This year, the The Newbery for 2017 goes to The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill while the Caldecott for 2017 is Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat illustrated by Javaka Steptoe.
Read on to learn more about these fabulous children’s books and the books that took top honor spots for each award as well.
2017 Newbery Award Winner and Honor Books
The American children’s chapter book Newbery award winner for 2017 is The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill, a beautiful fairy tale of sorts about a good witch who protects children, a bad witch who feeds off sorrow, a special girl named Luna, Luna’s imprisoned magical mother, and a woodcarver out for justice. It’s fabulous and my daughter’s favorite book in the last year. See my review here.
Three Newbery Honor Books were named as well:
The free verse poems in Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brough to Life by Ashley Bryan tell the stories of the people on a slave plantation– the owner and her eleven slaves. Although their powerful stories are invented by the author, they are based on slave auction documents. Bryan uses collages and paintings in a dramatic way that add much to her writing.
Equal parts historical, fantasy and adventure, The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, the Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz, illustrated by Hatem Aly is a most amazing story about faith, prejudice, and friendship. Read my review here.
Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk is one that I skipped reading because I wanted something less dark at the time. It’s on my to-read pile for when I’m up for it. Set in Pennsylvania in 1943, it’s a story of bullying, a mysterious disappearance, and hope.
2017 Caldecott Winner and Honor Books
Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat illustrated by Javaka Steptoe is the winner for the Caldecott award for illustration. The illustrations are painted (and collaged) on found wood and are EPIC! You could frame every single page! The story is about the sometimes challenging young life of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. (Best Biographies for Black History Month)
Four other books were named Caldecott Honor Books:
During the horrors of slavery, one day slaves could gather in New Orleans to dance, sing, and set up market. Freedom in Congo Square illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, written by Carole Boston Weatherford depicts the weekdays and the countdown until Sunday. The folk-art illustrations match the text perfectly.
Du Iz Tak? illustrated and written by Carson Ellis is written in a made-up language with, as you might imagine, gorgeous illustrations which tell the story of a group of bugs. It’s delightful! Read my review here.
They All Saw a Cat illustrated and written by Brendan Wenzel is one of my favorite picture books of 2016 and all time! It’s such a wonderful book about perspective taking as we watch the different creatures see the cat in their own unique ways. My review here.
For more about the American Library Association, Newbery, and Caldecott winners, visit the ALA website here.