Kate DiCamillo wanted a picture with me, so of course I said . . . Okay, you know that’s not true. I’ll admit, I stalked her.
Author acquaintance Cheryl Blackford said, “You can’t swing a cat in the Twin Cities without hitting a National Book Award winner, a McKnight fellowship winner, a Newbery winner, or a Minnesota Book Award finalist. We are so very fortunate to have such talent here.”
That certainly was the case while sitting among 900 other writers, illustrators, agents, editors, librarians, publishers, and book enthusiasts at the 27th Annual Minnesota Book Awards Gala. Holy cow, it was literary celebrity Heaven. My only regret: that I didn’t take more pictures.
Finalists for the Award for Young People’s Literature:
Ambassador by William Alexander
Leroy Ninker Saddles Up by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Chris Ban Dusen
The Witch’s Boy by Kelly Barnhill
West of the Moon by Margi Preus
Congratulations to Michael Hall, finalist for the MN Book Award for Children’s Literature. (Fellow reviewer and book award judge, Louise Aamodt, is pictured on the right)
Finalists for the Award for Children’s Literature:
It’s an Orange Aardvark! by Michael Hall
Little Puppy and the Big Green Monster by Mike Wohnoutka
Water Can Be by Laura Purdie, Salas, illustrated by Violeta Dabija
Winter Bees and Other Poems of the Cold by Joyce Sidman and Rick Allen
Congratulations to all Minnesota Book Award finalists and winners!
Aardvarks turn orange when they’re hungry for ants, you know! ~ It’s an Orange Aardvark!
IT’S AN ORANGE AARDVARK!by Michael Hall actually got me laughing aloud. The uncluttered illustrations and the fun hole punches piqued my interest. But what really tickled me was the good, old-fashioned page turns leading to unexpected surprises, each sillier than the previous.
It’s tricky to write a cumulative pattern that doesn’t read like a tedious list of chores, but Hall’s repetition rolls right off the tongue. Gentle tension builds smoothly right up to the final page turn, keeping readers guessing. As a reread, it’s refreshingly funny even when the reader knows what’s coming. In one word: surprising. ~ Lou ____________________________________________________________________
Oh no! It’s wearing blue pajamas! ~ It’s an Orange Aardvark!
Since Michael Hall is a Minnesota talent, we might be biased, but orange aardvarks in blue pajamas are funny, I don’t care where you’re from. Hall’s New York Times bestselling creations are reminiscent of Lois Ehlert’s–flamboyant, mischievous, and colorful. This book will give you an edge when playing Eye Spy in rainbow order. Through Hall’s creative use of shapes, storyline, and mystery, readers will learn without trying. After all, who can resist discovery when it lurks behind a peephole? ~ Anna ____________________________________________________________________
Book Trailer: It’s An Orange Aardvark by Michael Hall
Michael Hall’s lovely wife, Debra Kelley, agreed to take our picture with Michael after the 2015 Minnesota Book Award’s Gala, where IT’S AN ORANGE AARDVARK, was a finalist for the Award for Children’s Literature. Their gesture of patient hospitality was especially thoughtful, as they were off to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. Congratulations to Michael and Debra!
Watch for Kristi’s pick next!
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