15 January 2009
Bob Graham's understated and touching How to Heal a Broken Wing is the recipient of the 2009 Charlotte Zolotow award. I'm pleased to see not only recognition for this book, which is ineligible for the Caldecott due to the fact that Graham is not an American illustrator, but also recognition for Bob Graham himself. I have always admired his gentle storytelling, his humorous illustrations, and the way he has represented families that you don't often see in picture books: young mom's with nose rings, or mixed race couples. His books to me are distinctly Anglo--must be all those terraced houses in the background--but his themes are universal. Here are some of my favorites:
Oscar's Half Birthday
A young urban family decides to celebrate it's son's half birthday for no other reason then that a year is too long to wait.
"Let's Get a Pup" said Kate
After the death of the family cat, a visit to a local animal shelter provides a quandary--take home the young puppy that has adopted them, or the older dog that has stolen their hearts?
Rose Meets Mr. Wintergarten
A stray ball in a withdrawn neighbor's backyard leads to new friends and neighborly inclusion.
How to Heal a Broken Wing
Amongst the bustle of a crowded city square, a young child rescues a pigeon with a damaged wing.