Among the 2015 Caldecott Medal and Honor Books announced this week is This One Summer, the coming-of-age graphic novel by cousins Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki, published by First Second Books. This One Summer is the first graphic novel to be awarded the Caldecott Honor, one of the most prestigious awards for children’s picture books. (While The Invention of Hugo Cabret won the Caldecott Medal in 2008, it was considered a “hybrid” word/picture book.)
This One Summer also received the Printz Honor, only the second graphic novel to do so after Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese.
Native Canadians, the Tamakis seemed taken by surprise by their win. “I did not anticipate having this happen, so it was very nice,” Mariko told The Washington Post. Jillian told the newspaper, “[I]t’s great to get some recognition and encouragement in this crazy profession you’ve chosen. It says that you’re on the right track.”
Addressing both awards, First Second editorial director Mark Siegel said, “The great librarians on these committees prove over and over how vital these awards are, and how far we have come since the days when comics were disqualified from the literary conversation.”
Congratulations to Jillian and Mariko Tamaki and to First Second Books!