The Sibert Award is given annually to the most distinguished informational book published during the preceding year. Although the Sibert Award is not just for picture books, that is where I am focussing my predictions.
Honestly, I believe that the Sibert medal may go to a longer text and I don’t believe I have read that book. I am very excited to see what the announcement will be next week!
I read a lot of fantastic nonfiction last year but I focussed on texts suitable for younger readers because of switching grades this year (from a 3/4 with mostly Grade 4s to a 2/3 with mostly Grade 2s). Looking over some of the best of nonfiction lists, I think that there is a lot that I missed.
To be honored/win the Sibert Award, the book must include these important elements and qualities:
- Excellent, engaging, and distinctive use of language.
- Excellent, engaging, and distinctive visual presentation.
- Appropriate organization and documentation.
- Clear, accurate, and stimulating presentation of facts, concepts, and ideas.
- Appropriate style of presentation for subject and for intended audience.
- Supportive features (index, table of contents, maps, timelines, etc).
- Respectful and of interest to children.
Based on this criteria, I have chosen 3 titles that I think may be honored when the Sibert titles are announced.
What I am really thinking about when making these selections are supportive features or documentation included somewhere in the text and that the books are really engaging for children. I am also very swayed by illustrations and I felt that each of these had a very unique and interesting style. Definitely the illustrations contributed in large ways to the appeal of the book.
Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery that Baffled all of France by Mara Rockliff with illustrations by Iacopo Bruno (March 2015 Candlewick Press)
I love the connection here to the importance of the scientific method. And it is also quite the story! The back pages include much additional information. Big kid appeal: mind control, magic forces, money making, Kings and Queens . . . Doesn’t get much better! Of course the ultimate power turns out to be science!
Tricky Vic: The Impossibly True Story of the Man who Sold the Eiffel Tower by Greg Pizzoli (March 2015 Viking Books)
There is something about swindlers and con artists that are immensely interesting! A con associated with something as well known and famous as the Eiffel Tower? Well! There are many stories within stories here and plenty of other historical and place specific information throughout the text. If I had an older grade, I would love to read this aloud!
How to Swallow a Pig: Step-by-Step Advice from the Animal Kingdom by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page (September 2015 HMH Books for Young Readers)
I love everything that Jenkins and Page do I will admit. That doesn’t make me biased, just constantly impressed. This title is particularly interesting because of the “how to” aspect. Of course it is also a great model for instructional writing – amazingly interesting instructional writing. Additional information is always rich in Jenkins/Page titles. Perfect for further reading.
I looked back at past medal and honor titles and usually winners are longer picture books or middle grade illustrated texts taking a variety of formats. If brief texts with incredible visuals (illustrations or photographs) and strong back matter were to be considered, I think these 2015 titles could also be contenders. Who knows? Maybe they will be!
Raindrops Roll by April Pulley Sayre (January 2015 Beach Lane Books)
Water Is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Jason Chin (May 2015 Roaring Book Press)
A Rock Can Be . . . by Laura Purdie Salas with illustrations by Violeta Dabija (March 2015 Millbrook Press)
What are your #MockSibert choices?
I am excited to once again join the Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge. My goal is to read 100 nonfiction titles this year. Most will be picture books but I will also read some longer texts. Many, but not all will be published recently (2014-2016). There are some older titles I have missed that I want to catch up on.
Thanks to Alyson from Kid Lit Frenzy for the inspiration to read and share more nonfiction picture books in 2016. Follow the link to Alyson’s blog to read about more nonfiction books you need to read!