The winners of the 2018 Environment Award for Children’s Literature have been announced. The award is given annually by The Wilderness Society in Australia and is celebrating its 25th year. The winners are books that promote a love of nature in children. Here are the winners:
Florette by Anna Walker
Wombat Warriors by Samantha Wheeler
Coral Sea Dreaming by Kim Michelle Toft
Rock Pool Secrets by Narelle Oliver
Our Celebración! by Susan Middleton Elya, illustrated by Ana Aranda (9781620142714)
A community heads to a celebration together in this vibrant picture book that offers a mix of Spanish and English. The celebration features a large parade with fantastic floats, marching bands, fire engines and much more. There is plenty of delicious food to try and refreshing drinks to sip. When the rain begins, the fun doesn’t stop, though everyone celebrates when the sunshine returns bringing with it a celebratory rainbow.
Elya does a marvelous job of offering Spanish words for children to learn. Almost all of them can be figured out from the context in the poem. I appreciate that she uses the Spanish words for many of the rhymes, rather than burying them in the center of the lines. This makes them all the more enjoyable to read aloud and great fun to figure out. The book will also welcome Spanish-speaking children and allow them to decode the English as well. It is a cleverly built picture book.
Aranda’s illustrations are filled with brilliant colors of sunshine yellow, deep purples, bright blues, and hot pinks. They show a diverse community celebrating together with big smiles, lots of fun and whimsical parade participants.
A bright and busy picture book that dynamically includes Spanish and English. Appropriate for ages 2-4.
Reviewed from library copy.