Wednesday, January 2, 2008

BCCB Blue Ribbons 2007

Today BCCB released their annual Blue Ribbons list for 2007. Nine titles have already appeared on other top lists- SLJ, Kirkus, PW, and Hornbook Fanfare. You can probably guess some of the titles, as they also appear on more than one list. Unsurprisingly, Part-time Indian, The Arrival, Orange Pear Apple Bear, Robot Dreams, Good Masters and The Wall make another appearance.

One title that had slipped my mind is Today and Today: Haiku by Kobayashi. The story is a collection of Issa’s haiku from the 16th century, supported by illustrations that show a family throughout the year. Older readers will pick up the subtle storyline that concludes with the death of the grandfather. As Aunt Betty would say, “it’s a tissue book,” but an unexpected one at that.

Interestingly enough, the Blue Ribbons list is strong on the graphic novel. Three of its fiction titles and also three of its nonfiction titles are graphic novels. I was glad to see Remembering Mrs. Rossi by Amy Hest, which is not a graphic novel. It’s a lovely story for grades three to six about the death of a mother and teacher. It’s the words that bring tears to your eyes and a catch in your throat when you read it. Pictures and words… thank goodness for them both.

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