AMP | Kids is proud to partner with The Mini Page, celebrating over 50 years of providing engaging and fun learning opportunities to young readers across the country. This feature was originally syndicated in newspapers the week of April 18 – April 24, 2020. It is distributed digitally here with permission from Andrews McMeel Syndication. Enjoy and share with the young learners in your life!
The 2020 Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children was awarded to Kadir Nelson for illustrating “The Undefeated” by Kwame Alexander.
In “The Undefeated,” Nelson’s oil paintings illustrate Alexander’s poem that brings to life the struggles of African Americans and
celebrates their many achievements throughout our country’s history.
Kadir Nelson grew up in New Jersey and San Diego, where he started drawing when he was just 3 years old. Today, he mostly uses oil paints to create his images.
Nelson, who is 44, lives in Los Angeles. He told a reporter that Alexander’s poem “really spoke to me. … I have to step into the shoes of whoever I’m portraying” and create art that honors those people.
John Newbery Medal
The 2020 winner of the John Newbery Medal, awarded to an author for the most distinguished contribution to American literature for
children, is “New Kid” by Jerry Craft. He is also the illustrator of the graphic novel.
“New Kid” also won this year’s Coretta Scott King Author Book Award, which recognizes an African American author of outstanding books for children and young adults.
Craft’s main character, Jordan, has left his neighborhood school to attend a challenging private school. But between his old friends and his new classmates, he doesn’t really feel as if he fits in anywhere.
Jerry Craft has published many books as an author and illustrator. He’s also the creator of a syndicated comic strip, “Mama’s Boyz,” that appeared in newspapers from 1995 to 2013.
“I wanted to give 10-year-old Jerry Craft a book he could read and say was his own,” Craft told a reporter. “The things I had to read in school couldn’t have been further from my life.”
Four Newbery Honor Books were named this year. There are three Caldecott Honor Books.
Newbery Honor Books
- “Scary Stories for Young Foxes,” written by Christian McKay Heidicker, illustrated by Junyi Wu
- “Other Words for Home,” by Jasmine Warga
- “Genesis Begins Again,” by Alicia D. Williams
- “The Undefeated,” by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Kadir Nelson
Caldecott Honor Books
- “Bear Came Along,” illustrated by LeUyen Pham and written by Richard T. Morris
- “Double Bass Blues,” illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez and written by Andrea J. Loney
- “Going Down Home With Daddy,” illustrated by Daniel Minter and written by Kelly Starling Lyons
Pick out two books you’d like to read and share your choices with a friend!