Also decided at the ALA Midwinter Meeting is the Notable Children’s Books (also called Notables). A complete list of the 2009 Notable Children's Books can be found at www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/alsc/awardsgrants/childrensnotable/notablechibooks/index.cfm
While working the Children’s desk recently, I read a few of the picture books on this list. One had me nearly in tears.
Bird by Zetta Elliott; illustrated by Shadra Strickland
This tale is told in free verse. Bird loves to draw. His art is an escape from the sad realities of life, which includes death of close family and the drug addiction of his beloved older brother.
The illustrations are beautiful. The artist’s use of color – and of absence of color – enhances the text of the story as the reader’s eyes are drawn to the details. You can feel Bird’s confusion, pain and sorrow…and his hope.