Friday, January 22, 2010

Coconut paleta for me, please

The Charlotte Zolotow Awards have been announced and there, as the winner, is my sister's book, "What Can You Do With A Paleta?"! the Zolotow is given annualy to the author of the best picture book text published in the USA in the preceding year--the Newbery of picture books if you ask me. Here is the article from School Library Journal about the award and all the books selected this year.

Another list I am looking at, trying to chose some more books to add to my reading list, is the 2010 Best Books for Young Adults. Find it here.

Yesterday my friend Jim and I went to look for some of these books at The Storyteller here in Lafayette, a bookstore that exclusively sells children's books, and it is right here in my neighborhood. While we were there Jim and I decided to start a new tradition of ourselves. Every month we'll come together to the store and find at least ONE book that we love. Yesterday we both came home with our choice: Henry in Love, by Peter McCarty, have you seen that picture book? Exquisite!
Want to come with us next month?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Celebracion! ALA Awards anounced

While I am sure that everybody is celebrating the ALA award winners already, I am having my own, very early (5;57 am) beautiful moment her with my cat and my sleeping family. The Pura Belpre Awards were announced this morning as well, and now I can tell who the winners are. Yesterday night it was still a secret!:

Pura Belpré (Illustrator) Award honoring a Latino writer and illustrator whose children’s books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience

“Book Fiesta!: Celebrate Children’s Day/Book Day; Celebremos El día de los niños/El día de los libros,” illustrated by Rafael López, is the Belpré Illustrator Award winner. The book was written by Pat Mora and published by Rayo, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Three Belpré Illustrator Honor Books were selected: “Diego: Bigger Than Life,” illustrated by David Diaz, written by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand and published by Marshall Cavendish Children.

“My Abuelita,” illustrated by Yuyi Morales, written by Tony Johnston and published by Harcourt Children’s Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

“Gracias Thanks,” illustrated by John Parra, written by Pat Mora and published by Lee & Low Books Inc.

Pura Belpré (Author) Award
“Return to Sender,” written by Julia Alvarez, is the Belpré Author Award winner. The book is published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books.

Two Belpré Author Honor Books were named: “Diego: Bigger Than Life,” written by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand, illustrated by David Diaz and published by Marshall Cavendish Children.

“Federico García Lorca,” written by Georgina Lázaro, illustrated by Enrique S. Moreiro and published by Lectorum Publications Inc.

Who wants to join us to celebrate today! We are going out for dinner and champagne.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Love declaration

Here is a love confession to something old and something new--old like last year old, and I am talking about picture books of course, those that I read as 2009 was dying out and giving room to the New Year.

So, as I was finishing last year, these are the books that made me blush:

Love # 1: Diego: Bigger than Life, by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand and David Diaz.

The most felt book I read last year. If you want to know what I am talking about make sure to read the poem "No More Cezannes". However I was caught from the first book's lines: "What is life but a story? I choose to embellish my life story. / I am DIEGO--the charming, monstrous, caring, hideous, Mexican Muralist."

Love #2: Gracias, Thanks, by Pat Mora and John Parra.

Parra is becoming one of my favorite illustrators; his paintings remind me of living my childhood. Here is Mora's way of reminding us of all the ordinary, yet fantastic things to be grateful for: "For the sun that wakes me up so that I don't sleep for years and years and grow a long white beard, thanks"

Love #3: My Papa Diego and Me. By Guadalupe Rivera Marin and Diego Rivera.

Of course, if a book is illustrated with the paintings of Diego Rivera, the book has to be extraordinary. Even the endpapers are a vision. But what I didn't expect was that this book would be such of such a loving telling. Diego's daughter writes in the introduction, "When most people think of my father, Diego Rivera, they think of him as a famous painter. and they're right, he did grow up to be a famous painter. But before he became a famous artist, he was like you--a child." The selection of paintings are those that Diego painted of children, sometimes of Guadalupe herself, but also of mothers looking for a better life for their children, of piñatas being broken, of a coutry teacher giving reading lessons to children and adults alike. This book feels like looking at the family album while someone tells the stories behind.

Love #4: Jeremy Draws a Monster, by Peter McCarty.
What a detailed simple book! It is an ode to drawing, both in the story and in the art, and since drawing is one of my first loves, well, I adore this book.

Then 2010 began and got in the mail my copy of my first favorite book of the year. So, for something new...

My Shoes and I
, by Rene Colato Lainez and Fabricio Vanden Broeck

I heard about this book a few years ago while Rene and I ran into each other boarding a flight to Texas. As Rene talked about writing this story I couldn't wait for this book to be released. Rene tells me that Fabricio actually recreated in the book the same shoes that Rene had when he as a boy came into the USA.