Drum Roll Please…

It’s that time of year again in the world of books—when the Newbery, Caldecott, and Coretta Scott King Awards are presented.  As usual, there were lots of great books highlighted this year. Below, find a listing of winners and honorees, and don’t forget to check out a copy from your favorite Branch of the St. Louis Public Library to share with your friends and family!

John Newbery Medal–‘… for the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.’

This year’s winner is…….

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate


Ivan, a captured gorilla on display, has a distinct narrative voice, filled with “wry humor, deep emotion, and thought provoking insight into the nature of friendship hope and humanity.” Also available as a downloadable ebook!

Honor Books are:

Splendors & Glooms by Laura Schlitz.  Available as downloadable Electronic books, and hardback

Three Times Lucky by Shiela Turnage.  Available as audiobook CD and Playaway, and hardback

Bomb: The Race to Build — and Steal — the worlds most Dangerous Weapon! by Steve Sheinkin.

Caldecott Medal–for ‘most distinguished American Picture Book”

This year’s winner is…  Jon Klassen, yes, Jon Klassen is the winner for best illustrations for not one, but TWO books.


He won the medal for This is Not My Hat.  In case his previous book, I Want My Hat Back, wasn’t dark enough, he explores the inner voice of a hat stealing fish.   On the first page, the fish confesses to the readers that this is not his hat.  But then he goes on to justify why he stole it, and why it’s not wrong.  And then he goes on to assure himself why he will never be caught, even after being spotted by a crab.  The story told through the words is vastly different from the story the illustrations show, challenging readers to experience two points of view at once.  The somber palette and the open ambiguous ending leave room for many ways to imagine the consequences.

Honor Books are:

Extra Yarn, also illustrated by Jon Klassen (written by Mac Barnett)

Creepy Carrots illustrated by Peter Brown (Written by Aaron Reynolds.) This book uses shades of grey, with spots of vivid orange to create a stuffy noir-styled setting, in a method called duotone.

One Cool Friend illustrated by David Small (written by Toni Bozzeo.) A boy and his clandestine friendship with a penguin are drawn in loose calligraphic ink lines on a clean white page, with splashes of pale aqua.  Unlike the previous title, these illustrations use the duotone for a light airy feel that complements the fun breezy story. 

Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger. This books uses cut-out to play with our visual senses of different shades of green. 

Sleep Like A Tiger illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski (written by Mary Logue.)  These beautiful and stylish images use mixed media painting on wood to create a dream-like setting for a quiet bedtime book. 

Coretta Scott King Award–the most distinguished portrayal of African American experience in literature for children


Andrea Davis Pinkney won as the author of Hand In Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America. 


This collective biography focuses on 10 men who’s intelligence, fervor and passion shaped the history of our country.

Honor Authors:

Jacqueline Woodson, the author of Each Kindness.

Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, for writing No Crystal Stair: a Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Micheaux, Harlem Bookseller


Brian Collier, his illustrations of Langston Hughes classic poem,  I, Too, Am America


Brian Collier’s inspirational images merge with Langston Hughes’ poetic wisdom to create a classic for the ages.

Honor Books

Ellen’s Broom illustrated by Daniel Minter, written by K. Lyons.

H.O.R.S.E.: A Game of Basketball and Imagination written and illustrated by Christopher Myers.

I Have A Dream: Martin Luther King Jr. illustrated by Kadir Nelson, from the speech by Dr. King.

St. Louis Public Library is proud to celebrate these great works and provides them to patrons in hardback, paperback, audio, and electronic versions! Borrow yours today!


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