Predictions! 2015 NYT 10 Best Illustrated Books
I’m a big fan of the annual 10 Best Illustrated Books list from the New York Times. What is it? From the source:
Every year since 1952, the Book Review has convened an independent panel of judges to select picture books on the basis of artistic merit. The winning books are chosen from among thousands for what is the only annual award of its kind.
It’s announced around the end of October. It’s extra fun because it’s not limited to just American illustrators. Why not try to predict the winners?
The Tiger Who Would Be King, illustrated by Joohee Yoon; written by James Thurber
An unflinching look at the desire for power, this is about as artistically brave and bold as a modern picture book gets – which is interesting, since the text copyright is 1927. Brave and bold seem to be a NYT Best Illustrated theme.
Some Things I’ve Lost by Cybele Young
This is probably the closest thing to a lock there is among my predictions (although my “lock” last year, The River, didn’t make the list – place bets accordingly). I just don’t see how anyone can lay eyes on the meticulous paper sculptures in this book and not put it on the list.
Home by Carson Ellis
The best book the Provensens never made, this one has a ton of wonderful folk-y appeal. It also comes from Carson Ellis – I’m gonna go ahead and call her “an artist’s artist” – which certainly doesn’t hurt. *Update* Over at American Indians in Children’s Literature, Debbie Reese shares issues seen in Home.
Lenny & Lucy, illustrated by Erin E. Stead; written by Philip C. Stead
Caldecott Medalist Erin Stead’s charcoal transfer technique perfectly matches the hushed (and slightly eerie) tone of a family moving to a new house on the edge of the woods.
The Dog That Nino Didn’t Have, illustrated by Anton Van Hertbruggen; written by Edward Van De Vendel
Have you seen this book yet? You gotta see it. Had I crossed paths with it sooner, it would have been a part of my Wildest Children’s Books of 2015 list. The story is about a boy with an imaginary dog, and what happens when he gets a real one. The illustrations are as striking as any I’ve seen this year.
Sidewalk Flowers, illustrated by Sydney Smith; written by JonArno Lawson
A graphic novel meets a wordless picture book based on a real journey across town, and the result is one of the best books of the year.
A Fine Dessert, illustrated by Sophie Blackall; written by Emily Jenkins
If nothing else, this book can be credited with making a lot of dinner times much more delicious (as folks make the blackberry fool of the book). But I think it has a good chance to end up here as well.
Float by Daniel Miyares
Puddles are for splashing – and for setting sail to paper boats. But what when the rain stops falling? A wordless book that captures the tone of a rainy day, and the sun that eventually shines.
My Pen by Christopher Myers
This book about creativity sports some pretty creative illustrations itself. From ink-splattered case cover to the playful interior art, My Pen is as Technicolor as black and white gets.
The Moon Is Going to Addy’s House by Ida Pearle
Not much to say here – just some of the most memorable artwork of 2015
And, just for kicks, here are a few more that I think could very well be in the mix:
The Only Child, by Guojing
Last Stop on Market Street, illustrated by Christian Robinson; written by Matt De La Peña
Wait, by Antoinette Portis
The Tea Party in the Woods, by Akiko Miyakoshi
By Trolly Past Thimbledon Bridge, illustrated by Marvin Bileck; written by Ashley Bryan
Pool by JiHyeon Lee
The Little Gardener, by Emily Hughes
Marvels, by Brian Selznick
The Night World, by Mordecai Gerstein
This is Sadie, illustrated by Julie Morstad; written by Sara O’Leary
Do you have any to add?
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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