I was honored this year to be a member of the Round 2 judging committee for the Cybils Awards in the category of Fiction Picture Books. The Round 1 judges did the very impossible task of narrowing hundreds of nominees down to 7 incredible choices. Huge thanks to my fellow Round 2 judges for a wonderfully productive time of deep book analysis and discussion! Thanks to Myra from Gathering Books, Julie Rowan-Zoch. Benji Martin of St. James School, and Andrea Mack of That's Another Story.
The winners were officially announced on Sunday (read the full release here), and I am pleased to share that the 2015 Cybils Award for Fiction Picture Books goes to ...
Sidewalk Flowers by Jon Arno and illustrated by Sydney Smith. Here is our official write-up on the winner:
"A distracted dad and his daughter take a walk home in this beautifully illustrated, wordless picture book. The story unfolds through a unique combination of graphic novel style format and traditional full-bleed or framed art. While the city seems drab and dark in the beginning, the little girl finds beauty around every corner. Details invite the reader to linger and pause over the pages, discovering along with the girl on her walk through the neighborhood. As she matter-of-factly shares her appreciation for things around her, color begins to spread beyond just the people and places where she distributes her finds. Readers young and old alike will be charmed by this story of a little girl’s ability to stop and notice the weeds and her natural willingness to spread kindness in a busy, fast-paced world. The wordless aspect of the book makes it accessible to everyone, no matter what language they read or speak."
Cybils 2015 Fiction Picture Book Honor Books
Last Stop on Market Street (2015) by Matt de la Peña and illustrated by Christian Robinson. [Winner of the Caldecott Honor, Newbery Medal, and more!] Read my original review here.
In a Village by the Sea (2015) by Muon Van and illustrated by April Chu. Read my previous review here.
Mango, Abuela, and Me by Meg Medina and illustrated by Angela Dominguez [a Pura Belpre Honor Book for both writing and illustrations]. Also available in Spanish.
Hoot Owl: Master of Disguise, written by Sean Taylor, illustrated by Jean Jullien.
Blizzard written and illustrated by John Rocco.
Bug in a Vacuum by Melanie Watt.
Click here to read about the winners in all the other categories!