Monday, January 26, 2009

Sibert Medal winner -- We Are the Ship

This morning the American Library Association announced their awards for best children's books of last year. You can find the press release about them by following links on their home page.

It seemed appropriate for me to feature the winner of the Sibert Medal (best nonfiction book for children)on this Nonfiction Monday. Which just happened to also win two Coretta Scott King medals as well -- one for illustration and one for the writing. Since Kadir Nelson is both, he will be awarded both (plus one for the Sibert) in July at the Summer ALA convention.

We Are the Ship, the Story of Negro League Baseball, written and illustrated by Kadir Nelson, Jump at the Sun/Hyperion Books for Children, an imprint of Disney Book Group, 2008.
More information about this book can be found on the Publisher's website, here.

This history of the Negro Baseball League reads as if someone were sitting across from you, telling you the story. From the first words, "Seems like we've been playing baseball for a mighty long time." you're enthralled by a storyteller and there's no way you're going to move until the story reaches its conclusion. The illustrations are photographically (is that a word) perfect. The only way you know it's a painting is because the bleachers aren't filled with people -- just dabs of paint representing people. You can tell they are based on actual photographs of the people and places.

“Kadir Nelson's eight years of research score a grand slam in his rookie writing effort,” said Sibert Chair Carol K. Phillips.
The book also indicates his deep research by including an author's note, an index, chapter notes, bibliography, filmography, acknowledgments, and a foreword by Hank Aaron.

For a look at the Horn Book review of this book, check here.
Links to other blogs participating in Nonfiction Monday can be found here.

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