trenches, Mud, and Blood, by Nathan Hale.

Other nominees in this category:

Batman Li'l Gotham
Batman Li’l Gotham, vol. 2 by Derek Fridolfs & Dustin Nguyen
Tales of adventure through the holidays featuring favorite Gotham City characters. – (Baker & Taylor)

(You can find more of the series here, here, here, and here.)

I Was the Cat by Paul Tobin & Benjamin Dewey

Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland by Eric Shanower & Gabriel Rodriguez (shown above)

Tiny Titans Return to the Treehouse
Tiny Titans: Return to the Treehouse by Art Baltazar & Franco
“Superboy and Supergirl return to the treehouse to discover…IT’S MISSING! Or is it just…really small? Who could have done such a thing?! Find out as all your favorite Tiny Titans search for answers!” –Random House

Best Writer: Gene Luen Yang for Avatar: The Last Airbender

Avatar the Last Airbender: The Rift as well as The Shadow Hero, which was also nominated for Best Publication for Teens.

Best Writer/Artist: Raina Telgemeier for Sisters

Three weeks. Two sisters. One car. A true story.

Americans (and others) with disabilities

July 26 marks the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  The legislation went into effect two years later, and required that public facilities be made accessible to people with disabilities.

Americans with Disabilities Act
Americans with Disabilities Act by Susan Dudley Gold
Describes the history of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, including how people with disabilities and their supporters fought over the decades to win civil rights and how the piece of legislation became a law. – (Baker & Taylor)

A good resource for finding books that feature characters with disabilities is the page for the Schneider Family Book Award.  The website lists the winners of the awards, which “honor an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.”  There is also a link to a list of more recommended books.

Quick Pick: Rita Williams-Garcia

One Crazy Summer was an extremely popular book the year it was published– and not just locally.  The cover of the book is almost hidden behind all the award stickers:

One Crazy Summer

If you were a fan of the first book, you might like to know that there are now two sequels: P.S. Be Eleven and the new Gone Crazy in Alabama.  The three books were recently featured in the Big Picture article in The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books.  The library also owns all three titles as Playaway audiobooks.

Monarch and Bluestem news

I just got the word from Mrs. C. on the bookmobile!

The 2015 Monarch Award Winner is

The Day the Crayons Quit
The Day the Crayons Quit
by Drew Daywalt

The 2015 Bluestem Award Winner is

The One and Only Ivan
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Thanks to all the children who read books and voted!

Illinois Children’s Choice Award Winners

The winner of the 2015 Rebecca Caudill Award has been announced and it is

Legend by Marie Lu

Follow this link to watch the live broadcast of the 2015 Monarch and Bluestem  Award Winners: http://www.olchs.org/

Unexpected Grammy Winner in the Children’s Album Category

Did you know that a children’s audiobook could win a Grammy Award?  One just did!

I am Malala
I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up For Education And Changed The World (a sound recording of the Young Readers Edition of Malala Yousafzai’s autobiography) won this year’s Grammy award for Best Children’s Album.  It is available on Playaway or on CD in the children’s or adult collection.

You can also check out some of the runners-up for the award:

Just Say Hi
Just Say Hi!
Brady Rymer And The Little Band That Could

The Perfect Quirk
The Perfect Quirk
Secret Agent 23 Skidoo

Through the woods
Through The Woods
The Okee Dokee Brothers