This combination of cover images shows, from left, "When You Trap a Tiger," winner of the John Newbery Medal for the outstanding children's book overall of 2020, "We Are Water Protectors," written by Carol Lindstrom and illustrated by Michaela Goade, winner of the Randolph Caldecott Medal for best children's picture story and "Before the Ever After" by Jacqueline Woodson, who won her third Coretta Scott King Award for best work by a Black author. (Random House Books for Young Readers/Roaring Brook Press/Nancy Paulsen Books via AP)

Goade becomes first Native American to win Caldecott Medal

Goade becomes first Native American to win Caldecott Medal

NEW YORK — Illustrator Michaela Goade became the first Native American to win the prestigious Randolph Caldecott Medal for best children’s picture story, cited for “We Are Water Protectors,” a celebration of nature and condemnation of the “black snake” Dakota Access Pipeline.

“I am really honoured and proud,” the 30-year-old Goade told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. “I think it’s really important for young people and aspiring book makers and other creative people to see this.”

Tae Keller’s chapter book “When You Trap a Tiger,” in which a young Korean-American explores her identity through her grandmother’s stories, won the John Newbery Medal for the outstanding children’s work overall of 2020. Keller, who was raised in Hawaii and now lives in New York, drew upon Korean folklore and family history for “When You Trap a Tiger,” also named the year’s best Asian/Pacific American literature.

Jacqueline Woodson, whose previous honours include a National Book Award, won her third Coretta Scott King Award for best work by a Black author for “Before the Ever After.” And a tribute to Aretha Franklin, “R-E-S-P-E-C-T,” received the King award for best illustration. The book was written by Carole Boston Weatherford, with images by Frank Morrison.

The awards were announced Monday by the American Library Association.

“We Are Water Protectors,” written by Carole Lindstrom, was conceived in response to the planned construction of the Dakota pipeline through Standing Rock Sioux territory. Goade, a member of the Tlingit and Haida Indian tribes in Southeast Alaska, was sent a copy of the manuscript through her agent in 2018 and responded immediately to its political message and message of water as a universal force.

“I love how it balanced lyricism and poetry with a powerful message,” says Goade, who used everything from watercolours to Gouache paint as she conjured moods ranging from the water’s sensual blue waves to the harsh black of the snake/pipeline and the burning red of the snake’s tongue.

The Newbery medal was established in 1922, the Caldecott in 1937. Goade, whose other books include “Encounter,” is the first Native American to win in either category. Her next book is the picture story “I Sang You Down from the Stars,” a collaboration with author Tasha Spillett-Sumner that comes out in April.

Daniel Nayeri’s “Everything Sad Is Untrue (a true story)” won the Michael L. Printz Award for best young adult novel, and Mildred D. Taylor, known for “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry” among other works, was given a “Literature Legacy” award.

Kekla Magoon, who has written or co-written “X: A Novel” and “How It Went Down,” won a lifetime achievement award for young adult books.

Ernesto Cisneros’ “Efrén Divided” won the Pura Belpré prize for outstanding Latinx author. Raul Gonzalez’s “Vamos! Let’s Go Eat” received the Belpré award for illustration. The Stonewall Book Award for best LGBT literature was given to Archaa Shrivastav for “We Are Little Feminists: Families.”

____

On the Internet: ala.org.

Hillel Italie, The Associated Press

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