White Ravens: illustra

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Special Mention - Great Britain (English) - 2005 - 41
Ross, Tony (text/illus.)
Is it because?
London : Andersen Press, 2004. [26] p.
ISBN 1-84270-296-3
The new picture book by renowned illustrator Tony Ross tackles a delicate topic. Delivered in the artist’s characteristic style, the witty water colour illustrations offer an amusing interpretation of the simple, short verses. As the young readers witness how the spindly little boy and his pet dog wonder why on earth big Peregrine Ffrogg always bullies the boy, they slowly discover that every story has two different sides. Without providing an easy solution to the increasingly problematic issue of bullying (or any solution at all for that matter), Tony Ross skilfully manages to arouse the readers’ sympathy not only for the victim but also for the bully. This thought-provoking picture book will certainly help initiate fruitful discussions. (4+) ☼

Special Mention - Ireland (English) - 2005 - 44
Cashman, Seamus (ed.)
Askin, Corrina (illus.)
Clarke, Alan (illus.)
Something beginning with P : new poems from Irish poets
Dublin : O’Brien Press, 2004. 160 p.
ISBN 0-86278-868-4
Children’s poetry – Anthology
This wonderful poetry collection features over 100 new poems by the crème de la crème of Irish poets such as Desmond Egan, Gabriel Fitzmaurice, Seamus Heaney, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, and Gabriel Rosenstock, to name but a few. Written exclusively for this anthology, this colourful bunch of works offers a unique opportunity for children and adults alike to dive into the fascinating world of language. If the words alone make for a captivating read, the illustrations by Corrina Askin and Alan Clarke, some bold and bright, some soft and sensitive, turn this into a treasure of Ireland’s rich poetry that no one would want to miss. The appendix provides some useful English translations of the poems written in Irish, an alphabetical index of the poems (both first lines and titles), authors, and illustrators, as well as short biographical notes of all the artists who contributed to this splendid book. (5+) ☼

Special Mention - Canada (English) - 2005 - 45
Aldana, Patricia (ed.)
Paterson, Katherine (foreword)
Dragland, Stan (transl.)
Under the spell of the moon : art for children from the world’s great illustrators
Toronto [et al.] : Douglas & McIntyre, 2004. 80 p.
(A Groundwood book)
ISBN 0-88899-559-8
Illustration – Children’s poetry – Multiculturality – Anthology
The idea behind this gorgeous anthology was to offer children a colourful selection of works by the best children’s book illustrators from all over the world and thus celebrate high quality international writing and illustration for children. Ranging from Mitsumsa Anno, Quentin Blake, Marie-Louise Gay, and Dušan Kállay to Peter Sís and Lisbeth Zwerger, each of the award-winning artists featuring in this collection chose a short text, poem, children’s verse, riddle, counting-out rhyme, etc. and illustrated this text on a double page. Texts are printed in the original language of the culture they come from and in an English translation. Part of the proceeds from this book will be donated to the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), the organisation that – founded by Jella Lepman more than 50 years ago – is striving to fulfil its founder’s greatest dream of creating peace and understanding between people of different cultures through the best of children’s books. (4+) ☆ ☼

Special Mention - Canada (English) - 2005 - 46
Carroll, Lewis (text)
Jorisch, Stéphane (illus.)
Toronto, ON [et al.] : Kids Can Press, 2004. [40] p.
(Visions in poetry)
ISBN 1-55337-079-1
Father – Son – Monster – Threat – Hunt – Killing – Nonsense poetry
Lewis Carroll’s (1832-1898) classical nonsense poem about the mysterious Jabberwocky is one of the most well-known English language poems ever. Its enigmatic verses naturally lend themselves to innumerable interpretations. In this beautifully designed little volume, published in the new series »Visions in Poetry«, the Victorian poem is transported right into the 21st century in which public opinion is manipulated by mass media. Here, a war-crazed old man sends his son on a mission to slay the allegedly dangerous monster. The slightly surrealistic, bizarre watercolour, pencil, and ink illustrations by award-winning Stéphane Jorisch perfectly match the scary atmosphere of the text while they leave ample room for the readers’ imagination and interpretations. (10+)

Special Mention - Canada (English) - 2005 - 49
Lee, Dennis (text)
Kovalski, Maryann (illus.)
So cool
Toronto : Key Porter Books, 2004. 70 p.
ISBN 1-55263-613-5
Whether it is the humour of »To My Friend the Total Loser«, the funny anxiety of »French Kissing With Gum in Your Mouth«, the deep sadness of »The House of Alone«, or the peaceful reflection of »High Summer«, this collection of poems perfectly captures the whole range of feelings that young people know only too well and often struggle with. Renowned poet Dennis Lee’s touching verses and rippling rhythms are ingeniously translated into energetic, semi-abstract, black-and-white pictures rendered in various techniques by well-known illustrator Maryann Kovalski. This attractive square volume with its trendy title and matching design will speak to teenage and adult readers alike. (10+)

Special Mention - Canada (English) - 2005 - 51
Oppel, Kenneth (text)
Reid, Barbara (illus.)
Peg and the Yeti
Toronto : HarperCollins, 2004. [34] p.
ISBN 0-00-200538-7
Girl – Exploration – Adventure – Mount Everest – Yeti – Friendship
Little Peg, born on her parents’ fishing boat, has always been adventurous. Now that she has set her mind on seeing the top of the world, she packs her fishing rod and travels to Mount Everest. Without any climbing gear but with a lot of determination, the resourceful girl braves the icy slopes, befriends the scary hairy mountain monster, and finally returns to her parents, already pondering her next adventure. Kenneth Oppel’s endearing and funny story about a feisty little heroine is translated into astonishingly vibrant plasticine pictures by renowned artist Barbara Reid. The illustrations, of varying surface texture and brimming with funny details, depict the scenes from unusual angles, while the artist’s trademark style lends them a three-dimensional feel. (4+)

Special Mention - USA (English) - 2005 - 53
Coman, Carolyn (text)
Shepperson, Rob (illus.)
The big house
Asheville, NC : Front Street, 2004. 220 p.
ISBN 1-932425-09-8
Parents – Prison – Siblings – Foster family – Revenge
It’s not the first time that Ivy and Ray’s parents are sent »up the river«. But never before have they been sentenced to 25 years in prison – and both of them. Yet stubborn Ivy and her younger brother are not inclined to quietly wait out their days in the big house under the custody of evil old Marietta, the very person who accused her father of embezzlement. Determined to get the better of their ›kidnappers‹, the resourceful siblings secretly collect evidence against Marietta and her husband. This comical short novel depicts the children’s ingenious ability to think up various plans and uncover mysterious secrets. The fresh tone of the text and the amusing black-and-white illustrations make this a delightful read for young would-be-detectives. (10+)

Special Mention - USA (English) - 2005 - 57
Grimes, Nikki (text)
Young, Ed (illus.)
Tai chi morning : snapshots of China
Chicago : Cricket Books, 2004. XI, 51 p.
ISBN 0-8126-2707-5
China – Tourist trip – Everyday life
More than 15 years ago, well-known American author and poet Nikki Grimes travelled to China with a group of actors. She recorded her personal impressions of this vast country in several atmospheric poems, each of them preceded by a short narrative paragraph relating the situation in which the respective poem was created. Ed Young’s sketchy pen and ink illustrations stem from his own journey to his native country during roughly the same time. Printed in a warm brownish shade and set against a soft background of smooth, cream-coloured textured paper, the quiet texts, the few photographs, and the calm pictures offer a fascinating glimpse into the country’s politics, old and modern culture, and everyday life. (12+) ☆

Special Mention - USA (English) - 2005 - 60
Sís, Peter (text/illus.)
Train of states
New York : Greenwillow Books, 2004. [66] p.
ISBN 0-06-057838-6
USA – Federal States
With his latest picture book, Czech-born illustrator Peter Sís indulged in his love for circus wagons and for his adopted country and created a graphic firework about US history. He invites children aboard a magnificent train consisting of 50 carriages, one for each of the States of the USA. Presented in chronological order from Delaware and Pennsylvania to Alaska and Hawaii (with the US capital Washington D.C. as the caboose), the carriages, which closely resemble ancient circus wagons, give the origin of the state name, the capital, flower, tree, and bird for all of the states, plus some further titbits. This entertaining mixture will certainly spark off children’s eagerness to find out more about the various states. (4+)

Special Mention - USA (English) - 2005 - 61
Stewart, Sarah (text)
Small, David (illus.)
The friend
New York : Farrar Straus Giroux, 2004. [44] p.
ISBN 0-374-32463-8
Girl – Housekeeper – Friendship – USA/1940s
Well-known husband-and-wife-team Sarah Stewart and David Small have created yet another endearing picture book. The smooth rhymed verses and the moving water colour illustrations, sometimes energetic, sometimes radiating with calmness, follow the daily life of wealthy Annabelle Bernadette Clementine Dodd and her only friend Beatrice Smith, housekeeper and nanny. Since her busy parents are hardly ever at home, Belle and Bea spend all their days together. Bea completes the household chores with energetic and creative little Belle at her side ›helping‹ her, and afterwards, the two of them walk down to the sea and stroll along the beach. This book offers a portrait of a lonely yet happy childhood in the 1940s and of an unusual friendship. (4+)