Arts/Culture
4:23 pm
Tue January 11, 2011

Ann Arbor illustrator wins prestigious Caldecott Medal

Erin Stead won the 2011 Caldecott Medal for her wood block and pencil illustrations in the children's book, "A Sick Day for Amos McGee." The book was written by her husband, Philip.

When Erin Stead found out she won the prestigious Caldecott Medal, she was shocked:

"I was floored. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t see this coming!"

So shocked she had to call her editor to verify the news. "A Sick Day for Amos McGee," the first book Erin Stead has illustrated, is about a zoo keeper named Amos McGee:

Friends come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. In Amos McGee’s case, all sorts of species, too! Every day he spends a little bit of time with each of his friends at the zoo, running races with the tortoise, keeping the shy penguin company, and even reading bedtime stories to the owl. But when Amos is too sick to make it to the zoo, his animal friends decide it’s time they returned the favor.

The Caldecott award is given out by the American Library Association. It doesn’t come with a cash prize, but the book will get the Caldecott Medal seal on the front cover. Stead says "it's a real honor" to be "grouped in with an enormous amount of wonderful books" that previously won the Caldecott Medal, including "Where the Wild Things Are" and "Polar Express".

Stead and her husband are collaborating on a new book about a bear called "Bear Has a Story to Tell."

To see a list of previous Caldecott Medal winners, click here.