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
A Dream of Freedom: The Civil Rights Movement from 1954 to 1968, by Diane McWhorter with a foreward by the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, Scholastic, 2004, $19.95. A comprehensive and compelling account of America's civil rights movement. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author presents a riveting account of this important period of our history.
The Kids' Guide to Working Out Conflicts: How to Keep Cool, Stay Safe, and Get Along, by Naomi Drew, M.A., Free Spirit Publishing, 2004, $13.95. This self-help guide assists 'tweens and teens in understanding that conflict is normal, that it creates stress in our lives, and that it is the source of violence in our schools, our homes and in the world. This resource provides a plethora of strategies for getting along with others and dealing with conflict.
Playing with Stuff: Outrageous Games with Ordinary Objects, by Ferry Piekert and Lars Deltrap, Kane/Miller, 2004, $9.95. Packed with goofy things to do while riding in the car, standing in a long line, or in any situation where boredom threatens. To play Bumple Rumple, Klutz Futz, Furniture Fuddle and over 30 other games, all you and a child need are household items such as old calendars, rolls of toilet paper, a bag of chips, your creativity and this book.
Wake Up Our Souls: A Celebration of Black American Artists, by Tonya Bolden, illustrated by various artists, Harry N. Abrams Inc. and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2004, $24.95. The creations of more than 30 African-American artists, from the late 18th century to the present day, are vibrantly reproduced and accompanied by ample biographical and historical background. The paintings are alternately stunning, heart wrenching and exultant.
Wonders and Miracles: A Passover Companion, by Eric A. Kimmel, Scholastic, 2004, $18.95. In a rich compilation of songs, poems, prayers, commentary, recipes and tales, Kimmel guides us through perhaps the most important holiday of the Jewish year, celebrating a people's emergence from slavery. The illustrations, ranging from ancient Egyptian murals to contemporary children's books, make this rich history irresistible.
Honors Award Winners
The Jumbo Book of Drama, by Deborah Dunleavy, illustrated by Jane Kurisu; Kids Can Press, 2004; $14.95. Budding actors will love this one - a big fat book chock full of mime, clowning, masks, puppetry, comedy and tragedy. Things to do on stage and behind the scenes.
The Golden Hour, by Maiya Williams; Abrams, 2004; $16.95. This is an unusual, engrossing fantasy set against the background of the French Revolution, featuring two children trying to overcome the loss of their mother, and African-American twins who try to help.
Promises to Keep: How Jackie Robinson Changed America, by Sharon Robinson; Scholastic, 2004; $16.95; for ages 8 and up. Jackie Robinson's daughter presents the story of her father in this biography told with unique perspective and loving care. Family photographs are included, adding to the personal presentation.
Show, Don't Tell: Secrets of Writing, by Josephine Nobisso, illustrated by Eva Montanari; Gingerbread House, 2004; $16.95. This large, gorgeously illustrated volume teaches some basics of creative writing - all the ways to make writing come alive, by showing, not telling.
Spool Knit Jewelry, by Anne Akers Johnson; Klutz, 2004; www.klutz.com; $19.95; for ages 8 and up. This hands-on book helps budding jewelry-makers create beautiful bracelets, anklets and rings. Over 500 beads, six colors of stretch cord, an easy-to-use knitting spool and a crochet hook are included.
Stories Heard Around the Lunchroom, by Jim Flanagan, illustrated by Dale Herron; 1st Books, 2004; $9. Funny, sad, thought-provoking - these true stories are told with verve by a real-life principal who took notes during his 30 years on the job.
Return to NAPPA 2004 Award Winners: Books to see winning books for other age groups.
See also: NAPPA 2003 Award Winners