Monday, March 3, 2014

A is for Anacostia - new picture book about DC

Congratulations to Dr. Courtney Davis on the publication of A is for Anacostia, a fun colorful alphabet book for kids. Illustrated by Jerry Craft, creator of the award-winning Mama’s Boyz comic strip, A is for Anacostia highlights the vibrant activities and landmarks in the southeast quadrant of Washington, DC.

Check out this book trailer and visit the book's website. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Coretta Scott King Awards - Statistics 1970 - 2012


The 44th Annual Coretta Scott King Awards will webcast live January 28, 2013 at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in Seattle. The awards are given to African American authors and illustrators of outstanding YA and children books about the black experience.

For fun (yeah, it’s true), I’ve updated a simple spreadsheet of CSK Award winners, including the John Steptoe New Talent Award: year, what award received, recipient name, title of the book, publisher, whether winner was a man, woman or team.  Now, I’m not a statistician. I’m the author of the picture book Martha Ann’s Quilt for QueenVictoria (also in Spanish). Many bloggers and librarians focus on mock Caldecott award winners. I try to guess who will win the Coretta Scott King Awards.

Can past decisions by the CSK Award judges give us any insights into the 2013 winners?
There have been 261 CSK awards presented since 1970. Authors have won 61% of the awards. The annual illustrator awards started in 1974 and now account for 38% of the awards. There have been 3 Lifetime Achievement winners for 1%.


Most recipients of a Coretta Scott King Award have been female.  Women are most likely to be recipient of an Author award; while Illustrator recipients are likely to be men. 


However, most WINNERS of a CSK award have been male.

Since 1995, the John Steptoe New Talent Award has been given to an African American author or illustrator “to offer visibility to excellence in writing and/or illustration.”  Unfortunately, there have been five years, including 2012, that the CSK Award Committee was unable to name any new talent for writing or illustration excellence. 

Once a CSK Award Recipient, Likely a Future Recipient
 
Authors or illustrators who have received two or more CSK awards or honors account for the majority of all award recipients. For example, 26 African American authors (33%) have been honored with 67% of all the author awards given since 1970.  And, 17 Black illustrators (40%) have 75% of all the illustrator awards given.


83% of the 2012 CSK award recipients were repeat winners.  Overall, the annual average of repeat winners is 56%.

Who's on my short list for 2013 CSK Award Honors?
The photo above includes 33 books published in 2012 by African American authors (21 are by Black women, 11 by Black men, and 1 by a couple). 16 of the authors are previous CSK Award recipients. 

My prediction is that the 2013 Coretta Scott King Author Award(s) will go to at least one of the following:
  • No Crystal Stair by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson - a previous winner
  • The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis - a previous winner
  • Words Set Me Free: The Story of Young Frederick Douglass by Lesa Cline-Ransome
  • Black Boy White School by Brian F. Walker
  • Discovering Wes Moore by Wes Moore
The photo above includes 19 books published in 2012 with artwork by African American illustrators (17 Black men and 2 Black women). 16 of the illustrators are previous CSK Award recipients.

My prediction is that the 2013 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award(s) will go to at least one of the following: 
  • When Grandmama Sings illustrated by James Ransome - a previous winner
  • Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington art by Bryan Collier - a previous winner
  • We March written and illustrated by Shane Evans - a previous winner
  • Seed Magic illustrated  by Charlotte Riley-Webb
  • Ellen's Broom illustrated  by Daniel Minter
  • Hope's Gift illustrated by Don Tate (This book was published in late Dec 2012 - so I'm not sure it even arrived in time for CSK Committee consideration.)
So - who do YOU think will win?

Tudie's Travels: The Adventures Begin - 1st in series

Tudie, an only child, enjoys reading and spending time on her family's Powhatan, Virginia farm. Magic happens when the globe Grandma gives her spurs adventures. First time author Shantel Goodman starts a new picture book series with Tudie's Travels: The Adventures BeginBetween books, you can follow the titles Tudie reads in her blog!

This 36 page book is illustrated by Yolanda Ortiz and appropriate for younger readers.  Enjoy!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

2013 Mock Coretta Scott King Book Awards - Which Books are Listed?

The 2013 Coretta Scott King Book Awards for authors and illustrators are soon to be announced. The award is "given to an African American author and illustrator for outstanding inspirational and educational contributions. The Coretta Scott King Book Award titles promote understanding and appreciation of the culture of all peoples and their contribution to the realization of the American dream of a pluralistic society," according to the award website.

Here is a round-up of various 2013 predictions.
Which titles would you nominate for 2013?  The winners will be announced in January!  Enjoy!

John Archer (1863-1932) Britain's First Black Mayor

I'm doing research on London and Liverpool of the 1890s and want to give a shout out to Liverpool historian Raymond Costello for sharing with me a copy of his out-of-print paperback, John Archer (1863-1932) The Story of Britain's First Black Mayor. Martha Ann Ricks was likely acquainted with John Archer and his wife.

Dr. Costello has written an authoritative book on Black Liverpool and recently on Black seaman in the UK titled Black Salt. I've read the Black Liverpool book - fascinating insights on the community!

Here are a couple links for more information on John Archer:
* From Nerve 11 - bio
100 Great Black Britons - bio
Enjoy!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Are there more than 79 Black Authors or Illustrators of Children's Books in the US? What does the CCBC says?

The Cooperative Children’s BookCenter (CCBC) at the University of Wisconsin, Madison tracks children’s books by and about people of color in the US. This annual tracking started in 1994. The study of African American children’s book authors extends back to 1985.


In 2011, the last year available, there was a 22.5% DECLINE in the number of African American children’s book authors or illustrators published, according the CCBC books tracked. Now, the CCBC only counts the books they received. The CCBC received 3,400 books in both 2010 and 2011. The CCBC doesn’t say if self-published authors or authors who have published only e-books are included in the annual tally.

Here’s the quick summary of the number of children’s book authors or illustrators of color in 2011, according to the CCBC:
  • 79 African American Children’s Book Authors/Illustrators in 2011, down from 102 in 2010
  • 52 Latino Children’s Book Authors/Illustrators in 2011, down from 55 in 2010
  • 76 Asian Children’s Book Authors/Illustrators in 2011, up from 60 in 2010
  • 12 American Indian Children’s Book Authors/Illustrators in 2011, up from 9 in 2010
 What do you think about these statistics? If you are the author or illustrator of a children's book, make sure you or your publisher sends your book to the CCBC to be counted in 2013!  Enjoy!