In case you haven’t been watching, the ALA awarded the Caldecott and Newbery Medals this morning.
The 2013 Caldecott winner – for picture books – was This Is Not My Hat, written and illustrated by Jon Klassen. It’s a sequel of sorts – a phrase I’m fond of lately – to his I Want My Hat Back, which was a Theodor Seuss Geisel honor book and a New York Times bestseller.
The Newbery Award for children’s literature went to The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate, about an easygoing gorilla and the baby elephant he befriends. It was also named a best of 2012 by … well, by just about everyone.
Descriptions of both below. – Meg
This is Not My Hat
When a tiny fish shoots into view wearing a round blue topper (which happens to fit him perfectly), trouble could be following close behind. So it’s a good thing that enormous fish won’t wake up. And even if he does, it’s not like he’ll ever know what happened. . . . Visual humor swims to the fore as the best-selling Jon Klassen follows his breakout debut with another deadpan-funny tale.
The One and Only Ivan
Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly ever thinks about it at all.
Instead, Ivan thinks about TV shows he’s seen and about his friends Stella, an elderly elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. But mostly Ivan thinks about art and how to capture the taste of a mango or the sound of leaves with color and a well-placed line.
Then he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, and she makes Ivan see their home—and his own art—through new eyes. When Ruby arrives, change comes with her, and it’s up to Ivan to make it a change for the better.
Katherine Applegate blends humor and poignancy to create Ivan’s unforgettable first-person narration in a story of friendship, art, and hope.