March is Women’s History Month – a time to honor and celebrate the contributions and impact made by women throughout the history of our country. In the Children’s Department our Author Spotlight is recognizing award winning authors and illustrators. Some of the most prominent awards for children’s literature are the Newbery Medal awarded for the most outstanding contribution in children’s literature, the Caldecott Medal awarded to the best illustrations in a picture book, the Coretta Scott King Book Award given to exceptional African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that appreciate African American culture and universal human values, and the Pura Belpré Award presented to a Latinx writer and illustrator whose work best portrays the Latinx cultural experience. Here are just a few of the masterful offerings of women to children’s literature.
Newbery Medal Winner – 2021
“Long, long ago, when tiger walked like man…”
This is how Lily’s grandmother would often start her stories when Lily was younger. When Lily, her mother, and her older sister go to live with their grandmother, Lily sees the ominous tiger from her halmoni’s stories. The author, Tae Keller, weaves together a narrative combining Korean folklore, familial relationships and self-discovery as Lily desperately tries to bargain with a tiger to save her halmoni from cancer. When You Trap a Tiger is a gentle tale that will take the reader on an adventure full of joy and sorrow and ultimately acceptance.
Caldecott Medal Winner – 2011
Ten years after winning the Caldecott, this book stands the test of time. Amos McGee is a zoo keeper and he makes each day special for his animals by talking to them, playing games, telling stories, and caring for them. One day, Amos McGee has the sniffles and doesn’t go to work so his animal friends hop on a bus to visit and care for him. The illustrations are wonderfully detailed with simple, pastel colors that are as soothing as the story. A Sick Day for Amos McGee looks and reads like the nice cozy blanket that you snuggle into when you are sick at home.
Coretta Scott King Author Winner – 2021
ZJ tells his story of watching his dad go from being a famous football player, everyone’s hero, and a loving father to someone who is battling excruciating headaches, uncontrollable anger, and memory loss due to repeated blows to the head playing the game of football. Jacqueline Woodson tells a heartbreaking and beautiful story in verse about hope, resilience, the love of football, the power of music, the love of family, the loyalty of friends, and adjusting to a “new normal.”
Pura Belpré Award for Illustration in 2019
Dreamers is the 6th book to receive a Pura Belpré Award for Yuyi Morales and it is her most personal story. She tells of when she was a young mother who entered the United States to visit family. It was a strange land, with a different language and different ways of doing things. Through English and Spanish words and rich illustrations reflecting her culture, Morales tells about the challenges of learning in this new land and the joys of finding the library. At the end of the book Morales tells more about her experience as an immigrant and supplies a long list of books that inspired her then and continue to inspire her today.
Find these and more amazing award winning authors and books in our Author/Illustrator Spotlight this month in the Children’s Section!