I won’t pretend to have an inside line to the Coretta Scott King committee. I have no idea who they are considering for the illustration award. But if I could wave a magic wand to determine the outcome, the winner would be…well, my book, of course. Ha! Shoot, I’m not ashamed to admit that. For obvious reasons, that won’t happen, so here are my other choices and predictions:
Predicted winner: Christopher Myers for Jabberwocky. Awesome illustrations! Hands down, the best I’ve seen this year. This guy gets better every year.
My personal choice: Shane Evans for When Harry Met Sojourner. I know, silly of me to select a book solely on it’s cover (I haven’t seen the book in it’s entirety, yet). But I’d love to see this award given to someone other than a past winner. The community of African American children’s book illustrators is so small, it doesn’t seem right to give the award to the same people year after year. Also, I’m a huge fan of this talented artist.
Or possibly: Ashley Bryan for Let it Shine: Three Favorite Spirituals
Others to look at (again, my personal choices):
E.B Lewis for Lily Brown’s Paintings
Kadir Nelson for Henry’s Freedom Box
Floyd Cooper for Tough Boy Sonatas
Bryan Collier for Twelve Rounds to Glory: The Story of Muhammad Ali or possibly Lift Every Voice and Sing
Jerome Lagarrigue for Poetry for Young People
John Steptoe New Talent Award for illustration: Cbabi Bayoc for Young Cornrows Callin Out the Moon.
Question of the day: Where are the African American female children’s book illustrators?
And since I’m an illustrator, I pay close attention to the Caldecott awards too. My pick: Shelley Jackson for Chicken Chasing Queen of Lamar County. Such fun, crisp, refreshing illustrations. Or, maybe they’ll award the medal to Christpher Myers. Wouldn’t that be cool?