Annal: 2009 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award

Results of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards in the year 2009. Due to multiple honors from a single award, the following titles received no points in this category: We Are the Ship.

Book:The Blacker the Berry

The Blacker the Berry

Joyce Carol Thomas, Floyd Cooper

We are color struck
The way an artist strikes
His canvas with his brush of many hues
Look closely at these mirrors
these palettes of skin
Each color is rich
in its own right

Black is dazzling and distinctive, like toasted wheat berry bread; snowberries in the fall; rich, red cranberries; and the bronzed last leaves of summer. In this lyrical and luminous collection, Coretta Scott King honorees Joyce Carol Thomas and Floyd Cooper celebrate these many shades of black beautifully.

Book:Before John Was a Jazz Giant

Before John Was a Jazz Giant: A Song of John Coltrane

Carole Boston Weatherford, Sean Qualls

Young John Coltrane was all ears. And there was a lot to hear growing up in the South in the 1930s: preachers praying, music on the radio, the bustling of the household. These vivid noises shaped John’s own sound as a musician. Carole Boston Weatherford and Sean Qualls have composed an amazingly  rich hymn to the childhood of jazz legend John Coltrane.

Book:The Moon Over Star

The Moon Over Star

Dianna Hutts Aston, Jerry Pinkney

In July 1969, the world witnessed an awe-inspiring historical achievement when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on the moon. For the young protagonist of this lyrical and hopeful picture book, that landing is something that inspires her to make one giant step toward all of the possibilities that life has to offer.

Caldecott Honor–winning painter Jerry Pinkney and the poetic Dianna Hutts Aston create a moving tribute to the historic Apollo 11 Mission, just in time to commemorate its upcoming fortieth anniversary.

Book:We Are the Ship

We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball

Kadir Nelson

“We are the ship; all else the sea.”—Rube Foster, founder of the Negro National League

The story of Negro League baseball is the story of gifted athletes and determined owners; of racial discrimination and international sportsmanship; of fortunes won and lost; of triumphs and defeats on and off the field. It is a perfect mirror for the social and political history of black America in the first half of the twentieth century. But most of all, the story of the Negro Leagues is about hundreds of unsung heroes who overcame segregation, hatred, terrible conditions, and low pay to do the one thing they loved more than anything else in the world: play ball. Using an “Everyman” player as his narrator, Kadir Nelson tells the story of Negro League baseball from its beginnings in the 1920s through its decline after Jackie Robinson crossed over to the majors in 1947. The voice is so authentic, you will feel as if you are sitting on dusty bleachers listening intently to the…[more]

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