For a number of years now, I’ve compiled a fall list of picture book illustrated by women (if you’re interested, you can leap-frog back through the lists). This is my small effort to combat the overwhelming number of mock Caldecott and end-of-year lists that tend to ignore so many amazing women artists (probably not unrelated to the fact that the actual Caldecott has historically been awarded to a disproportionate number of male illustrators).
And though last year Sophie Blackall took home the medal for Finding Winnie, and Ekua Holmes got an honor for Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement, there’s still a lot of work to be done.
I hope that these lists encourage my bookseller/ reviewer/librarian/teacher friends to look beyond the “big” books being promoted most loudly, and seek out the special gems that might otherwise fall through the cracks. That’s my simple goal.
I’ll begin by posting a few 2016 books I love, illustrated by women artists. These are by no means the ONLY books I’ve noticed this year, but I want to hear from you! Just post your favorites in the comments below, and please don’t self-nominate. Tell me what book YOU love best, by some other talented woman.
And maybe, if you notice a beautiful book on this list you’ve never seen before, you should ask yourself how/why that is, and seek it out!
Okay, here we go…
This is My Dollhouse, by Giselle Potter
The Airport Book, by Lisa Brown
A Hungry Lion, by Lucy Ruth Cummins
Du Iz Tak? by Carson Ellis
The Littlest Family’s Big Day, by Emily Winfield Martin
The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles, by Michelle Cuevas, illustrated by Erin E. Stead
Henry and Leo, by Pamela Zagarenski
Before Morning, by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Beth Krommes
On Our Way to Oyster Bay, by Monica Kulling, illustrated by Felicita Sala
Thunder Boy Jr., by Sherman Alexie, illustrated by Yuyi Morales
Cloth Lullaby: the Woven Life of Louise Bourgeois, by Amy Novesky, illutrated by Isabelle Arsenault
The King of the Birds, by Acree Graham Macam, illustrated by Natalie Nelson