Such a big year for picture book biographies! Congratulations to Carmen Oliver on winning the Writers’ League of Texas Picture Book Award with Building an Orchestra of Hope: How Favio Chavez Taught Children to Make Music from Trash.

I’m proud to have Moving Forward: From Space-Age Rides to Civil Rights Sit-Ins with Airman Alton Yates among the finalists, alongside three other biographies — that’s right, bios made a clean sweep of the picture book category!

Congratulations to my fellow finalists Carrie Fountain (The Poem Forest: Poet W.S. Merwin and the Palm Tree Forest He Grew from Scratch), Robyn McGrath (Dolly! The Story of Dolly Parton and Her Big Dream), and Christina Soontornvat (A Life of Service: The Story of Senator Tammy Duckworth).

(What a gathering it would be to have Favio Chavez, Alton Yates, W.S. Merwin, Dolly Parton, and Senator Duckworth at the same dinner table…)

Congrats as well to Melissa Coffey, whose debut — Fridge-opolis — won the Picture Book Discovery Prize, and to Jennifer Ziegler (a.k.a. My Favorite Author in the Whole Wide World) for her Worser being a Middle Grade/Young Adult Finalist, and to all of the honored authors across all five categories!