Chris's Blog Archive

Congratulations Melissa Sweet!

Monday March 16, 2009

On Saturday, March 14th, I attended a party for my good friend and fellow author/illustrator, Melissa Sweet. Melissa (who lives about five minutes from my house) recently won a Caldecott Honor for her book, A River of Words, a picture book biography of the poet William Carlos Williams, written by Jen Bryant. The Caldecott Medal is awarded each year by the American Library Association to the artist of the most distinguished picture book for children. For an illustrator, it’s like winning an Oscar.

dsc02863If you haven’t seen the book, it’s stunningly beautiful. Melissa took a story that I think would be a tough subject to illustrate and turned it into a visual gem. Her watercolor and collage illustrations are rich and textural and the ephemera she incorporates into the pictures relates perfectly to the theme of poets and poetry. Her originals were on display at the party and they sparkled!

Several local author/illustrators attended to offer their congratulations as well as families with small children. Here I’m pictured with Melissa (center) and Cynthia Lord, author of Rules, a 2007 Newbery Honor book. It was a fun way to spend the afternoon, catching up with peers, and celebrating a well deserved award. Way to go Melissa!