CSK: My illustration award predictions

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?


4 Responses to CSK: My illustration award predictions

  1. Kyra says:


    Good Morning! Here’s a couple African American illustrators, how are also quilters:

    1. Cozbi Cabrera – she has 2 or 3 books.

    2. Faith Ringgold – she’s illustrated and written several picture books

    3. Francine Haskins (artist in Washington DC) … two books in the 1990s

    4. Dinga McCannon (NY quilter and artist)… in the 1970s she wrote two books as well as illustrated.

    Best, Kyra

  2. Paula says:

    Don you nailed it when you said 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

    I think that’s true of illustrators and authors. I’d love to see the CSK committee spread their wings a little. And, wishful thinking, but I’d also like to see them broaden their criteria just a smidge.

    There are authors who are impacting the children’s lit community for other reasons beyond the historical content of their books. So much so, that I’m hoping it will cause a significant increase in the number of Af Am teens reading our books. And those who have played a part in that movement (Hi Dana Davidson, I’m looking at you) need to be acknowledged.

  3. Don, you and Paula’s blogs have been helpful for me in creating my own predictions for CSK. I admit in the past that I didn’t pay much attention to who won and I see a lot of the same people winning as you both alluded to in your entries this week. So for my predictions, I am purposely choosing people who have never won before. Narrows the selection pool down somewhat, but let’s celebrate some newbies too.

    I love your question, Don: Where are the African American female children’s book illustrators?
    I wonder as well.

  4. Christal says:

    Kadir Nelson is always a front runner. Henry’s Freedom Box was excellent.

    I was surprised that Christopher Myers didn’t win even an honor for Jabberwocky, the illustrations are really fresh and inventive.

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