The Undies: Voting is Open!

It’s time. The wait is over. Travis and I are back with a pretty stellar lineup of shortlists for the first annual Undies Awards, and it’s up to you to vote in each category.

And so, the categories please . . .

BEST SPOILER

IMG 9935        IMG 9938        Hannah and Sugar        IMG 1628   FullSizeRender (2)   image1        image2        IMG 9931        IMG 9934

BEST CLIFF’S NOTES VERSION

IMG 9909 IMG 9912 ARaff YouAreNotACat frontcvr ARaff YouAreNotACat case IMG 0336 IMG 0337 IMG 9939 IMG 9942 IMG 9896 IMG 9897

BEST MIDDLE GRADE/CHAPTER BOOKS

9780763674441 IMG 2943 (1) PX1 PX2 Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 11.38.37 AM Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 11.38.21 AM IMG 9913 IMG 9914 IMG 9903 IMG 9904

BEST SNEAK PEEK AT THE SETTING

IMG 4212 IMG 4211 jazzday Wednesday4 Wednesday5 Sunday3 Sunday8 w darwin2

CRAFTIEST

IMG 0186 IMG 0187 IMG 0188 A ida A idacase IMG 9943 IMG 9946

Head here to vote. And here for Travis’s post, where you can see his shortlists and ballot. Here’s a hint:

Best Impression of Something Other Than a Picture Book
The Look Closely Award
Best YA
Best Keepin’ It Simple
Best Stamp

Thanks to everyone who submitted a contender, everyone who created a contender, and everyone who excitedly talked about Undies with us all year. Voting is open through Monday, November 28th at 5pm EST, and we will announce the winners on Tuesday, November 29th. 

ch1

Presenting . . . The Undies!

 

It’s okay.

We’ve all done it.

Stripped off the dust jacket to expose the naked underbelly of that brand new picture book. Peeked underneath the taped-on-Mylar of library books, desperate for an Easter egg or two. Sighed with delight and intrigue when we catch a glimpse of that unexpected story.

When the case cover functions as a design feature, we’re all aflutter.

Are you?

Go on. Look underneath.

Travis Jonker of 100 Scope Notes and I are proud to announce a new award dedicated to the case cover: The Undies.

Undie Awards Logo_605

What is a case cover? This is a case cover. And we want to award the cream of the crop.

Here’s how The Undies will work:

Now through November 1st, 2016 we are accepting nominations for the best case covers of 2016.

In November, Travis and I will announce shortlists in a variety of categories and then we’ll open up the polls. The winner will be decided by popular vote (see also: you). We’ll announce the winners shortly thereafter.

To nominate a case cover for the 2016 Undies:

  1. Check out the case cover gallery we have going at Design of the Picture Book (that’s right here, in the upper right of the main page) – if the case cover you want to nominate is already there, no need to nominate it again.
  2. Make sure your nomination was published in 2016.
  3. If the case cover you want to nominate is not in the gallery and was published in 2016, take a picture and send it to me at carterhiggins (at) gmail (dot) com. Put THE UNDIES in the subject line.

Anyone (including publishers) can nominate.

It’s time to recognize this unsung part of the book – what do you say?

ch1

Ellie

Ellie by Mike Wu by Mike Wu (Disney Hyperion, 2015)

Before anything else, this (full screen!):

Ellie’s endpapers start us off like this: long and lonely and barren.

Ellie by Mike Wu Ellie by Mike Wu There she is, a little hint of her. And if you want another one, take the dust jacket off to reveal the case cover.

Ellie by Mike Wu Ok.

We learn quickly why the zoo was so sullen and gray. Because the story happened visually, to start, we don’t need to linger in introductions and routines and the way of this world.

We know.

Ellie by Mike Wu Ellie by Mike Wu Ellie by Mike Wu Heartbroken.

Home.

Hope.

Ellie by Mike Wu Ellie, and a hint again, carrying something with her trunk, wishing and wanting to help.

But a small elephant isn’t a tall giraffe or a burly gorilla.

She’s just Ellie.

Ellie by Mike Wu But in that curlicue grip, that same hope.

Does she see it? Do you?

Linked by color and purpose and quite possibly definition, this happens next:

Ellie by Mike Wu Does she notice? I don’t know. I’d like to think she did.

Watching and waiting, a wise little elephant.

Ellie by Mike Wu This is the first spread without Ellie in it, without her sweet, sad eyes.

But now we get to see through them, and I’d bet a reader’s eyes do the same awe-pop that hers must be doing right now. That’s something I’m sure is true.

Ellie by Mike Wu Ellie by Mike Wu Turns out, Ellie found her thing.

And here’s where I’d recommend finding a copy of this yourself, because the final spreads are something you should see and feel through your own eyes. But be sure to notice the back endpapers and their stark difference to the front. The progress is literally told in colors.

This book is rectangular, and so open, it’s an expanse. That trim size gives the zoo a little room to breathe, to extend, to become the physicality of Ellie’s journey. There’s space in that shape, space in the story.

Mike Wu’s film background (did you notice the zookeeper’s name?) may have influenced that trim size. What we call trim size they call aspect ratio, and aspect ratios in film are far from the standard definition of once upon a time.

Maybe? I don’t know. But I’d guarantee a visual storyteller thinks of those things, and it’s for us to appreciate, to wonder about, and to call beautiful.

Ellie by Mike Wu Ok.

ch

I received a review copy of Ellie directly from the author, but all opinions are my own.

I Know a Lot of Things

I Know a Lot of Things by Ann and Paul Rand

by Ann and Paul Rand (Chronicle Books, 2009; originially published in 1956.)

I Know a Lot of Things by Ann and Paul Rand I Know a Lot of Things by Ann and Paul Rand

You might remember how much I love this pair’s Sparkle and Spin, and this one is just as playful and just as true. That case cover surprise is an a delight, and complementary-colored endpapers start this book with a bang.

I Know a Lot of Things by Ann and Paul Rand I Know a Lot of Things by Ann and Paul Rand I Know a Lot of Things by Ann and Paul Rand

Paul Rand’s graphic genius is so well-matched by the simple and spare words of his wife, Ann. The text and the pictures both glide through that magical reality of childhood. Things that might seem daunting to someone bested by time are small and accessible. Things that may seem obvious or forgettable are ripe for play and adventure.

I Know a Lot of Things by Ann and Paul Rand I Know a Lot of Things by Ann and Paul Rand

It’s a reminder to slow down, listen, and watch. The world is built of wonderful things. The big picture is as beautiful as the details.

I Know a Lot of Things by Ann and Paul Rand

Here, the sentiment is the whole of this person. I’m not sure there’s an ending more perfect, not for kids or their grownups. There’s so much more to know, but what you carry with you can stay.

ch