The 2013 Giverny Awardwinner is this 36-page children's picture book: Green byLaura Vaccaro Seeger--who is both its author and its illustrator. The publisher is Roaring Brook Press, New York, NY. It was published in 2012. A description of the winning book may be found beneath the image of the book's cover.
Green (c) 2012 by author LVS; book's cover image used with permission
This book differs from our other award-winners in its atypical, yet elegantly creative, story-telling approach. It's a simple book of natural objects that will interest a budding naturalist or scientist visually--as prompted by a scant 32 words of carefully crafted text. Although at first glance the book seems aimed mainly at young children, it can actually be appreciated by the full age-range of a traditional children's picture book audience--ages 4 to 8. Why? Because its complexity and nuances expand as the reader's experiences and age increase. The "Science Process Skills" are basic skills are used by scientists to explore the natural world--observation, communication, classification, measurement, inference, and prediction. We think this book indirectly calls for using many of them. The main character in this book is a boy. We see him, after a significant amount of time has elapsed, as a father accompanied by his daughter (clue that it's the same person: the barn in the background is the same one). It's what has changed in the interval between his two book-conveyed images that carries the message. The color "green' has obviously (both optically & artistically) pervaded his 'observation life' in the natural world--a panorama of environmental green hues stimulates the book's viewer to think deeply about the natural world and to see the delicious subtleties of color--such as wondering: What might make a zebra look green? The vivid biological imagery and perspective in this "children's literature gem" was created by illustrator-author Laura Ann Vaccaro Seeger via thick acrylic paints deftly placed on textured backgrounds. Each new die-cut hole piercing the book's pages connects one shade of 'living green" to another. The child is visually stimulated to ponder how a world without green appears, as well. Like all puzzling but educationally powerful works, this book will likely make use of multiple readings, viewings, and parental conversations to reach an environmentally conscious conclusion such as this: The boy's role (and, by implication, the reader's) is to 'keep the green going." On Planet Earth, GREEN is life.