2002 Children's Book Awards Announced

Posted on February 18, 2002

Winners of the 2002 Coretta Scott King Awards, John Newbery and Randolph Caldecott Medals were recently announced by the American Library Association. The awards go to authors and illustrators of children's literature.

Linda Sue Park, author of A Single Shard, and David Wiesner, illustrator and author of The Three Pigs, are the 2002 winners of the John Newbery and Randolph Caldecott Medals. Park and Wiesner were among the award winners announced January 21 by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in New Orleans.

Mildred D. Taylor, author of The Land, and Jerry Pinkney, illustrator of Goin' Someplace Special, are the 2002 winners of the Coretta Scott King Awards honoring African-American authors and illustrators of outstanding books for children and young adults. Jerome Lagarrigue, illustrator of Freedom Summer was recognized with the Coretta Scott King/ John Steptoe New Talent Award. The Coretta Scott King Awards are administered by the Coretta Scott King Task Force of the ALA's Social Responsibilities Round Table.

The 2002 Newbery Medal recipient Park takes readers to 12th-century Korea to tell a timeless story of dedication to one's dreams and art in A Single Shard, published by Houghton Mifflin Company/Clarion Books. Tree-ear, an orphan who lives under a bridge with his wise friend Crane-man, becomes fascinated with a nearby community of potters. Drawn by their exquisite craftsmanship, the adolescent boy begins to assist the master potter Min. Tree-ear must overcome Min's hostility by undertaking a dangerous journey to carry the potter's precious vases to the royal court. On the way, he confronts an overwhelming obstacle that threatens to halt his efforts and shatter his dream of proving himself worthy of Min's trust in this powerful, uplifting story.

"Tree-ear's determination and bravery in pursuing his dream of becoming a potter takes readers on a literary journey that demonstrates how courage, honor and perseverance can overcome great odds and bring great happiness. Park effectively conveys 12th-century Korea in this masterful piece of historical fiction. The story shines with dignity and strong values. Park's writing is powerful and precise as she explores universal themes about loyalty and art," said Newbery Award Committee Chair Kathleen Odean.

Park was born and raised in Illinois, and now teaches English to foreign students in New York. She has been writing poems and stories since she was four years old and was first published in a children's magazine at the age of nine. Born of Korean immigrants, her heritage is reflected in each of her books: The Kite Fighters (2000) and Seesaw Girl (1999).

The 2002 Caldecott Medal for illustration was awarded to David Wiesner for The Three Pigs, published by Houghton Mifflin Company/Clarion Books. In The Three Pigs, the plot and form of a familiar folktale unravels as the pigs are huffed and puffed off the page and into a new world. The trio cavorts through scenes from a nursery rhyme to a fairy tale, liberating other characters on the fly.

"Pigs burst through the pages' boundaries and soar into new dimensions. Transformations occur as the pigs boldly enter new stories, make friends, and ultimately control their own fate," Caldecott Award Committee Chair Kate McClelland said. "Witty dialogue and physical humor make this a selection that will have youngsters squealing with delight. Through Wiesner's vision and artistic virtuosity, The Three Pigs, celebrates possibility."

Wiesner has written and illustrated seven children's books. He received the 1992 Caldecott Medal for Tuesday, (1991), a 1989 Caldecott Honor for Free Fall, (1988), and a 2000 Caldecott Honor for Sector 7, (1999). Wiesner lives with his wife and two children in Philadelphia.

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