Best Children's Book of the Year (2009)

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book is the story of a boy named Nobody who is raised by spirits in a cemetery and is hunted by a killer. The book's illustrations are comic book-like in style and match the story's dramatic, mysterious feel.

The Graveyard Book is written by best selling author Neil Gaiman who also wrote the book Coraline. The Graveyard Book won the 2009 Newbery Medal and was on the New York Times Best-Sellers List for over 50 weeks.

The book has eight chapters and is 312 pages long. It is recommended for children between the ages of 7 to 12 (grades 3 to 6).


Best Picture Book - Year 2009

The House in the Night illustrated by Beth Krommes, written by Susan Marie Swanson

The House in the Night

The House in the Night is a wonderful picturebook for children under 8. It is illustrated using scratchboard, a technique where the artist scratches the surface of clay that has been coated with black ink. This produces intricately detailed drawings of black and white where literally hundreds of scratches produce the effect of lines and shadows. Each page contains numerous figures, some highlighted in gold, that can capture a child's interest. Even I am wrapt by the images. Beyond the pictures, the prose is also engaging and was inspired by an old nursery rhyme. It follows a rhythmic, sequential pattern starting with "Here is the key to the house", "In the house burns a light", then unwinds by reversing the pattern. The House in the Night won the 2009 Caldecott Medal. Children under 4 will certainly enjoy having this read to them, and children 4 to 8 can enjoy reading it themselves. It is 40 pages long.