By Helen Foster James, Ed.D., Kathleen Krull and Peter Neumeyer, Ph.D.
Since you can't judge a book by its cover, we dove deep inside the pages of dozens and dozens of books to select these winners. From warm baby kisses through first kindergarten steps to middle-school conflict resolution, each of these wonderful books will engage and inspire children.
Gold Award Winners
Hot Day on Abbott Avenue, by Karen English, illustrated by Javaka Steptoe, Clarion Books, 2004, $15. On a hot summer day, two friends have an argument, but a game of jump-rope brings them together again and mends their anger. Collage illustrations capture the rhymed text in this pairing of two award-winning talents.
Look and Cook: A Cookbook for Children, by Tina Davis, Stewart, Tabori and Chang, 2004, $19.95. Over 50 recipes and 85 images from vintage cookbooks help kids and adults of all generations stir up some excitement in the kitchen. This is a perfect gift for budding chefs and others interested in increasing their culinary expertise.
Sally Goes to the Vet, by Stephen Huneck, Harry N. Abrams Inc., 2004, $17.95. Big black Lab retriever Sally chases her cat friend, runs into a stump, flies through the air, visits the vet, and comes home safely to tell of her adventures. Huneck's prize-winning woodcuts are large, funny and touching. The colors are striking. And Sally once again wins our hearts.
You Read to Me, I'll Read to You: Very Short Fairy Tales to Read Together, by Mary Ann Hoberman, illustrated by Michael Emberley, Little, Brown & Co., 2004, $16.95. Eight fairy tales - "In which wolves are tamed, trolls are transformed, and peas are triumphant …" - are presented in a perfect read-aloud format for two voices. Clever rhymes bounce back and forth as adult and child take turns with the verses. The format works well with familiar old tales because kids have clues to the plots to start with.
Wild About Books, by Judy Sierra, illustrated by Marc Brown, Knopf, 2004, $16.95. Molly introduces animals to the pleasures of reading in this rollicking rhyme. The animals go "wild, simply wild, about wonderful books." The children in your life will be inspired to enjoy the pleasures of reading, too.
Honors Award Winners
Cooper's Lesson, by Sun Yung Shin, illustrated by Kim Cogan; Children's Book Press, 2004; $16.95. Cooper is a biracial Korean-American boy who feels uncomfortable trying to speak Korean when he goes to Mr. Lee's grocery store. The story is told in both English and Korean.
Duck for President, by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Betsy Lewin; Simon & Schuster, 2004; $15.95. Can Duck become the next president of the United States? Young readers will gain an appreciation of an election process and responsibilities of leadership with this fun offering by the team who gave us Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type.
How I Became a Pirate, by Melinda Long, illustrated by David Shannon; Harcourt, 2004; $16. "Pirates have green teeth," begins this well-told tale of a boy who joins a pirate crew and learns all about them - the good, the bad and the green.
Langston's Train Ride, by Robert Burleigh, illustrated by Leonard Jenkins; Orchard/Scholastic, 2004; $16.95. A beautiful journey with Langston Hughes, as he finds the inspiration for one of his most beloved poems, "The Negro Speaks of Rivers."
Return to NAPPA 2004 Award Winners: Books to see winning books for other age groups.
See also: NAPPA 2003 Award Winners