The 2019 South Asia Book Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature has been announced. There are two winners, three honor books, and four highly commended books! I haven’t heard of several of them, so this list of award winners is a real treat to explore. Here are the winners:
Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed
The Secret Kingdom: Nek Chand, a Changing India, and a Hidden World of Art by Barb Rosenstock, illustrated by Claire A. Nivola
The Eleventh Trade by Alyssa Hollingsworth
Iqbal and His Ingenious Idea by Elizabeth Suneby, illustrated by Rebecca Green
The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani
HIGHLY COMMENDED BOOKS
Farmer Falgu Goes to Kumbh Mela by Chitra Soundar, illustrated by Kanika Nair
I Need to Pee by Neha Singh, illustrated by Meenal Singh and Erik Egerup
Maccher Jhol by Richa Jha, illustrated by Sumanta Dey
Room in Your Heart by Kunzang Choden, illustrated by Pema Tshering
The Last Peach by Gus Gordon (9781626723504)
Released May 16, 2019.
Two bugs happen upon the last peach of the summer, still hanging high in the peach tree. The two agree that is is the most beautiful peach they have seen that year. They decide to eat it immediately, until a grasshopper mentions that it must be the last peach of the season. They once again decide to go ahead and eat it. Then another insect says that it is probably rotten inside. The two go back and forth about whether to eat it. Maybe just one little bite? Maybe they should share it with everyone else? Maybe they should just leave it? Or perhaps each of them just wants it for their own. In the end, the two walk away from the glorious peach. But is it a peach after all?
Gordon is an Australian author and illustrator. Writing solely in dialogue in this picture book, he captures what friendship looks like with its give and take. He also shows how small decisions can become major friction in a friendship and how not to navigate those issues, since our bug friends get in a brawl because of it. This picture book reads aloud beautifully and could quickly be turned into a reader’s theater. The illustrations are done in collage that skillfully uses a variety of different types of paper that pops against the white background. The result is a minimalist feel with great pops of green and peachy colors. The twist at the end, revealed only in the illustrations adds a sense of delight to the entire book.
A tantalizing peach of a book. Appropriate for ages 3-5.
Reviewed from e-galley provided by Roaring Brook Press.