The ALA conference was this week in Philadelphia and award winning books were announced. These texts are always high quality and should be present in our classroom libraries and frequently on our read aloud lists. Parrots Over Puerto Rico (Roth and Trumbore, 2013) won the Sibert Award, an award for nonfiction books. This is a beautiful book that i can’t recommend enough. See my review and instructional recommendations for Parrots Over Puerto Rico in a previous blog.
While the Sibert Award is an award for nonfiction, the Caldecott can be either fiction or nonfiction (and usually is fiction :() so I was thrilled to see Brian Floca’s Locomotive (2013) win the Caldecott. (It also received a Sibert Honor Book award.) I also reviewed Locomotive in a previous blog. There might be some debate over whether this is a “nonfiction” text since there is a family that takes the train ride. (On a NPR interview, I heard it referred to as “historical fiction.”) But Floca is not really focused on telling a story about the family with traditional plot elements; the members are not even given proper names–in other words, they could be anybody or everybody. The family’s trip is simply a structural frame for the informational content related to locomotives, the crew and engineers, the amenities, the landscapes of the west and so forth. The book is shelved in the 300’s in the library – the section for nonfiction books on transportation. In the end, who cares? It’s a great book and kids can learn sooooo much from it!
Sorry this is so short. I’m working on my next book – the manuscript is due March 15th. As a result, blog entries may be slow to come because my brain is too fried by the draft of this book to write anything else. Thanks for your patience.