Monday, January 22, 2024

A BIG Congratulations to Vashti Harrison!

Today the American Library Association announced the 2024 Youth Media Awards, and author/illustrator Vashti Harrison was a BIG winner!

If you haven't yet read her gorgeous and groundbreaking picture book BIG, I hope you run to your favorite indie bookstore or local library for a copy. It's possible, however, that it will be out of stock or on loan -- not only because Vashti just won a Caldecott Medal, Coretta Scott King Author Honor, and Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor for the book but because it is, quite simply, a remarkable book! 

Ballet is part of the backdrop, but BIG is about so much more. It's a beautiful, self-affirming story for anyone who has ever received comments -- words -- that have hurt them, be those words about their size (as in this book) or about any other quality they embody. Vashti's sparse test combined with her ingenious use of size, space, and color infuse the story with so much emotion, reminding readers that self-acceptance and self-love are some of the most powerful gifts we can give to ourselves. 

BIG was published by Little, Brown and Company last May, and I picked up my copy in October while visiting friends in Portland. As I browsed the shelves of Powell's Books, I came upon a display copy with a signed print tucked inside. It was my first time in Powell's (which, by the way, is one of the most amazing bookstores ever), and finding this treasure made it a most magical experience... 

Congratulations, Vashti!

See all the 2024 Youth Media Award winners here.  

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