Gracias to www.ala.org for this post about the Pura Belpré Award.
2011 Author Award Winner
The Dreamer, written by Pam Muñoz Ryan, illustrated by Perter Sís, published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.
The Dreamer masterfully imagines the magic-filled youth of Chilean Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda. Through her skillful use of language inspired by Neruda’s work, Muñoz Ryan weaves this stunning tale of a young boy’s discovery of self and the development of his ideologies and artistic voice.
“The committee felt Muñoz Ryan’s combining of lyrical, minimalistic text with poems in Neruda’s style to reconstruct his life, made for an emotional, joyous, inspiring book,” said Pura Belpré Award Committee Chair Martha M. Walke.
2011 Illustrator Award Winner
Grandma's Gift, illustrated and written by Eric Velasquez, published by Walker Publishing Company, Inc., a division of Bloomsbury Publishing, Inc.
Grandma’s Gift is a personal tale based on Velasquez’s special relationship with his abuela who influenced his dream of becoming an artist. Velasquez’s penchant for details and use of oil on watercolor papers complements his amazing use of color and light to reflect the mood of the characters.
“The committee felt strongly about Velasquez’s accurate, realistic portrayal of the times, the intimate relationship between child and grandmother, and life in El Barrio (Spanish Harlem) as seen through his illustrations,” said Pura Belpré Award Committee Chair Martha M. Walke.
2011 Author Honor Books
¡Ole! Flamenco, written by George Ancona, illustrated by George Ancona, published by Lee and Low Books Inc.
¡Olé! Flamenco offers a well-written, non-fiction introductory book on the Spanish art of flamenco, including its history as an expressive art form. Ancona describes flamenco in easy and understandable language for those not familiar with the art form.
The Firefly Letters: A Suffragette’s Journey to Cuba introduces Fredrika Bremer. This audacious Swedish woman visited Cuba in 1851 and met Cecilia, an African-born slave. Engle blends fact and fiction, creating Elena, a plantation owner’s daughter, who conspires with Bremer to secure Cecilia’s freedom.
90 Miles to Havana is based on the author’s experience as one of 14,000 children in Operation Pedro Pan. Moving from Cuba to the refugee camp in Miami, Flores-Galbis’ writing is engaging, fast paced, and colorful with well-developed characters drawn from his personal experiences.
2011 Illustrator Honor Books
Fiesta Babies, told in a simple rhyme scheme, is embellished with illustrations done in bold colors and brushstrokes. Pictured is a parade of multicultural babies and toddlers in vibrantly colored costumes singing, dancing and celebrating at a local fiesta.
Me, Frida, illustrated by David Diaz, written by Amy Novesky, published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Abrams
Me, Frida tells the story of newly married Frida Kahlo and her husband, Mexican painter Diego Rivera, and their time spent in San Francisco in 1930. Diaz’s paintings resemble Kahlo’s folkloric style. The charcoal and acrylic paintings created in warm vibrant colors picture detailed cityscapes, landscapes, and building interiors as well as Frida and other figures.
Dear Primo: A Letter to My Cousin depicts the lives of two cousins who live in the U.S. and Mexico. Tonatiuh’s mixed-media illustrations, influenced by ancient Mixtec art, show the universality of childhood experiences across borders.