2015 Writer Award
Like her heroine, Chieri Uegaki is very persistent. The Japanese-Canadian author, who learned English as a second language, parlayed her childhood love of writing into a university degree in creative writing. Years later, she reworked a story from her school days to submit to writing contests. It caught a publisher’s eye and became her first book. Her stories feature lively girls whose independent spirit is inflected with their Japanese heritage. Chieri lives in British Columbia.
Photo credit: Paul Mears
Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin
Kids Can Press
2015 Illustrator Award
An Irish illustrator and designer now living in London, Chris Haughton comes by his desire to tell stories visually from teaching young children in Asia without a shared language. Containing few but well-chosen words, his three award-winning books have been widely translated. In Shh! We Have a Plan, Chris’s masterful use of elements like color, rhythm and slapstick humor will delight children in any language.
Photo credit: Courtesy Walker Books, London
Shh! We Have a Plan
2015 Honor Books
Edda: A Little Valkyrie’s First Day of School
Christy Ottaviano BooksOn the first day of kindergarten, a Valkyrie from Aasgard has trouble adjusting to human rules. Can she learn to make friends?
A Boy and a Jaguar
Houghton Mifflin HarcourtHow struggling with a stutter helped an animal-loving boy find his voice as a wildlife conservationist.
G.P. Putnam’s SonsPoetically, a prima ballerina shows young dancers how to take on, and be transformed by, great ballet roles.
AtheneumThe 12-year-old grandson of a hero to millions fears that he can't measure up.
Little Elliot, Big City
Henry Holt)The adventures of Elliot, a small, polka-dotted elephant—from Brooklyn!