First, my Caldecott hopefuls:
- Christian Robinson for Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio (Atheneum) or Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker by Patricia Hruby Powell (Chronicle).
- Jonathan Bean for Bad Bye, Good Bye by Deborah Underwood (HMH Books for Young Readers).
- Hadley Hooper for The Iridescence of Birds: A Book About Henri Matisse by Patricia MacLachlan (Roaring Brook Press).
This year, two of my favorite books might win either the Caldecott or the Newbery--or both! They are El Deafo by Cece Bell (Harry N. Abrams) and Once Upon an Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers (Philomel). We discussed El Deafo briefly at yesterday's Mock Caldecott, but not everyone had a chance to read the whole thing, and they were mostly unconvinced that it met the Caldecott criteria. We all agreed that there needs to be an award for graphic novels, but until then, I hope the award committees find a way to recognize this one.
I'm not sure why no one is talking about Once Upon an Alphabet, though. Oliver Jeffers lives and works in Brooklyn (of course), so he should be eligible, and it's a terrific book. I don't have a lot of favorites for the Newbery this year--I might have read more Printz books, actually!--but I did like The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Dana Alison Levy (Delacorte) lots and haven't heard many people mention it. Maybe it will be this year's The Year of Billy Miller.
Finally, the Batchelder award for children's books in translation. Following my Batchelder year, I've continued to seek out translated books, although I'm sure there are many I've missed! My favorite? Mikis and the Donkey by Bibi Dumon Tak, illustrated by Philip Hopman and translated by Laura Watkinson (Eerdmans).
Good luck to all the books!