Awesome Nonfiction: The 2015 Charlotte Huck and Orbis Pictus Awards

Did you see which book won the 2015 Orbis Pictis this year?

What is Orbis Pictus? Each year the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) recognize an outstanding children’s nonfiction book.

This year the winner is:

The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming, which also was a finalist for this year’s YALSA awards, as well as a 2015 Sibert Honor book. It is definitely a book to look for if you haven’t seen it yet.

The awards committees picked some excellent honors and recommended books, as well.

Honors:

The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus 
by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Melissa Sweet is a Charlotte Huck honor book. It was also the 2015 Sibert medal winner.

 

To give you a feel for The Right Word, here’s the book trailer:

  • Publisher: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers (September 15, 2014)
  • ISBN-10: 0802853854
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802853851

Star Stuff: Carl Sagan and the Mysteries of the Cosmos by Stephanie Roth Sisson is an absolutely extraordinary picture book.

  • Age Range: 4 – 8 years
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (October 14, 2014)
  • ISBN-10: 1596439602
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596439603

Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation 
by Duncan Tonatiuh, is also a 2015 Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Book and a 2015 Robert F. Sibert Honor Book. It is a great choice for both Black History Month and Women’s History Month.

  • Age Range: 6 – 9 years
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (May 6, 2014)
  • ISBN-10: 1419710540
  • ISBN-13: 978-1419710544

Recommended:

We previously reviewed this recommended title from the Scientists in the Field series: Chasing Cheetahs: The Race to Save Africa’s Fastest Cat (Scientists in the Field Series), by Sy Montgomery and Nic Bishop, which follows Dr. Lauren Marker and her colleagues and students as they work with cheetahs in Namibia.

Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting with the Great Whites of California’s Farallon Islands by Katherine Roy also received a 2015 Sibert Honor recognition.

  • Age Range: 7 – 11 years
  • Publisher: David Macaulay Studio (September 30, 2014)
  • ISBN-10: 1596438746
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596438743

The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life 
by Lois Ehlert

  • Age Range: 5 – 10 years
  • Publisher: Beach Lane Books (March 4, 2014)
  • ISBN-10: 1442435712
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442435711

The Orbis Pictus website has more recommended books.

Have you read any of these titles yet?

If you are interested in some of the background about how these books came about and have a few minutes, check out some of the honored authors and illustrators talking about their books.

 

Disclosures: I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

 

5 Reasons to Grab A Splash of Red

Let’s mix things up this week by creating a list of five reasons you should check out this special children’s book.  After all, A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin by Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet is a picture book biography that is showing up on a lot of “Best of 2013” lists.

A-splash-of-red

1. The story of Horace Pippin’s life is an important piece of history.

Horace Pippin’s grandmother had been a slave. He was a soldier in World War I. His paintings recorded many scenes unique to his times.

You will definitely want to pull this one out for Black History Month.

2. Award-winning illustrator Melissa Sweet’s insightful illustrations.

Melissa Sweet’s real strength is that she becomes one with the text and subject. For this book she and the author Jen Bryant researched Horace Pippin together and even went on a road trip. Talk about method acting, Sweet went as far as to re-create materials that Pippin would have used. No wonder she won the Caldecott for A River of Words.

3. The story is inspirational.

Horace Pippin loved to draw and paint and even won a contest as a child. During the war, however, his right arm was so severely damaged he could not lift it. Many people would have given up art, but Horace Pippin figured out a way to lift his right arm with his left and he managed to start creating again. Amazing!

4. Jen Bryant’s text

Jen Bryant is an experienced author and it shows. She knows how to capture the full essence of a person’s life and present it in a way that captures a child’s attention. For some figures, covering a portion of their life would be sufficient. For Horace Pippin, his whole life is the story and Jen Bryant recognized that fact and embraced it.

5. Let’s not forget Horace Pippin’s fabulous art, some which is shown in the end papers of the book.

See some examples in the video above, or this gallery of some of his art.

Conclusion:  The numbers for A Splash of Red add up to a book that definitely deserves a second look.

Disclosure: I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at not extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

 

Nonfiction Monday is a blogging celebration of nonfiction books for kids. Join us at the new Nonfiction Monday blog.