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Children’s Book Committee at Bank Street College announces The Best Spanish Language Picture Books of the Year (2020-2021)

New York, NY—January 18, 2022—The Spanish Language Affiliate of the Children’s Book Committee at Bank Street College of Education is pleased to announce the gold and silver medalists of its Premio, Mejor Libro Infantil/Best Spanish Language Picture Book Award. Presented biennially, this award recognizes the most outstanding Spanish language picture books written or translated in 2020 or 2021.  

Because of the pandemic, the award ceremony at Bank Street’s 112th Street building will not take place this year. Acceptance videos from this year’s honorees will be posted on the Center for Children’s Literature’s Best Spanish Language Picture Book Award webpage in February at http://bit.ly/CCL-Spanish-Picture-Book-Award.

The 2022 Gold Medalist for a Book Published or Translated in 2020 or 2021

Mis dos pueblos fronterizos por David Bowles; ilustrado por Erika Meza (Kokila)
My Two Border Towns by David Bowles; illustrated by Erika Meza (Kokila)

Rhyming couplets and striking painterly illustrations tell a tale of family love and support for a community.

The jury said of the book, “It is a loving and unique portrayal of the border that is beautiful, touching, and empowering,” and “The illustrations are spot on, so detailed, so authentic, and so child-friendly.”

The 2022 Silver Medalists for Books Published or Translated in 2020 or 2021

Evelyn Del Rey se muda por Meg Medina; ilustrado por Sonia Sánchez (Candlewick)
Evelyn Del Rey Is Moving Away by Meg Medina; illustrated by Sonia Sánchez (Candlewick)

Two young girls promise to be each other’s Número Uno even though one is relocating. Vibrant, beautiful mixed-media illustrations. 

Pulpo Guisado por Eric Velasquez (Holiday House)
Octopus Stew by Eric Velasquez (Holiday House)

When an eight-armed mollusk captures grandma, Ramsey puts on his super hero cape and saves the day! Vibrant oil paint illustrations in primary colors. 

Sharuko: El arqueólogo peruano Julio C. Tello por Monica Brown; ilustrado por Elisa Chavarri (Lee & Low)
Sharuko:  Peruvian Archeologist Julio C. Tello by Monica Brown; illustrated by Elisa Chavarri (Lee & Low)

An Indigenous boy surmounts many obstacles to study the lost knowledge and history of his Incan ancestors. Detailed, gouache illustrations and endnotes. Bilingual text. 

Dr. Cynthia Weill, Director, Bank Street Center for Children’s Literature, noted that all of the contenders for the award were nominated from books that received a star on the Children’s Book Committee’s Los mejores libros infantiles en Español/The Best Children’s Picture Books of the Year in Spanish lists of works published or translated in 2020 or 2021. Apart from being exceptional literary works, these books also serve to provide readers with greater insight into Latin America, the Caribbean, Spain, or Latinx culture in the United States and are culturally authentic in text and artwork. 

First presented in 2020, the biennial award is chosen by Spanish-speaking Children’s Book Committee members, Bank Street alumni, members of the New York Public Library, and the City University of New York system. This year, REFORMA National President and Senior Denver Public Librarian Nicanor Diaz also joined as a guest juror. REFORMA, an affiliate of the American Library Association, is the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking.

“This is my first time being a judge for the Premio, Mejor Libro Infantil and it’s been such an honor and a wonderful rewarding experience. I’ve learned so much from the other panelists and have had a chance to read some amazing work. As a public librarian, I find it crucial that our shelves contain books that represent the rich diversity of our communities including books in Spanish that celebrate and preserve our culture,” said Diaz.

In early January, the Spanish Language Affiliate of the Children’s Book Committee released its 2022 edition of Los mejores libros infantiles en Español/The Best Children’s Picture Books of the Year in Spanish (for books published in 2021). Offered annually since 2017, the list is designed to guide parents, teachers, and librarians in choosing the highest quality Spanish language and bilingual picture books for children. The affiliate is made up of Spanish-speaking members of the Children’s Book Committee and Bank Street alumni working in education and libraries.

The complete list of recommended 2021 titles is available online at educate.bankstreet.edu/ccl/17.

About the Children’s Book Committee
The Children’s Book Committee was founded more than 100 years ago to help parents, teachers, and librarians choose the books that children will find captivating and transforming. Every year it produces comprehensive annotated book lists for children aged infant through 18. The Committee reviews over 6,000 titles each year for accuracy and literary quality and considers their emotional impact on children. It chooses the best 600 books, both fiction and nonfiction, which it lists with annotations according to age and category.

The Children’s Book Committee strives to guide librarians, educators, parents, grandparents, and other interested adults to the best books for children published each year. It also awards annual literary prizes in the genres of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. To learn more, visit bankstreet.edu/childrens-book-committee.

About Bank Street College of Education
Bank Street College of Education is a recognized leader in early childhood education, teacher and leader preparation, and the development of innovative practices in school systems across the country. For one hundred years, Bank Street’s focus has been improving the education of children and their teachers by applying to the education process all available knowledge about learning and growth, and by connecting teaching and learning meaningfully to the outside world. Learn more about Bank Street’s Children’s Programs, Graduate School of Education, and the Bank Street Education Center at bankstreet.edu.

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