Sunday, April 1, 2012

2nd Annual Pistachio Awards

It's that time of year again, when I give out a bunch of semi-random children's book awards, the Pistachios, here at Book Aunt. (You can see last year's awards here.) The time frame is mostly March 2011 to March 2012, except for the classic awards. Which means I'm only a day behind!

You may be wondering, who are my influences? Betsy Bird of the lovely Golden Fuse Awards, of course. Also Sofonisba Anguissola and Snowshoe Thompson. Plus somebody really wordy, like maybe William Faulkner.

Note: In case you feel there's a fantasy emphasis here, you are absolutely right! But we've still got picture books. We'll always have picture books...


Painful Losses in 2011

—Russell Hoban, author of Bread and Jam for Frances and other Frances books, The Mouse and His Child, and more; he also wrote adult fiction
—Brian Jacques, author of the Redwall and Castaways of the Flying Dutchman fantasy series
Diana Wynne Jones, author of Howl's Moving Castle, Dogsbody, and many more fantasy books
—Dick King-Smith, author of Babe the Gallant Pig (U.S. title) and many more animal books
—Anne McCaffrey, author of the Dragonriders of Pern series and many more fantasy books
—William Sleator, author of Interstellar Pig and many more sci-fi books
—Simms Taback, illustrator of Caldecott winner Joseph Had a Little Overcoat, Caldecott Honor book There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, and more


Most Beautiful Picture Books

Winner: Me...Jane by Patrick McDonnell

Honors: All the Water in the World by George Ella Lyon and Katherine Tillotson, And Then It's Spring by Julie Fogliano and Erin Stead, and Jazz Age Josephine by Jonah Winter and Marjorie Priceman

Breath of Fresh Air Storytelling Award

Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett and Adam Rex

Funniest Picture Books

Winner: Z Is for Moose by Kelly Bingham and Paul O. Zelinsky

Honors: I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen and What Animals Really Like by Fiona Robinson

Best Picture Book Playing with the Fourth Wall

Chloe and the Lion by Mac Barnett and Adam Rex (Okay, it comes out in two days, but close enough!)

Best Japanese Import

999 Tadpoles by Ken Kimura and Yasunari Murakami

Best Class Warfare and Mark Twain Homage in a Picture Book

The Princess and the Pig by Jonathan Emmett and Poly Bernatene

Best Use of Ninjas

The Boy Who Cried Ninja by Alex Latimer (I predict Corey Rosen Schwartz and Dan Santat will win next year with their book, The Three Ninja Pigs!)

Best Ghost Story

Eric Rohmann's Bone Dog

Best Book Trailers

Winner: Grandpa Green by Lane Smith

Honors: Blackout by John Rocco and Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld


Best Book Jackets

Winner: The Apothecary by Maile Meloy, illustrated by Ian Schoenherr

Honors: The Other Felix by Keir Graff (artist Oriol Vidal) and The Mostly True Story of Jack by Kelly Barnhill (artist Juline Harrison)

Best Newcomer of 2011

Catherynne M. Valente for The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Valente had previously published adult fiction and first posted this book online before it was printed.)

Best First Lines

Winner: "He was the best of toms. He was the worst of toms" —The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale by Carmen Agra Deedy and Randall Wright, illustrated by Barry Moser

Honor: "Nin had never liked Wednesdays, but this one took the cake. On this Wednesday, she woke up to find that it was pouring rain and her little brother had ceased to exist." —Seven Sorcerers by Caro King

Honor: "Once upon a time, a girl named September grew very tired indeed of her parents' house, where she washed the same pink-and-yellow teacups and matching gravy boats every day, slept on the same embroidered pillow, and played with the same small and amiable dog. Because she had been born in May, and because she had a mole on her left cheek, and because her feet were very large and ungainly, the Green Wind took pity on her and flew to her window one evening just after her twelfth birthday." —The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

MG Books I Personally Most Anticipated

Caddy's World by Hilary McKay, The Penderwicks at Point Mouette by Jeanne Birdsall, and Diana Wynne Jones's last book, Earwig and the Witch

Double Whammy Award

Kadir Nelson, author and illustrator of the epic Coretta Scott King winner, Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans

Best Under-awarded MG Book of 2011

Young Fredle by Cynthia Voigt

Best Series Start

Dragon's Tooth by N.D. Wilson

Best Graphic Novels

Winner: Sidekicks by Dan Santat

Honors: Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke, Nursery Rhyme Comics: 50 Timeless Rhymes from 50 Celebrated Cartoonists, and Squish #1: Super Amoeba by Jennifer L. Holm and Matt Holm

Best New Alternate History Fantasy

The Inquisitor's Apprentice by Chris Moriarty

Best Title Pun and Film Allusion

Darth Paper Strikes Back by Tom Angleberger

Best Bullying-Themed Books

Winner: Warp Speed by Lisa Yee

Honor: Small Persons with Wings by Ellen Booraem

Most Appealing Ongoing Series Character

Atinuke's Anna Hibiscus

Best Tribute to a Mentor

Drawing from Memory by Allen Say

Best (Well, Worst) Evil Grandmother

Mistress of the Storm by M.L. Welsh

Best Ghost Story

Lauren Oliver's Liesl and Po

Best Fairy Tale Retellings

Winner: Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu

Honors: Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George and Princess of the Wild Swans by Diane Zahler

Nellie Oleson Award (Best Ringlets/Mean Girl)

Bliss by Kathryn Littlewood

... Then a singular voice rose from the back of the crowd. "If he doesn't come out now, I will rip someone's face off!" One girl, taller and stronger than all the others, was hurtling toward the front of the crowd, throwing shorter girls to the ground as she passed them. That girl was Ashley Knob.

Her long hair had been curled into fancy ringlets so shiny and so blond that you had to squint to look at them directly. Her lip gloss shimmered like an expensive watch. Slung over one shoulder was a bag from which a frightened Chihuahua looked out, clearly wishing he were somewhere else. A ring of space opened up around her. Even in the depths of a spell, the girls of Calamity Falls always knew to make way for Ashley Knob.

Best Invented SFF Sport Since Quidditch

Bongo Fishing (from book of that title by Thacher Hurd)

Strangest Premise Award

The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic by Jennifer Trafton

Drool Awards

Winner: Close to Famous by Joan Bauer

Honors: The Magic Cake Shop by Meika Hashimoto and Pie by Sarah Weeks

Best Mob-on-the-Playground Comedy/Thriller

The Fourth Stall by Chris Rylander

Best Reinvention of Fairies

Small Persons with Wings by Ellen Booraem

Most Impressive Author PR

Shawn Thomas Odyssey, author of The Wizard of Dark Street. Check out these three videos to see why he won. We've got an in-your-face rap; a performance of the prologue, complete with porkpie hat and British accent; and a song-and-dance number featuring STO and... himself! All right, plus this other lady. But—wow!

Best Book Trailers

Winner: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

Honors: Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier, Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis, and Wildwood by Colin Meloy, with illustrations by Carson Ellis


Best Newcomers of 2011

Winner: Rae Carson for The Girl of Fire and Thorns

Honor: Ari Marmell for Thief's Covenant

Best YA Voice

Chime by Franny Billingsley (The cover will not be shown because it's all wrong. But the book is terrific!)

Best First Lines

Winner: "I've confessed to everything and I'd like to be hanged. Now, if you please." —Chime by Franny Billingsley

Honor: "The screw through Cinder's ankle had rusted, the engraved cross marks worn to a mangled circle. Her knuckles ached from forcing the screwdriver into the joint as she struggled to loosen the screw one gritting twist after another. By the time it was extracted far enough for her to wrench free with her prosthetic steel hand, the hairline threads had been stripped clean." —Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Best YA Graphic Novels

Winner: Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol

Honors: Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks, Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge, and Pandemonium by Chris Wooding and Cassandra Diaz

Books I Personally Most Anticipated

Mastiff by Tamora Pierce, What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen, and Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Best Title of 2011

How I Stole Johnny Depp's Alien Girlfriend by Gary Ghislain

Best Sound-alike Titles

The Girl of Fire and Thorn by Rae Carson and Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Now, here is a small sampling of recent one-word YA titles:

Afterlife, Angel, Bitterblue, Bloodlines, Chime, Clarity, Crossed, Defiance, Divergent, Delirium, Entwined, Exposed, Everlasting, Fear, Forever, Hades, Illusions, Incarnate, Pandemonium, Passion, Shine, Silence, Starcrossed, Steel, Unearthly, and Wither

Which should prepare you for our next category...

Best Long YA Titles

Winner: How I Stole Johnny Depp's Alien Girlfriend by Gary Ghislain

Honors: The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind by Meg Medina and Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransome Riggs

Special Mention: The age range is apparently 10 and up, which technically makes it upper middle grade rather than YA, but still—let's hear it for The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

Bloodiest YA Book Titles

Winner: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Honors: Blood Magic (The Blood Journals) by Tessa Gratton, Bloodrose (A Nightshade Novel) by Andrea Cremer, and Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

Also, best bloody title of a book that's not really about blood: Blood Red Road (Dustlands) by Moira Young

Best YA Book Jackets

Winner: Slice of Cherry by Dia Reeves (shivery, but so well done!)

Honors: I'll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Skyship Academy: The Pearl Wars by Nick James

Note: I was unable to find the names of the jacket artists for the YA jacket awards. Let me know if you can add this information.

YA Book Jacket Red Carpet Awards (You know, all those girls in ball gowns?)

Grand Prize: Entwined by Heather Dixon (because that dress truly rocks)

Best Basic Black: Fallen in Love by Lauren Kate

The Juliet Award (Best Dress on a Balcony): Always a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough

Best Lake Launch in a Ball Gown: Dragonswood by Janet Lee Carey

Best Scarlet Satin and Scary Corset Combo: Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

Best Use of Shimmer and Glitter Since the First Twilight Movie: Fever by Lauren DeStefano (plus Bonus Award for Confusingly Cool Font Use in a Title)

Best Blue Dress with Hem Turning into Squiggles: Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon

Best Red Dress with Hem Turning into Flower Petals: Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey

Maddest Feathery Ruffles Ever: The Selection by Kiera Cass (Okay, this won't be out till next month, but check out those ruffles, complete with mirrorized amplification!)

Best Classic White Nightgowny Dress on a Girl Lying in Vegetation Hoping to Be Abducted by Hades: The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

Note: See blog post about this cover trend at Read in a Single Sitting. Also this Goodreads list.

Special Category—Best Use of a Single Red Pump in YA Jacket Art

Winner: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Honor: Sirenz by Charlotte Bennardo and Natalie Zaman

Book Jacket Guys Who Really Should Hang Out

Young Sherlock Holmes from Andrew Lane's Death Cloud and Cassandra Clare's Clockwork Prince

The Sorcery and Cecilia Award, or Best Magical Teapot/Chocolate Pot

Entwined by Heather Dixon (What the heck are silver teeth, though?)

Best Scary Angel Boyfriends

Tie between Raffe in Susan Ee's Angelfall and Akira in Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Books Whose Deadly Horse-Type Creatures Should Battle it Out

The Scorpio Races by Maggia Steifvater and 2010's Rampant by Diana Peterfreund

Darkest New Dystopian YA

Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Darkest YA Overall

Slice of Cherry by Dia Reeves

Absolute Best Use of Insects

Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King

Best Jack the Ripper Story

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Cappuccino Award (Frothiest Fun in a Well-told Tale)

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Best Use of Amnesia

Tie between Franny Billingsley's Chime and Ally Carter's Out of Sight, Out of Time

Best New Horror/Fantasy World Incorporating the Word Lovecraft

The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge

Best Ghost Story

Anya's Ghost, graphic novel by Vera Brosgol

Best Fairy Tale Retellings

Winner: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Honors: Entwined by Heather Dixon and Snow in Summer by Jane Yolen

Best Soccer Match-ups Combined with Wry Authorial Homilies and Brotherly Love

John Green

Best Book Trailers

Winner: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Honor: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness


Best Literary Dogs

Last year, Bigfoot of Bigfoot Reads suggested I do a category for Best Literary Dog; his picks were Beverly Cleary's Ribsy and the hat-loving dog in Go, Dog. Go! Thank you, Bigfoot! All you cat fans, we'll do Best Literary Cats next year... Either that or hamsters.

So here are my Top 20+ Book Dogs:

1. All of the dogs in Go, Dog. Go! But especially the two hat-loving dogs. Okay, and that dog trying to swipe the other dog's ice cream up in the tree.

2. Author Gene Zion and illustrator Margaret Bloy Graham's Harry the Dirty Dog

3. Maurice Sendak's terrier Jenny, now deceased, that he has put in many, if not all, of his books (most famously in Where the Wild Things Are)

4. Henry Huggins' dog Ribsy (series by Beverly Cleary)

5. Dodie Smith's The 101 Dalmations

6. Wynne-Dixie in Kate DiCamillo's book, Because of Winn-Dixie

7. Old Dan and Little Ann (Where the Red Fern Grows), Old Yeller, and Sounder—a three-way tie for dog tragedy (See No More Dead Dogs by Gordon Korman.)

8. Nana in J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan

9. Toto in L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz

10. Hagrid's dogs Fluffy and Fang from J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books

11. Luath and Bodger from The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford

12. Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's Shiloh

13. Gloria from Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann

14. Steven Kellogg's Pinkerton (e.g., in A Rose for Pinkerton)

15. Alexandra Day's Good Dog, Carl

16. Mr. Mutt from Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel's book, Help Me, Mr. Mutt!

17. Ike from Dear Mrs. LaRue: Letters from Obedience School, etc., by Mark Teague

18. Eric Hill's board book puppy, Spot

19. The Poky Little Puppy from Little Golden Books

20. Sirius in Dogsbody by Diana Wynne Jones (I know, but still!)

21. Searchlight and Willie's other sled dogs in Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner

22. Hank the Cowdog from books by John R. Erickson, illustrated by Gerald L. Holmes

23. Fine, fine! Lassie (in Eric Knight's book, Lassie Come-Home; yes, there really is a hyphen)

If I've missed any important children's book dogs, please let me know in the comments.

Dog Notes from the Comments

Lark: Dog lovers also ought to check out Ginger from "Ginger Jumps" (one of our all-time favorites); Mudge from Cynthia Ryland's Henry & Mudge books; "Maxi the Taxi Dog"; the dog in James Herriot's "Only One Woof"; and Jump from Tamora Pierce's Protector of the Small Quartet.

Amy of Amy's Library of Rock points out that Kit has a dog in Diane Duane's Young Wizard series.

Also: Lark's note reminded me that Pierce's Beka Cooper books have a scent hound named Achoo!


Brandy said...

"Best Lake Launch in a Ball Gown"

"Best Classic White Nightgowny Dress on a Girl Lying in Vegetation Hoping to Be Abducted by Hades"

As always highly entertaining, and completely random as promised. Excellent choices, especially:
The Inquisitor's Apprentice
Small Person's With Wings
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland...
The Cheshire Cheese Cat
The Name of the Star (Which I read last night and enjoyed a surprising amount.)

I don't know if those book jacket guys should hang out though. I think there would be too much tension over who had the more awesome hairstyle and a friendship would be impossible.

storyqueen said...

This is SO AWESOME!! I am in the middle of a revision right now and I can't tell you how fun it was to take a break and read your post! Wow--such wonderful books are out there. (And there were quite a few Pistachio winners that I've yet to read. Very excited to, though!


Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard said...

Wonderful lists, especially the classic dog books. Dog lovers also ought to check out Ginger from "Ginger Jumps" (one of our all-time favorites); Mudge from Cynthia Ryland's Henry & Mudge books; "Maxi the Taxi Dog"; the dog in James Herriot's "Only One Woof"; and Jump from Tamora Pierce's Protector of the Small Quartet.

KateCoombs said...

Brandy--Haha! Thanks! Maybe those guys could have a nineteenth-century posing contest instead.

Shelley--Glad to provide a revision break, and of course, to add to your TBR pile. :)

Lark--Good dog picks! Jump reminds me of one of my favorite book dogs, the talking dog in Terry Pratchett's Discworld books. (Can't remember his name.) And Tamora Pierce puts a scent hound in the Beka Cooper books, too, come to think of it.

Gail Aldous said...

Wow, what a list! I love the Nellie Oleson award! LOL! But what about a poetry book award? I can't wait to read your poetry book: Water Sings Blue, which I just found out about on Sylvia Vardell's blog.

KateCoombs said...

Gail, I'm glad the Nellie Oleson made you laugh! I'll confess I kind of ran out of steam before getting to poetry. Besides, I figured we'd celebrate poetry all month! Hope you enjoy WSB--yes, wasn't that a nice interview?

Kelly Bingham said...

Wow! So honored and thrilled to have won for funniest picture book! And I love pistachios! Thank you so much and I love this list--so many great books, so many fun categories! Thank you--I've just added a bunch to my "to read" list!

Kelly Bingham

KateCoombs said...

Kelly, thanks for stopping by, and congrats on your very funny book, which shows a perfect understanding of the thought processes of certain small children, AKA Moose! I'm also glad you found some books to read. :)

Charlotte said...

Thank you so very much for this, Kate! I larfed and larfed! And was glad to see some books I thought needed more love (like Seven Sorcerers) mentioned.

KateCoombs said...

You're very welcome, Charlotte! Yes, Seven Sorcerers was one I thought needed a shout-out. I liked the sequel, too.

Jennifer Morian Frye said...

Such a great post! I must've missed last year's, I shall now go and look. :) SO many awesome books here, some I've read, and some I haven't.....but must. :) Thank you Kate.

KateCoombs said...

Hey Jennifer! Glad you liked it. It's a lot of work, but a lot of fun, too. Enjoy the books!

Yellow Brick Reads said...

Brilliant post.I'm new to the Pistachios but any Awards featuring a "Best Use of Ninja" category has got my vote!

KateCoombs said...

Hey Maeve, thank you! Yes, I'm awfully fond of ninjas, esp. when they're used semi-satirically. Just read a graphic novel called Street Angel which is quite gritty (YA or adult) but has such a nicely ironic use of ninjas.