The Golden Fuse Awards - 2006
2006 was a wonderful year. For one thing, I started this blog and that seems to have been a very good decision. So it seems only fair that today we tip our hats in a very special way to those '06 books that caught my eye one way or another. I'm not going for the usual "best book" category with this award. Let's goof it up, people! It's time for the GOLDEN FUSE AWARDS 2006.
Best Cover of the Year
THE WINNER: The Palace of Laughter by Jon Berkeley - Nobody can resist it. It's how a cover should really be done.
RUNNER-UP: The Book of Everything by Guus Kuijer - I think Cheryl Klein gets a lot of credit for this one. It's seriously beautiful and faithful to the story as well.
Best Book With the Worst Cover
THE WINNER: Homefront by Doris Gwaltney - A really remarkable story of love and forgiveness told during WWII. The cover, however, looks as if it sports the image of a 40-year-old woman. It also loses points for the sepia.
RUNNER-UP: The Highland Fling by Kathleen Ernst - A fun story of competition and teen angst. The cover? Something the publisher obviously didn't care enough about. Compare this cover to Ernst's other book this year Heart of Stone and tell me she didn't deserve better from Cricket Books.
RUNNER-UP: Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett. I don't care what anyone says. This CGI claptrap doesn't even work. Look at her hands and look at the way in which that gigantic Wee Free Man is standing on them. It doesn't make sense, it looks cheap, and the first time I saw it I thought it was a poorly made ARC cover that would be replaced by the real image later. Kvetch kvetch kvetch. Bring back Chris Gall!
Most Misleading Cover
THE WINNER: The Floating Island by Elizabeth Haydon. Pretty dragon, eh? Number of dragons you meet in the book: Zippo. A nice book but just a teensy bit misleading.
RUNNER-UP: Weedflower by Cynthia Kadohata. A beautiful cover, but why in the world did they put the main character in a kimono? Remember how she hides it away so that no one will find it? And I certainly don't recall her wearing it in the internment camp. Hmmm...
Most Similar Covers
Semiprecious by D. Anne Love
Defining Dulcie by Paul Acampora
Best Unappreciated Picture Book of the Year
THE WINNER: When You Were Small by Sara O'Leary
RUNNER-UP: Beach by Elisha Cooper
Best Read-Aloud/Storytime Picture Book
THE WINNER: Chickens To the Rescue by John Himmelman
RUNNER-UP: I'm Not Cute by Nicholas Allen
Best Wordless Picture Book
THE WINNER: Flotsam by David Wiesner
RUNNER-UP: Once Upon a Banana by Jennifer Armstrong, illustrated by David Small
Best Villain of the Year
THE WINNER: Stephen Rose of Clay by David Almond
RUNNER-UP: Hyacinth Hawthorne of A Drowned Maiden's Hair by Laura Amy Schlitz
Most Excessive Use of Violence In a Children's Book
THE WINNER: The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
RUNNER-UP: Crispin: At the Edge of the World by Avi
Best Pop-Up Book of the Year
THE WINNER: Mommy by Maurice Sendak and Matthew Reinhart
RUNNER-UP: Blue 2 by David Carter
THE WINNER: Enola Holmes and the Case of the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer
RUNNER-UP: Kiki Strike by Kirsten Miller (it does TOO count!)
Best Stand Alone Sequel
THE WINNER: A True and Faithful Narrative by Katherine Sturtevant
RUNNER-UP: Voices by Ursula LeGuin
Best Translated Picture Book
THE WINNER: Learning To Fly by Sebastian Meschenmoser
RUNNER-UP: Anthony and the Girls by Ole Konnecke
Best Translated Work of Fiction
THE WINNER: The Book of Everything by Guus Kuijer
RUNNER-UP: Sheep and Goat by Marleen Westera
Looks like the Dutch really swept this category this year.
Best Crazy Trend
THE WINNER: Stealing/missing shadows. As found in Jackie and the Shadow Snatcher, Charlie Bone and the Hidden King, The Shadow Thieves, and Peter and the Shadow Stealers.
RUNNER-UP: Sentient cheese. As found in Wintersmith AND Here Be Monsters.
Best Fantasy Trend
THE WINNER: Meeting the ferryman on the River Styx. Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett, The Shadow Thieves by Anne Ursu, and Corydon and the Island of the Monsters by Tobia Druitt
Best Historical Fiction Trend
THE WINNER: Getting your arm/hand mangled by a mechanical something as found in Penny From Heaven and One-Handed Catch
RUNNER-UP: Polio - It's gonna get you if you swim in a lake. Don't believe me? Just check out Blue, The Wonder Kid, and Penny From Heaven.
RUNNER-UP: Digging a fall-out shelter as found in The Wonder Kid by George Harrar, House of the Red Fish by Graham Salisbury, The Loud Silence of Francine Green by Karen Cushman.
Best Coincidental Trend
THE WINNER: Bad Mothers That Name Their Children After Semiprecious Jewels Then Abandon Them. As found in I’ll Sing You One-O by Nan Gregory (Garnet & Gemma) and Semiprecious by D. Anne Love (Ruby & Opal)
The "Kids Really Want To Read About This?" Trend
THE WINNER: Ships are apparently lots of fun as found in Black Duck by Janet Taylor Lisle, Hero of the High Seas: John Paul Jones and the American Revolution – Michael L. Cooper (Cooper #1), House of the Red Fish by Graham Salisbury, Victory by Susan Cooper (Cooper #2), and The Floating Island by Elizabeth Haydon
Books That Mentioned That Pluto Was a Planet:
Star Jumper: Journal of a Cardboard Genius by Frank Asch
Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life by Wendy Mass
For more Trends check out what Gail Gauthier also found.
Next year we'll add some of the standard Best Book/Worst Book/Most Overrated Book categories. This year, I like the kooky categories.