Wednesday reading — award winners

What I've been reading

I read Last Stop on Market Street, the 2016 Newbery Award winner and Caldecott Honor book. I was…underwhelmed, I guess. I recognize that picture books are technically eligible to be recognized for their writing with the Newbery Award, but it's difficult to compare picture books with even very short novels, and even for a picture book I wanted to be more impressed with the quality of the writing than I was, honestly. The bit with the blind man felt incredibly cheesy and cliché, for instance. On the other hand, I felt like it was pretty okay as a Caldecott Honor selection; the illustrations do feel really fresh and on point throughout.

I read Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear, the Caldecott Medal winner. I feel like the subtitle is kind of misleading about the chain of events, which turns out to be delightful: Winnie (the Pooh, the one you're actually familiar with) was named after a real bear who lived in the London Zoo after the author's great-great-grandfather, a Canadian veterinarian on his way to fight in WWI, bought a bear cub from a trapper at a train station and brought it with him to England. You know, as one does. The illustrations are nice.

I read Roller Girl, a Newbery Honor book, and I really liked it. It reminds me a lot of Raina Telgemeier's work.

I read Summerland, because I remembered that it existed and I was annoyed because Michael Chabon wrote a children's fantasy book but it was about baseball. Whereas now I'm more like, yay, a book about baseball and it's a children's fantasy book by Michael Chabon!

What I'm reading now

Ron Chernow's Washington biography

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