2012 Children’s Lit: The Year in Miscellanea
It’s time to take a look back at the year that was in children’s lit miscellanea.
Most Disgusting Moment in a Picture Book
Puking off the crows nest in Pirate Princess by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen; illustrated by Jill McElmurry
Throwing up on the captain of a pirate ship? That’s a walk-the-plank-able offense.
Best Spine Logo
Roaring Brook Press for BOMB by Steve Sheinkin
I didn’t notice this right away, but you have to love how the Roaring Brook logo on Bomb looks like how it might appear in the periodic table.
My daughter, reading a book at our local book store
While on a book run with my three year old daughter, I came around the corner to see this:
Yes, her shoes are off.
The Contrast Award (given to the most uncontroversial thing that caused the most controversy)
In Extra Yarn, the main character’s upside-down knitting form caused a stir among Caldecott-watchers.
I Am Not Eric Carle
But only when worn by Norton Juster (left) and Barry Moser (right). You can see how things might get confusing with Mr. Carle in the vicinity of these two. Or is it all a secret body double hoax?
Paper Type of the Year
In 2012, more than ever, I noticed graph paper in use in picture books. The Chicken Problem, Mario Makes a Move, and Sky of Afghanistan are but a few examples.
Best Use of Blue LEGOs
Cartoonist Mark Anderson made what has to be the best children’s lit-related LEGO sculpture to date. Side note: how cool would this be on the shelf? Librarians demand a kit for this!
Word of the Year
With Random House and Penguin soon to join forces, and others rumored to follow, the publishing world may soon look a lot different.
Saddest Trend of the Year
The greats passing
In the span of 12 months, the children’s literature world lost Maurice Sendak, Leo Dillon, Jean Craighead George, Margaret Mahey, Donald J. Sobol, Else Holmelund Minarik, Remy Charlip, Jan Berenstain, and Peter Seiruta.
Best Matisse Reference
Art on the wall of the dinosaur’s house in Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs
Mo Willems sneaks an homage to one of the greats in his latest book.
Most Depressed Children’s Lit Character
There’s more to Waldo than his location, folks.
Jawline of the Year, Young Adult Novel
Dude on the cover of Poison Princess by Kresley Cole
Be careful, ladies.
The Nobody was Looking Award
The copyright page in Zero the Hero by Joan Holub and Tom Lichtenheld
The check digits giving a subtle shout-out to the topic of the book.
Coincidence of the Year
Z is for Moose and A is for Musk Ox
The unintentional similarity between these two picture books was such that it prompted a Publishers Weekly article on the topic. The best part? They’re both great books.
This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
Title, author, a tiny fish, and a few bubbles – I can’t say I remember seeing less on a picture book cover. It makes for a striking presence on the shelf.
Double Take Award (Runner Up)
Jonathan and Martha by Petr Horácek
The first time I saw this book, I thought Eric Carle was responsible.
Double Take Award
This is Not My Hat and A Strange Place to Call Home
Best Wedding Invitations
The Giving Tree invitations
Most Entertaining Children’s Book Article from an Unexpected Place
Lev Grossman for TIME.com
I thoroughly enjoyed Grossman’s outsider’s observations of children’s lit.
Children’s Lit Tattoo of the Year
Tie: Harriet the Spy and Ramona
I think these were on the same person.
A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel
Hope Larson did this children’s classic right with a faithful adaptation.
Book Spine of the Year
Pickle by Kim Baker; illustrated by Tim Probert. Jacket Design by Andrew Arnold
Every time I look at my shelf, this book just keeps jumping out. The colors, the font, the upright letter positioning – it’s all working. Simple and effective.
Best Use of the Internet
Putting Newbery and Caldecott acceptance speeches online
The annual Newbery and Caldecott medal acceptance speeches are always a sight to see. Thanks to the fine folks at ALA and ALSC for putting them online so more people can do just that. Click here for Newbery. Click here for Caldecott.
Best Appearance by Jack Gantos in Someone’s Past
A young Jarrett J Krosoczka meets Jack Gantos
I loved the entirety of illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka’s moving TEDx talk. One part in particular that stood out was the impact a Jack Gantos author visit had on the youngster.
Student-created FBI bookmark
I’m not sure how you top this. Left in a book at one of my schools.
This is official – voted on back in February during The Battle of the Bad Bookmarks. It faced some stiff competition from, among others, a bandage, but came out on top.
Best Alternative Use of a Date Due Stamp
Date due artwork
This was a strong year for book-related videos, and this one wins for most incredible.
The Everywhere Award
Book cover illustrator Erwin Madrid
Everywhere you turned there was a new eye-catching cover from Erwin Madrid. Here’s a sampling:
Oddest Mash-Up Award
I did not expect this.
Best Book-Related Stop Motion Video of the Year (Runner Up)
Yale University Card Catalog
A massive card catalog and a stop motion animation – this is a retro-lover’s dream.
Best Book-Related Stop Motion Video of the Year
The Joy of Books
This video, created by the fine folks at the Type Bookstore in Toronto, made a splash on the internet in a big way – 3 million hits and counting.
The You Can’t Do This With an E-Book Award
How Many Jelly Beans by Andrea Menotti; illustrated by Yancey Lebat
A screen would do no justice to the large size and massive pullout of this book.
Maurice Sendak on The Colbert Report
In an appearance that proved to be a swan song of sorts, the children’s lit legend sat down for a typically ridiculous Colbert interview at Sendak’s house. It was a lot of fun. Click here for part I. Click here for part II.
Best Toenail Clipping
Being Frank by Donna W. Earnhardt; illustrated by Andrea Castellani
A while back I heard tell of a toenail-clipping scene in a picture book from John Schumacher on Twitter. A couple weeks ago I happened to come upon the scene he was talking about. An out-of-left-field moment.
Book Video of the Year
Much Better Now
This short film was created by the Portuguese visual production studio Salon Alpin in 2010, but made the film festival rounds this year. How can you deny a surfing bookmark?
Read previous Year in Miscellanea Posts:
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About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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