Orange Marmalade’s Juicy Book Awards!

For the sheer fun of it, this year I decided to present the first ever, Orange Marmalade Book Awards.

orange marmalade

I’m calling them the Juicies. Years from now, authors and illustrators will await the Annual Orange Marmalade Juicy (OMJ) announcement with bated breath.  Author blurbs will drip with references: “Twice awarded an Orange Marmalade Juicy!” “Winner of the coveted OMJ award!” I can see it all…

Fact: I should never be on a book award committee. Narrowing down the 2015 books I’ve read this year to arrive at my top favorites; shaving the last titles oh-so-painfully off my lists…Sheesh! If I had to do this for an the library illustration detail by david smallAward that Actually Counts for Something, I would be a wreck.

Mostly, I wanted to draw attention to books that epitomize the core values on my blog. I added a few extra categories so I could squeeze in (did you catch the pun?) a few more titles. Many books I adore are sadly missing here because otherwise…it would just turn back into my whole blog.

All of these are linked to my initial review.

And now, without further ado, I give you (insert drum roll)

The 2015 Orange Marmalade Juicy Books Awards


special delivery cover image copy

The Juiciest: Special Delivery
Philip C. Stead and Matthew Cordell/Roaring Brook Press
Love the plausibility of imagination here and the fact that Great-Aunt Josephine is clearly just as imaginative as young Sadie. Matthew Cordell’s loving, quirky interpretation of the story is merely perfect.

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Oh-So-Juicy: Dory and the Real True Friend
Abby Hanlon/Dial Books

tell me what to dream about

Oh-So-Juicy: Tell Me What to Dream About
Giselle Potter/Schwartz & Wade

Outdoor Play

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The Juiciest: Water is Water
Miranda Paul and Jason Chin/Roaring Brook Press
The depiction of the water cycle is creative; the racially-diverse kids occupied in many, lovely outdoor pursuits make it the juiciest.

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Oh-So-Juicy: No Yeti Yet
Mary Ann Fraser/Peter Pauper Press

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Oh-So-Juicy: My Wilderness: An Alaskan Adventure
Claudia McGehee/Little Bigfoot

Cultural Diversity

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The Juiciest: Over the Hills and Far Away
Elizabeth Hammill, editor/Candlewick
A plethora of voices and origins, accompanied by exuberantly diverse illustrations brings cultural diversity to the very youngest of listeners. 

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Oh-So-Juicy: I’m New Here
Anne Sibley O’Brien/Charlesbridge

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Oh-So-Juicy: The World in a Second
Isabel Minhós Martins and Bernardo Carvalho/Enchanted Lion Books

Quiet Books

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The Juiciest: How the Sun Got to Coco’s House
Bob Graham/Candlewick
Pondering the unsung journey of sunlight, the unfathomable vastness of the world it touches, then bringing us home with the intimacy of an awakening family — brilliant.

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Oh-So-Juicy: Sun and Moon
Lindsey Yankey/Simply Read Books

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Oh-So-Juicy: Pool
Jihyeon Lee/Chronicle Books


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The Juiciest: Last Stop on Market Street
Matt De La Peña and Christian Robinson/G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
This glorious grandmother, rich in wisdom and love, gently calls us to help others rather than focus on our own troubles. Robinson’s art knocks this one out of the ballpark. Probably my favorite book of the year. 

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Oh-So-Juicy: The House that Jane Built
Tanya Lee Stone and Kathryn Brown/Henry Holt and Co.

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Oh-So-Juicy: Sidewalk Flowers
JonArno Lawson and Sydney Smith/Groundwood Books

Love for the Earth

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The Juiciest: Small Wonders: Jean-Henri Fabre & His World of Insects
Matthew Clark Smith and Giuliano Ferri/Two Lions
Making entomology a thing of beauty is no small feat, yet Smith and Ferri accomplish it magnificently.

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Oh-So-Juicy: The Blue Whale
Jenni Desmond/Enchanted Lion Books

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Oh-So-Juicy: Creaturepedia
Adrienne Barman/Wide Eyed Editions

And a few additional awards:

Favorite new Civil Rights read:

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Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom
Elspeth Leacock, Susan Buckley, Lynda Blackmon Lowery, and PJ Loughran/Dial Books

Pluckiest chicken farmer:

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Sonya’s Chickens
Phoebe Wahl/Tundra Books

Tenderest glimpse of family:

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Adventures with Waffles
Maria Parr, Kate Forrester, and Guy Puzey/Candlewick

Best come-uppance for a selfish giant:

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Imelda and the Goblin King
Briony May Smith/Flying Eye Books

Most perfect, fresh blanket of snow:

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Sam Usher/Templar

The you-just-let-a-million-home-schooled-kids-see-themselves-in-a-book award:

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This is My Home, This is My School
Jonathan Bean/Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Jolliest snacks:

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Detective Gordon: The First Case
Ulf Nilsson and Gitte Spee/Gecko Press

Cutest postal worker:

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Mr. Postmouse’s Rounds
Marianne Dubuc/Kids Can Press

Best old book I discovered this year — it’s a tie:

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The Hollow Land
Jane Gardam/Europa Editions

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Terrible, Horrible Edie
E.C. Spykman/New York Review Children’s Collection

Silliest Underwear Story:
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Vegetables in Underwear
Jared Chapman/Harry N. Abrams