Sunday, January 22, 2017

ALA Awards Tomorrow

Tomorrow morning, the ALA will announce the winners of its numerous awards, and though I don't claim to have expertise in predicting what will win, I have fallen into the latest trend of making predictions for some of the bigger awards. I've read more than my normal quota of eligible books, and though I probably missed something in my efforts, I am prepared to offer my hopeful guesses.

For the Caldecott Award, I hope to learn that Dan Santat's Are We There Yet? was the big winner. I also hope to learn that Lisa Brown's The Airport Book, Deborah Freedman's Shy, and Beth Krommes's Before Morning received Caldecott Honors. All of those books were truly elevated by their illustrations. Often, without the illustrations, the story simply would not have worked as well as it did.

For the Newbery Award, I hope to learn that It Ain't So Awful, Falafel by Firoozeh Dumas has won. No book so deeply moved me as that this year. I also hope that The Seventh Wish by Kate Messner, The Adventurer's Guide to Successful Escapes by Wade Albert White, and Alistair Grim's Odd Aquaticum by Gregory Funaro win Newbery Honors. This was good year for middle grade novels that were startlingly funny and/or heartwarming and thought provoking.

For the Geisel Award, I honestly have no idea what will win, but I wouldn't mind seeing Dan Yaccarino's I Am A Story or maybe Ben Hatke's Nobody Likes a Goblin take the award. They are both books that are entertaining and nearly perfect in their execution. Of course, there are so many great contenders out there, it's hard to say what should come out on top.

For the Coretta Scott King Awards, I really don't know, though I'd love to see Bryan Collier win the CSK Illustrator Award for City Shapes and Andrea Davis Pinkney win the CSK Author Award for A Poem for Peter. Trouble is, Collier has won the CSK Illustrator Award numerous times before, and Pinkney has won the CSK Author Award before. I have always thought that it's is nice to spread the awards around, so I'm kind of hoping for first-timers to take the CSK awards this year.

For the Pura Belpre Awards, I'd like to see the same book win both the author and illustrator award this year. That book is Maybe Something Beautiful, written by F. Isabel Compoy and illustrated by Rafael Lopez. Both the author and the illustrator did a tremendous job and I know at the very least that the book has been mentioned in a lot of potential Caldecott Award lists, so I know it has the attention of some members of the ALA.

Of course, I have no idea what will happen tomorrow. I can hope, but I've never been that good at calling this in the past, and I'm not usually that good at focusing on reading the books that came out in the past year anyway, so we'll just have to wait and see.