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2012 Award-winning Children’s Books in the Houston Cole Library

Please leave a comment and let us know which books you have read and what you think of this year’s award- winning children & young adult books!

2012 Newbery Winners

2012 Caldecott Winners

  • 2012 Caldecott Medal Winner: A Ball for Daisy, written and illustrated by Chris Raschka
  • 2012 Caldecott Honor Winners: Blackout, written and illustrated by John Rocco; Grandpa Green, written and illustrated by Lane Smith; Me … Jane, written and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell

2012 Batchelder Award

 “The Batchelder Award is given to the most outstanding children’s book originally published in a language other than English in a country other than the United States, and subsequently translated into English for publication in the United States.”

  •  Soldier Bear  “Soldaat Wojtek” Written by Bibi Dumon Tak, illustrated by Philip Hopman and translated by Laura Watkinson

2012 Pura Belpré Medal

“The Belpré Medal honors a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose works best portray, affirm, and celebrate the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.”

2012 Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal

“The Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal honors the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished contribution to the body of American children’s literature known as beginning reader books published in the United States during the preceding year.”

Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal

“The Sibert Medal honors the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished informational book published during the preceding year.”

2012 Andrew Carnegie Medal

“The Carnegie Medal honors the producer of the most outstanding video production for children released during the preceding year.”

  • Paul R. Gagne and Melissa Reilly Ellard of Weston Woods Studios, Inc., producers of Children Make Terrible Pets, are the 2012 recipients of the Andrew Carnegie Medal for excellence in children’s video

2012 Coretta Scott King Book Awards

2012 Schneider Family Book Award

“The Schneider Family Book Awards honor an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.”

 2011 Stonewall Book Awards

“The first and most enduring award for GLBT books is the Stonewall Book Awards, sponsored by the American Library Association’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table.”

2010-2011 Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) Awards

2012 American Indian Youth Literature Award

2012 Alex Awards

“The Alex Awards are given to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18.”

2012 ALA Notabale Books ~annotations from “ALA Notable Books

Younger ages

  • All the Water in the World. By George Ella Lyon, Illus. by Katherine Tillotson. From deserts to the kitchen sink, the water cycle is lyrically yet economically described in Lyon’s poem emphasizing the importance of water conservation. Katherine Tillotson’s digital paintings splash, surge and drip off the page.
  • A Ball for Daisy. By Chris Raschka, Illus. by Chris Raschka. A wordless tale of an irrepressible little dog whose most prized possession is accidently destroyed. A buoyant tale of loss, recovery, and friendship. (2012 Caldecott Medal Book)
  • Blackout. By John Rocco, Illus. by John Rocco. A summer power outage draws an urban family up to their building’s roof and then down to the street for an impromptu block party. (A 2012 Caldecott Honor Book)
  • Bring on the Birds. By Susan Stockdale, Illus. by Susan Stockdale. Rhyming couplets and clear, identifiable illustrations remind readers that birds vary in many ways, but all have feathers and are hatched from eggs. Colorful acrylics help provide just the right of information for preschool ornithologists.
  • The Cazuela that the Farm Maiden Stirred. By Samantha R. Vamos, Illus. by Rafael López. Nothing is better than a delicious bowl of arroz con leche unless, of course, a host of farm animals have a hand in the preparation! (A 2012 Belpré Illustrator Honor Book)
  • Grandpa Green. By Lane Smith, Illus. by Lane Smith. Roaring Brook Press. Elaborate topiary sculptures give visual form to memories in a wildly fanciful garden tended by a child and his beloved great-grandfather. (A 2012 Caldecott Honor Book)
  • I Broke My Trunk. By Mo Willems. Illus. by the author. Piggie is very concerned about his best friend, Gerald the Elephant, who has broken his trunk, and Gerald tells him a long, rambling story about how it happened. (A 2012 Geisel Honor Book)
  • I Want My Hat Back. By Jon Klassen, Illus. by the author. After losing his hat, Bear politely and patiently questions his fellow forest dwellers as to the whereabouts of his “red pointy hat.” (A 2012 Geisel Honor Book)
  • King Jack and the Dragon. By Peter Bently, Illus. by Helen Oxenbury. Enhanced by whimsical illustrations, this story of the wonders and terrors created by a child’s imagination, shows the power of playtime and the magic of make-believe.
  • Little White Rabbit. By Kevin Henkes, Illus. by Kevin Henkes. Little white rabbit explores the springtime world wondering what it would be like to be different – green, tall, solid, or able to fly  – but when he comes home he knows who loves him.
  • Me…Jane. By Patrick McDonnell, Illus. by Patrick McDonnell. Watching birds and squirrels in her yard, a young girl discovers the joy and wonder of nature. A glimpse of the childhood of renowned primatologist Jane Goodall. (A 2012 Caldecott Honor Book)
  • Naamah and the Ark at Night. By Susan Campbell Bartoletti, Illus. by Holly Meade. As the waters rage, this lullaby reveals Noah’s wife as a nurturer of diverse creatures aboard the ark. Watercolor and collage illustrations amplify the text, a form of lyrical Arabic poetry, called ghazal.
  • Prudence Wants a Pet. By Cathleen Daly, Illus. by Stephen Michael King. In this quietly humorous picture book illustrated in soft colors, Prudence tries out a branch, a twig, a shoe, her little brother, a tire, and sea buddies until her parents finally give her a kitten as a pet.
  • See Me Run. By Paul Meisel, Illus. by the author. Dogs and more dogs are everywhere: running, sliding, jumping, splashing, and having fun. (A 2012 Geisel Honor Book)
  • Tales for Very Picky Eaters. By Josh Schneider, Illus. by Josh Schneider.Five chapters recount James’ refusal to eat yet another disgusting, smelly, repulsive, lumpy, or slimy food. (2012 Geisel Medal Book)
  • Tell Me the Day Backwards. By Albert Lamb, Illus. by David McPhail. Mama bear and child reflect on the day, recounting its events in reverse order.  Gentle and reassuring, this book wonderfully illustrates a sometimes difficult concept: the flow of time.
  • Where’s Walrus? By Stephen Savage, Illus. by Stephen Savage. Walrus escapes from the zoo and cleverly disguises himself around the city; the zoopkeeper and the children reading the book search for him on each bold, bright page of this wordless book.

Middle readers

  • America is Under Attack: September 11, 2001: The Day the Towers Fell. By Don Brown, Illus. by Don Brown. A straightforward account of the September 11th tragedy, Brown’s restrained watercolors and sensitive text focuses on small stories of those who were in the Towers and the people who responded to the disaster.
  • Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade. By Melissa Sweet, Illus. by the author. This story of Tony Sarg, the artistic inventor who conceived the huge balloons that float through New York City each Thanksgiving, joyously celebrates his life’s creative process. (2012 Sibert Medal Book)
  • Breaking Stalin’s Nose. By Eugene Yelchin, Illus. by Eugene Yelchin. On the eve of his induction into the Young Pioneers, Sasha’s world is overturned when his father is arrested by Stalin’s guard. (A 2012 Newbery Honor Book)
  • The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale. By Carmen Agra Deedy;Randall Wright, Illus. by Barry Moser. Alley-cat Skilley finds a perfect home, gets help from a friend to return an injured raven to the Tower of London and saves all the Cheshire Cheese Inn mice from the evil Pinch.
  • Diego Rivera: His World and Ours. By Duncan Tonatiuh , Illus. by by Duncan Tonatiuh. The accomplishments of Mexican painter, activist, and muralist Diego Rivera are highlighted in stylized illustrations. (2012 Belpré Illustrator Medal Book)
  • The Great Migration: Journey to the North. By Eloise Greenfield, Illus. by Jan Spivey Gilchrist. Muted mixed media illustrations set the tone for somber yet hopeful free verse honoring the author’s family as they journeyed north from the Jim Crow South.  A haunting view of a pivotal moment in U.S. history.
  • Inside Out and Back Again. By Thanhha Lai. Hà and her family flee war-torn Vietnam for the American South. In spare, vivid verse, she chronicles her struggle to find her place in a new world. (A 2012 Newbery Honor Book)
  • Lemonade, and Other Poems Squeezed from a Single Word. By Bob Raczka, Illus. by Nancy Doniger. Think of a word, then compose a poem using only the letters in that word.  Amusing challenges for poet and reader alike, these poem-puzzles are illustrated with similarly playful brush-paintings.  Great fun for classroom or budding poets.
  • Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match /Marisol McDonald no combina. By Monica Brown , Illus. by Sara Palacios. Bright, vivacious Marisol, a Peruvian-Scottish-American girl, loves peanut butter and jelly burritos and speaks both English and Spanish, but her teacher and classmates do not appreciate Marisol’s mashing of cultures. (A 2012 Belpré Illustrator Honor Book)
  • Maximilian and the Mystery of the Guardian Angel: A Bilingual Lucha Libre Thriller. By Xavier Garza. Eleven-year-old Max discovers that his favorite Lucha Libre wrestler is coming to town and might have a strange connection with his own family. (A 2012 Belpré Author Honor Book)
  • Nursery Rhyme Comics: 50 Timeless Rhymes from 50 Celebrated Cartoonists. Illus. by Patrick McDonnell … et al. A lively compilation of 50 nursery rhymes interpreted and illustrated in diverse and distinctive styles by a different cartoonist or graphic artists. The introduction by Leonard Marcus puts it all in focus.
  • Soldier Bear. By Bibi Dumon Tak, Illus. by Philip Hopman. Trans. by Laura Watkinson. Based on a true story and set during World War II, the novel follows the journey of refugee Polish soldiers and the mischievous young bear they acquire in the Iranian desert. (2012 Batchelder Award Book)
  • Thunder Birds: Nature’s Flying Predators. By Jim Arnosky, Illus. by Jim Arnosky.  Arnosky describes and illustrates the qualities of magnificent raptors. Distinctive acrylic and chalk paintings depict birds gazing at readers from their natural environments. Four large fold out pages shows some birds in actual size.
  • The Unforgotten Coat. By Frank Cottrell Boyce, Illus. by Carl Hunter, and Clare Heney. Julie recalls her sixth year classmates Chingis and Nergui, two Mongolian brothers, their strange polaroid photographs, sketchy descriptions of Mongolia, and their very real fear of demons in this offbeat, haunting story.
  • The Watcher: Jane Goodall’s Life with the Chimps. By Jeanette Winter, Illus. by Jeanette Winter. Winter presents inquisitive and independent Goodall from girlhood to the Gombe Stream and beyond in her search to understand chimpanzees. Stylized acrylics show scientist and animals in the abundant foliage of Africa.
  • Wonderstruck. By Brian Selznick, Illus. by Brian Selznick. Two parallel stories set 50 years apart converge in this textual and visual story of adventurous Ben and Rose as it explores topics of deafness, silence, wolves, and museums.
  • Won-Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku. By Lee Wardlaw, Illus. by Eugene Yelchin. Henry Holt. From animal shelter cage to a loving home, Won Ton’s experience is told from his point of view in senryu, a form of Japanese poetry similar to Haiku.
  • Young Fredle. By Cynthia Voigt, Illus. by Louise Yates. Exiled from his home in the pantry, Fredle, a  mouse with a sweet tooth and unusual curiosity, discovers the wonders and dangers of the outside world.  He learns to question the rules and returns home a changed mouse.
  • Zita the Spacegirl. By Ben Hatke, Illus. by Ben Hatke.When a little red button crashes to earth any self-respecting graphic novel character would push it.  When Joseph is whisked through an inter-dimensional portal to an alien planet, Zita follows to rescue him.

Older readers

  • Anya’s Ghost. By Vera Brosgol.This graphic novel tells the story of Anya, a Russian immigrant, whose lack of self-esteem changes when her life is almost taken over by a determined ghost.
  • Black & White: The Confrontation between Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth and Eugene ‘Bull’ Connor. By Larry Dane Brimner.This powerful examination of a crucial dichotomy in the civil rights movement focuses on two polar opposites—one man committed to ending segregation, and one just as determined to see it maintained. (A 2012 Sibert Honor Book)
  • Blizzard of Glass: the Halifax Explosion of 1917. By Sally M. Walker. Clear and compelling description and analysis of scientific evidence and historic events brings this little-known tragedy to life, a history made personal by its focus on five families, some who survived, some who perished.
  • Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition. By Karen Blumenthal. Lively prose and interesting anecdotes make the history of Prohibition accessible while the examination of unintended consequences make this chronicle relevant to today’s political world.
  • Dead End in Norvelt. By Jack Gantos. An achingly funny romp through a dying New Deal town. While mopping up epic nose bleeds, Jack narrates this screw-ball mystery in an endearing and believable voice. (2012 Newbery Medal Book)
  • Drawing from Memory. By Allen Say, Illus. by the author.Say, an esteemed children’s book creator, engagingly relays his early training, including the influences of his family and his artistic sensei. (A 2012 Sibert Honor Book)
  • The Elephant Scientist. By Caitlin O’Connell;Donna M. Jackson, Illus. by Caitlin O’Connell and Timothy Rodwell. Power-packed photos and prose transport readers to the dusty world of African elephants and a woman who studies them. (A 2012 Sibert Honor Book)
  • Hurricane Dancers: The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck. By Margarita Engle. This historical novel in verse is the story of Quebrado, son of a Taíno Indian mother and a Spanish father, who is kidnapped in 1510 from his island village (present-day Cuba) and enslaved on a pirate’s ship. (A 2012 Belpré Author Honor Book)
  • A Monster Calls. By Patrick Ness. Thirteen-year-old Conor deals with a monster who tells him three stories in exchange for facing his greatest fear.
  • Okay for Now. By Gary D. Schmidt. Unable to read and abused by his father, 13-year-old Doug befriends spunky Lili and a sensitive librarian who shows him how to draw Audubon’s birds.  Both make a difference in his previously limited world.
  • Queen of Hearts. By Martha Brooks. In 1941 Manitoba, Marie-Claire, tells the moving story of her coming-of-age as a 16 year –old in a tuberculosis sanitorium.
  • Sita’s Ramayana. By Samhita Arni, Illus. by Moyna Chitrakar. Using a graphic novel format, this powerful saga of Rama is told from his abducted and mistrusted wife Sita’s point of view.
  • Terezin: Voices from the Holocaust. By Ruth Thomson. Secret diary entries, excerpts from memoirs, and inmate artwork illuminate the dark story of the Nazi’ transit camp Terezin.  Young readers will appreciate the oversized, magazine type layout.
  • Under the Mesquite. By Guadalupe Garcia McCall. The story of fourteen-year-old Lupita, growing up in a bicultural community in Texas and dealing with her mother’s terminal illness, is told in emotionally riveting free verse. (2012 Belpré Author Medal Book)
  • Witches! The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem. By Rosalyn Schanzer, Illus. by Rosalyn Schanzer. National Geographic Society

All Ages

  • Can We Save the Tiger? By Martin Jenkins, Illus. by Vicky White. White’s cover illustration of a regal tiger pulls readers into a balanced discussion of human interaction with nature and how we affect endangered species. Handsome pencil illustrations make readers care about creatures large and small.
  • Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans. By Kadir Nelson, Illus. by Kadir Nelson. In just 100 pages, Nelson’s narrator tells the story of American History through the eyes of African-Americans.  46 luminous oil paintings portray iconic and ordinary images and make the history accessible for younger students; older students will find it equally intriguing.
  • If Rocks Could Sing: A Discovered Alphabet. By Leslie McGuirk, Illus. by Leslie McGuirk. Children and teachers will be inspired by this quirky concept book that uses shaped rocks as letters and objects. An alphabet book like no other.
  • Press Here. By Hervé Tullet, Illus. by Hervé Tullet. A whimsical, interactive picture book that draws readers through its pages by having them tap, clap, and follow other simple but enticing instructions.
  • Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature. By Joyce Sidman, Illus. by Beth Krommes. A poem about spirals in nature invites close contemplation of the versatile, expansive shape beautifully portrayed from simple snail to coiled snake, or snuggling woodchuck to swimming nautilus in Krommes’ scratchboard illustrations.
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