Friday, November 04, 2005

NYT Best Illustrated List

Along with librarian Starr LaTronica and author-artist Jules Feiffer, I was a judge for this year's New York Times Best Illustrated Books list, and (retiring) children's book review editor Eden Ross Lipson has graciously given me permission to post our choices here. Choosing the list is a very enlightening procedure-- the jury is always made up of a critic, someone who works with children as a teacher or librarian, and an illustrator. The battle of standards, criteria, assumptions, and personal tastes inherent in any book-prize committee is given an additional spin in the Times's case because of the calculated diversity of professional expertise, and Eden tells me that the artist member of the jury is always the one who "shakes things up." Yes, Jules, the trouble with you is that you just wouldn't listen. ;-)

Here's the list:

ARE YOU GOING TO BE GOOD?
By Cari Best; illustrated by G. Brian Karas.
(Farrar)

BRAVE CHARLOTTE
By Anu Stohner; illustrated by Henrike Wilson.
(Bloomsbury)

CARMINE: A LITTLE MORE RED.
Written and illustrated by Melissa Sweet.
(Houghton)

CHATO GOES CRUISIN’
By Gary Soto; illustrated by Susan Guevara.
(Putnam)

ENCYCLOPEDIA PREHISTORICA: DINOSAURS
Written and illustrated by Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart.
(Candlewick)

THE HELLO, GOODBYE WINDOW
By Norton Juster; illustrated by Chris Raschka.
(di Capua/Hyperion)

JITTERBUG JAM: A MONSTER TALE
By Barbara Jean Hicks; Illustrated by Alexis Deacon.
(Farrar)

THE PROBLEM WITH CHICKENS
By Bruce McMillan; illustrated by Gunnella. (Houghton)

TERRIFIC
Written and illustrated by Jon Agee. (di Capua/Hyperion)

TRACTION MAN IS HERE!
Written and illustrated by Mini Grey. (Knopf)


Incidentally, I'd like to acknowledge Eden Ross Lipson for her twenty-some years of children's book coverage in the Times Book Review (and her good work in bringing children's-book coverage to other parts of the paper as well) and wish her the best in her retirement; the Horn Book Magazine will be featuring an interview with Eden in an upcoming issue.

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