The 2016 American Library Association Youth Media Awards were very exciting in the world of children’s literature. Boundaries were pushed. Records were set. And you may be left with some questions.
Question: How do you spell the name of that big award that is given every year for the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children?
Answer: Newbery. Newbery. Newbery. NOT NewBERRY. It is named for eighteenth-century English bookseller John Newbery, and he only had one R in his last name.
Question: What won the 2016 Newbery Medal?
Answer: Last Stop on Market Street, written by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Christian Robinson. It is 32 pages and it is a picture book.
Question: Wait; how did a PICTURE BOOK win the Newbery Medal? I thought that award was for novels. Isn’t the Caldecott Medal for picture books?
Answer: Both the Newbery and the Caldecott criteria define children as “persons of ages up to and including fourteen, and books for this entire age range are to be considered.”
Picture books were always eligible for the Newbery. This is just the first picture book to win. This also means that an illustrated book for older kids, up to age 14, is eligible for the Caldecott.
Question: So what won? The words, or the pictures?
Answer: For the Newbery Medal- the words won, and the Newbery Medal will be given to Matt de la Peña, the author.
However, the ALA Youth Media Awards were very good to Last Stop on Market Street. It also won a Caldecott Honor and a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Award. Both of these awards are for the art and will be given to Christian Robinson, the illustrator. The book won three awards in all.
Question: What won the 2016 Caldecott Medal?
Answer: Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear, illustrated by Sophie Blackall, written by Lindsay Mattick.
Question: I thought Sophie Blackall is Australian and Lindsay Mattick is Canadian. Isn’t the Caldecott an American award? Wouldn’t that make Finding Winnie ineligible?
Answer: The Caldecott criteria states "the award is restricted to artists who are citizens or residents of the United States. "
Since the Caldecott Medal is only given to the artist, not the author- it is only the artist that needs to be eligible. So, it doesn’t matter where Lindsay Mattick lives.
Sophie Blackall is currently a resident of the United States, which makes Finding Winnie eligible.
Question: I’ve got more questions!
Answer: Ask them in the comments. I’ll try to answer them.
P.S. Newbery. One R.