2010 Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards

The Jane Addams Peace Association has announced the winners of their 2010 awards.

Younger Children

Award Winner

Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan by Jeanette Winter

Honor Books

Sojourner Truth’s Step-Stomp Stride by Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney

You and Me and Home Sweet Home by George Ella Lyon and Stephanie Anderson

Older Children

Award Winner

Marching for Freedom: Walk Together, Children, and Don’t You Grow Weary by Elizabeth Partridge

Honor Books

Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream by Tanya Lee Stone

Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Philllip Hoose

Breaking Dawn Director Declared

It is confirmed on Slashfilm that Bill Condon will be directing the movie version of Breaking Dawn.  He has directed Dreamgirls, Kinsey and Gods and Monsters

It has not yet been determined if the novel will be made as two films or one. 

Tutus Aren’t My Style

Tutus Aren’t My Style by Linda Skeers, illustrations by Anne Wilsdorf

Emma loves getting dirty, chasing frogs, and just being outside.  So when a package arrives from her Uncle Leo with a pink ballerina costume inside, she isn’t sure how to even pretend to be a ballerina.  The mailman offers her tips about how to float, flutter and twirl but Emma just ends up in the birdbath.  Mrs. Gurkin walks by and tells her to walk on her tippy-toes, but Emma falls into the petunias.  When Emma heads inside, her brother suggests that music might help.  Emma tries her kazoo, but that doesn’t work quite right.  As she tries to adapt to being a ballerina, Emma finds herself returning to her cowboy boots and shorts that have handy pockets. In the end, she dances in her own way and style.

This book is perfect for children who don’t fit into the mold of pink for girls and blue for boys.  Emma is a girl that one doesn’t see often in picture books.  She is her own self, yet open to trying new things to see if they work for her.  She will have readers cheering her on!  Skeers has written a heroine with plenty of personality and spunk.  There are wonderful humorous touches that really make the book a pleasure to read aloud.  The text moves along at a brisk pace.  Wilsdorf’s illustrations add to the humor with their cartoon style.  They also show the reactions of Emma’s cat which is an important piece of the story. 

Appropriate for all kids, this book should not be saved just for the tomboys who come to the library.  We all have unique things about ourselves that we don’t want to change to conform.  This book is about that, not limited to solely pink tutus.  Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from copy received from Dial Books.

The Humblebee Hunter

The Humblebee Hunter: Inspired by the Life and Experiments of Charles Darwin and His Children by Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by Jen Corace

Told from the perspective of Etty, one of Charles Darwin’s daughters, this book is an invitation into the lives of the Darwin family.  Etty does not want to stuck inside with her mother and Cook learning to make honey cake.  She would much rather be outside with her father helping with his scientific observations.  The children grew up asking questions just like their father.  They measured worm holes, experimented with seeds and salt water, counted snakes, and captured moths.  So when her father appeared at the door and asked her to bring out the flour shaker, Etty happily did so.  The question was how many flowers a humblebee would visit in a minute.  The flour would make the bees the children would be observing more easily seen.  And what is the answer to the question?  You will just have to read the book to find out or dust your own humblebee with flour!

I was immediately charmed by the illustrations of this book.  They have an old-fashioned feel merged with a modern edge.  The colors used are vintage and immediately place the story in the correct era, but the illustrations themselves are crisp and add interest.  Hopkinson’s text is equally successful.  The pacing is varied which makes for an interesting read.  From the slow pace when Etty is inside baking and remembering her father’s stories to the brisk pace and excitement of following a bee from flower to flower. 

This book will make every child want to have dust a bee with flour and observe them.  It is a book that has you itching to head outdoors and measure your own worm holes or capture moths.  Appropriate for ages 4-7.

Reviewed from library copy.

Also reviewed by Charlotte’s Library.

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