Author/Illustrator Bonnie Christiansen died on January 12, 2015 at age 63 due to ovarian cancer. Many of her books were picture book biographies or other factual picture books for elementary school-age children, including Woody Guthrie: Poet of the People (Knopf, 2001) and Django (Square Fish, 2009). Her first book, An Edible Alphabet (Dial, 1994), used woodcuts for the illustrations. For more information, see: www.slj.com/2015/01/obituary/celebrated-author-and-illustrator-bonnie-christensen-dies-at-63/#_ .
Jim Aylesworth and Barbara McClintock, author and illustrator of My Grandfather’s Coat, Loic Dauvillier, Marc Lizano and Greg Salsedo, authors and illustrators of Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust, and Donna Jo Napoli, author of Storm, are the 2015 winners of the Sydney Taylor Book Award.
The Sydney Taylor Book Award honors new books for children and teens that exemplify the highest literary standards while authentically portraying the Jewish experience. The award memorializes Sydney Taylor, author of the classic All-of-a-Kind Family series. The winners will receive their awards at the Association of Jewish Libraries Conference in Washington, D.C. this June.
Aylesworth and McClintock will receive the 2015 gold medal in the Sydney Taylor Book Award’s Younger Reader category for My Grandfather’s Coat, published by Scholastic Press. Dauvillier, Lizano and Salsedo will receive the 2015 gold medal in the Sydney Taylor Book Award’s Older Reader’s category for Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust, published by First Second, an imprint of Roaring Brook Press. Donna Jo Napoli will receive the 2015 gold medal in the Sydney Taylor Book Award’s Teen category for Storm, a Paula Wiseman Book, published by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers.
Six Sydney Taylor Honor Books were named for 2015. For Younger Readers, Goldie Takes a Stand, written by Barbara Krasner and illustrated by Kelsey Garrity-Riley, published by Kar-Ben, a division of Lerner Publishing Group, and Never Say a Mean Word Again: A Tale from Medieval Spain, written by Jacqueline Jules and illustrated by Durga Yael Bernhard, published by Wisdom Tales, were selected. Death by Toilet Paper by Donna Gephart, published by Delacorte Press, and Whispering Town by Jennifer Elvgren, illustrated by Fabio Santomauro, published by Kar-Ben, are Honor books in the Older Readers category. For Teen Readers, the Honor books are Isabel’s War by Lila Perl, published by Lizzie Skurnick Books, an imprint of Ig Publishing and Like No Other by Una LaMarche, published by Razor Bill, an imprint of Penguin Group.
In addition to the medal winners, the Award Committee designated sixteen Notable Books of Jewish content for 2015. More information about the Sydney Taylor Book Award can be found at http://sydneytaylorbookaward.blogspot.com/ .