Eric Kimmel, author of "Anansi and the Talking Melon (illustrated by Janet Stevens)"; David Patneaude's "Someone was Watching"; Caralyn Buehner, author of "It's a Spoon, Not a Shovel with pictures by Mark Buehner"; and T.A. Barron's "The Merlin Effect" were winners of Utah Book Awards named recently at the annual Children's Literature Association of Utah (CLAU) meeting.
The Utah Book Awards were chosen by children and young adults as they voted on selected titles throughout the year. More than 131,000 votes were cast representing 121 elementary schools, 12 secondary schools and nine public library systems. Postmarks on the ballots ranged from Dutch John to Ferron and from Brigham City to St. George. Votes were also made through fax machines and e-mail to the CLAU home page (http://www/slco.lib.ut.us/clau.htm).
"Participation for the Utah Book Awards was up this year," said Phyllis Hall, chairman of the Award program. "I received over 30,000 more votes than last year."
"We're excited to have Utahns Caralyn and Mark Buehner win the Informational Book Award their second year as winners."
Last year, their book "A Job for Wittilda" won the Picture Book Award. Children seemed to agree with comments like, "It gives something extra to do . . . " and "It had hidden letters. I like to find things."
Kimmel's Anansi story received comments such as "fun pictures and good story" and "Anansi is really clever!"
"I didn't want to stop reading it" said one third-grader about "Someone was Watching," winner of the Utah Children's Book Award. A sophomore said that "The Merlin Effect" (the Utah Young Adult Book) was " . . . a mix of new science and old world myth which is brought together in a very interesting and involving book."
The Children's Literature Association of Utah (CLAU) committee has chosen the following titles in the four categories as next year's Book Award Nominees:
UTAH CHILDREN`S PICTURE BOOK AWARD, 1998-99
"Down the Road," Alice Sertle, illustrated by E.B. Lewis
"Edward and the Pirates," David McPhail
"Gotcha!" Gail Jorgensen, illustrated by Kerry Argent
"Mailing May," Michael O. Tunnell, illustrated by Ted Rand
"One Grain of Rice: A Mathmatical Folktale," Demi
"Pigs in the Middle of the Rud," Lynn Plourde, illustrated by John Schoenherr
"The Seven Silly Eaters," Mary Ann Hoberman, illustrated by Maria Frazee
"Verdi," Janell Cannon
"Watch Out! Big Bro's Coming!" Jez Alborough
"Water Dance," Thomas Locker
UTAH CHILDREN'S BOOK AWARD, 1998-99
"The Ballad of Lucy Whipple," Karen Cushman
"The Butterfly Lion," Michael Morpurgo
"Earthquake Terror," Peg Kehret
"Ella Enchanted," Gail Levine
"The Last Man's Reward," David Patneaude
"Lone Wolf," Kristine L. Franklin
"The Music of Dolphins," Karen Hesse
"Sea Monkey Summer," Cheryl Ware
"The Summer of the Bonspil Monster," Alleen Henderson
"The Stray," Dick King-Smith
"Thunder Cave," Ronald Smith
"When the Circus Came to Town," Polly Horwath
UTAH CHILDREN'S INFORMATION BOOK 1998-99
"Anastasia's Album," Hugh Brewster
"Dinosaur Ghosts: The Mystery of Coslophysis," J. Lynett Gillett, illustrated Douglas Henderson
"The Honey Makers," Gail Gibbons
"Life and Times of the Peanut," Charles Micucci
"Lives of the Athletes: Thrills, Spills (And What the Neighbors Thought)," Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt
"The Most Beautiful Roof in the World: Exploring the Rainforest Canopy," Kathryn Lasky, photographs by Christopher G. Knight
"Out of Darkness: The Story of Louis Braille," Russell Freedman, illustrated by Kate Kiesler
"Passage to Freedom: The Sugihara Story," Ken Mochizuki, illustrated by Dom Lee
"The Secrets of Animal Flight," Nic Bishop
"Sidewalk Games Around The World," Arlene Erlback, illustrated by Sharon L. Holm
UTAH YOUNG ADULT'S BOOK AWARD 1998-99
"After the War," Carol Matas
"Crash," Jerry Spinelli
"Don't You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey," Margaret Peterson Haddix
"Far North," Will Hobbs
"Letters From the Mountain," Sherry Garland
"Sabriel," Garth Nix
"The Snake-Stone," Bertie Doherty
"SOS Titanic," Eve Bunting
"Under the Mermaid Angel," Martha Moore
"The Unlikely Romance of Kate Bjorkman," Louise Plummer
"With Every Drop of Blood," James Lincoln-Collier and Christopher Collier