Little Brown, written and illustrated by Marla Frazee, is the winner of the twenty-second annual Charlotte Zolotow Award for outstanding writing in a picture book. The award is given by the Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC), a library of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Little Brown was edited by Allyn Johnston and published in the United States in 2018 by Beach Lane Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing.
Do the other dogs not play
with Little Brown because he’s cranky, or is he cranky because the other dogs
don’t play with him? It’s a question examined with both humor and pathos in
this marvelous picture book. In Frazee’s superb text, supported by equally
fine, soft-hued pencil and gouache illustrations, a dramatic narrative crafted
with wonderful language and artful pacing is full of hilariously spot-on dog
behavior. But Little Brown’s isolation is heartbreaking, while the puzzlement
of the other dogs and the “dilemma” they all face when Little Brown steals
their toys and refuses to give them back makes for a complex look at social
dynamics. All the dogs wonder whether, and how, things might be different,
leading to a brilliant open ending. “Maybe tomorrow … they would know what to
do.” A story that entertains, it also respects young readers and listeners,
asking them to rise to the challenge of thinking about what might happen next,
and to reflect on Little Brown’sconnection to their own lives in a
picture book that is the antithesis of didactic.
The 2019 Zolotow Award committee
named two Honor Books:
Honey, written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein, edited by Nancy
Paulsen, and published by Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, is about a
young bear in his second year who remembers honey, but must wait for it to be
ready, in a narrative where every carefully chosen word impacts the rhythm and
flow of a story in which timing (and appreciating each moment) is everything.
Saturday Is Swimming Day, written and illustrated by Hyewon Yum, edited by Kate
Fletcher, and published by Candlewick Press, about a small girl’s anxiety over
learning how to swim, her experience stated in simple, declarative sentences
providing evocative descriptions of her feelings and actions as she gradually
overcomes her fear with the help of a patient teacher.
The 2019 Zolotow Award
committee also cited nine titles as Highly Commended:
Books / HarperCollins).
- A BIG Mooncake for Little Star written and
illustrated by Grace Lin (Little, Brown)
- Carmela Full of Wishes written by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Christian
Robinson (G. P. Putnam Son’s / Penguin Random House)
- The Day You Begin written
by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Rafael López (Nancy Paulsen Books /
Penguin Random House)
- Dreamers written
and illustrated by Yuyi Morales (Neal Porter Books / Holiday House)
- The Patchwork Bike written
by Maxine Beneba Clarke, illustrated by Van Thanh Rudd (U.S. edition:
- The Rough Patch written
and illustrated by Brian Lies (Greenwillow Books / HarperCollins)
- Thank You, Omu! written
and illustrated by Oge Mora (Little Brown)
- We Don’t Eat Our Classmates written and illustrated by Ryan T. Higgins (Disney /
- Winter Is Here written
by Kevin Henkes, illustrated by Laura Dronzek
Congratulations to all!
Congratulations to all!