Thursday, January 1, 2009

Announcing the Cybils 2008 Nonfiction Picture Book Finalists

I am proud to have served as a judge on this panel.

2008 Nonfiction Picture Book Finalists

A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams written by Jen Bryant illustrated by Melissa Sweet Eerdmans Books for Young Readers This biography follows "Willie Williams" from his days as a smart, athletic youngster to his later years as a physician. As readers see him aging, they also see the inexplicable pull of poetry in his life and the making of a man as a poet. The multimedia illustrations closely compliment the text, making for a book that exudes the spirit of Williams in every way. The book concludes with timelines of both Williams' life and world history during Williams' lifetime.

Astronaut Handbook written and illustrated by Meghan McCarthy Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
How does one become an astronaut? McCarthy opens the door to astronaut training and lets readers in on all the secrets. The eye-popping illustrations offer ways to understand information that would be too difficult for the target audience had it been presented only in text. The back matter includes a page of fascinating facts and a bibliography of books, web sites, videos and places to visit.

Duel! Burr and Hamilton's Deadly War of Words written by Dennis Brindell Fradin illustrated by Larry Day Walker Books for Young Readers
Fradin's historically accurate telling of the story of the duel between Hamilton and Burr is dramatically told. Both men are cast as well-rounded human beings with flaws and strengths, and both are shown to be at fault for the duel. The book concludes with a lengthy bibliography.

Fabulous Fishes written and illustrated by Susan Stockdale Peachtree
This Seuss-like look at the world of fish uses bold illustrations and rhyming text to introduce young readers to the wide variety of ocean fish. Stockdale follows up her textual overview with a few pages of additional information about each fish pictured. A long list of resources is also included.

Nic Bishop Frogs written and illustrated by Nic Bishop Scholastic Nonfiction
Jam-packed with amazing and sometimes quirky facts, and gorgeous photos, this book takes readers on a journey through the wonderful world of frogs. Scientifically, Bishop doesn't talk down to young readers, but rather helps to make the mystery that is life and science more understandable. A glossary and index are included.

Wanda Gag: The Girl Who Lived to Draw written and illustrated by Deborah Kogan Ray Viking
Using Gág's own words, Kogan Ray tells the story of a woman born into an art-loving family who followed her own dream to create art, no matter what obstacles stood in her way. This biography follows Gág from her childhood years up through the publication of her Newbery award-winning book, Millions of Cats.

Wangari's Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa written and illustrated by Jeanette Winter Harcourt
Winter's bold illustrations and straightforward prose tell the story of this Nobel Peace Prize winner's efforts to bring the green back to Kenya. Focused on her early life, this biography introduces readers to a girl who loved nature, decried its destruction, and worked tirelessly to reforest her beloved homeland. The back matter includes an author's note and quote from Maathai.

1 comment:

  1. I can't wait to get back to school and see if there are any more Cybils nominees there!


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