2010 Hans Christian Andersen Award Nominees

IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) has announced the nominees for the 2010 Hans Christian Andersen Awards, given every other year to an author and illustrator whose body of work “have made an important and lasting contribution to children’s literature.” 

I just love looking at the range of authors and illustrators from around the world, so I included some covers for the authors I could find.


  • Argentina: Author: Liliana Bodoc; Illustrator: Luis Scafati

  • Austria: Author: Heinz Janisch; Illustrator: Linda Wolfsgruber

  • Belgium: Author: Pierre Coran; Illustrator: Carll Cneut
  • Brazil: Author: Bartolomeu Campos de Queirós; Illustrator: Roger Mello

  • Canada: Author: Brian Doyle; Illustrator: Marie-Louise Gay
  • China: Author: Liu Xianping

  • Croatia: Illustrator: Svjetlan Junakóvić
  • Cyprus: Author: Maria Pyliotou
  • Czech Republic: Author: Pavel Šrut; Illustrator: Jiří Šalamoun

  • Denmark: Author: Louis Jensen; Illustrator: Lilian Brøgger

  • Finland: Author: Hannu Mäkelä; Illustrator: Salla Savolainen

  • France: Author: Jean-Claude Mourlevat; Illustrator: Grégoire Solotareff

  • Germany: Author: Peter Härtling; Illustrator: Jutta Bauer
  • Greece: Author: Loty Petrovits-Andrutsopulou; Illustrator: Diatsenta Parissi
  • Iran: Author: Ahmad Reza Ahmadi

  • Ireland: Author: Eoin Colfer; Illustrator: P.J. Lynch

  • Japan: Author: Shuntaro Tanikawa; Illustrator: Akiko Hayashi

  • Lithuania: Illustrator: Kęstutis Kasparavičius

  • Mexico: Author: Alberto Blanco; Illustrator: Fabricio Vanden Broeck
  • Mongolia: Author:  Dashdondog Jamba
  • Netherlands: Author: Peter van Gestel; Illustrator: Harrie Geelen

  • Norway: Author: Bjørn Sortland; Illustrator: Thore Hansen
  • Russia: Illustrator: Nickolay Popov
  • Serbia: Author: Zoran Božović
  • Slovak Republic: Author: Ján Uličiansky Illustrator: Peter Uchnár
  • Slovenia: Author: Tone Pavček; Illustrator: Ančka Gošnik Godec

  • Spain: Author: Jordi Sierra i Fabra; Illustrator: Xan López Domínguez

  • Sweden: Lennart Hellsing; Illustrator: Anna-Clara Tidholm

  • Switzerland: Illustrator: Etienne Delessert

  • Turkey: Author: Muzaffer İzgü; Illustrator: Can Göknil
  • Uganda: Author: Evangeline Ledi Barongo

  • United Kingdom: Author: David Almond; Illustrator: Michael Foreman

  • USA: Author: Walter Dean Myers; Illustrator: Eric Carle

My Uncle Emily

My Uncle Emily by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter

Emily Dickinson has a special connection with her young nephew Gilbert.  They spend a lot of time together laughing.  One day Uncle Emily gives him a dead bee and a poem to share with his class.  Gilbert is hesitant to take it to his class, afraid the other boys will laugh and mock him.  But his mother insists so he takes it and shares it with his teacher and class.  One boy mocks his Uncle Emily on the playground, so Gilbert stands up to him and bops him on the nose.  The two boys have to spend the rest of class in the corner wearing dunce caps.  Back at home, Gilbert doesn’t quite tell the truth about the incident and Uncle Emily notices.  After sharing a poem about truth, Gilbert finds a way to tell the truth but do it gently too.

Yolen is at the top of her game here.  Her verse is free, flowing and perfectly suited to the subject.  She manages to offer a glimpse of a famous poet through the eyes of a child, making Emily accessible, humorous and caring.  It is a lovely portrait of a poet too often seen only as a recluse. Carpenter’s illustrations evoke the time period with real grace.  Her use of lines is deft and really works to create a sense of period illustrations. 

Highly recommended, this picture book on Dickinson is a real winner.  The poetry of hers in the book are nice choices that will have children of today reacting as the children in the book do.  What a great chance to talk about poetry with children and pull out that volume of Dickinson to read a few.  Appropriate for ages 6-9.

Cromwell Dixon’s Sky-Cycle

Cromwell Dixon’s Sky Cycle by John Abbott Nez

In the years following the Wright Brothers’ historic flight, the world of flying machines took off.  Literally.  A fourteen-year-old boy named Cromwell Dixon loved to invent things and flying caught his attention. So he built, with the help of his mother, a Sky-cycle using a mix of a bicycle and helium balloon.  By pedaling, he could turn the propellers made of wood and silk.  It wasn’t easy.  When the varnish on the balloon was drying it caught on fire and he had to start again.  But on August 9, 1907, Cromwell took to the skies.  He reached an amazing 2500 feet before returning to earth. 

The picture book has a real period feel with the author throwing in turn-of-the-century terms to evoke the time.  The illustrations too offer a sense of history.  I especially enjoyed that it is not until the afterword that you discover that this is a true story.  The imagination and vision that this feat took is amazing and to do it at such a young age is inspiring.  Children will be drawn to this contraption that looks like a bicycle but flies.  Nez’s illustrations and prose will keep children’s interest easily. 

This one is sure to fly off the shelves especially into the hands of young pilots.  Appropriate for ages 4-7.

Children’s Choice Book Awards

Celebrating Children’s Book Week, the Children’s Choice Book Awards have been announced.  These are the winners selected by children and teens themselves:

Kindergarten to Second Grade Book of the Year

The Pigeon Wants a Puppy! written and illustrated by Mo Willems

Third Grade to Fourth Grade Book of the Year

Spooky Cemeteries by Dinah Williams

Fifth Grade to Sixth Grade Book of the Year

Thirteen by Lauren Myracle

Teen Choice Book of the Year

Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

Author of the Year

Stephenie Meyer for Breaking Dawn

Illustrator of the Year

Jon J Muth for Zen Ties

You can also check out a short piece on the awards on the Today Show.

It’s a happy surprise to see Jon J Muth recognized by the kids.  I would have expected Mo Willems to win it.