ON THIS ONE winter week, the coming-of-age graphic novel “This One Summer” is already basking in double recognition.
Today, the book’s co-authors, cousins Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki, received word that “This One Summer” (First Second Books) has been awarded a Caldecott Honor — the first graphic novel ever to receive the nod. (The 2008 Caldecott Medal winner, “The Invention of Hugo Cabret,” is considered a “hybrid” word/picture book.)
A day earlier, the Tamakis learned that their bestselling book had received the Printz Honor.
Describing her reaction as “grateful,” Jillian Tamaki tells The Post’s Comic Riffs that “it’s great to get some recognition and encouragement in this crazy profession you’ve chosen.”
“It says that you’re on the right track. It’s wonderful,” adds the Toronto-based artist and creator of SuperMutant Magic Academy, who in November won a Governor General’s Literary Award for Children’s Illustration.
“I’m totally surprised,” Mariko Tamaki tells The Post’s Comic Riffs from her San Francisco home. “It’s funny, I didn’t have my eye on this — the Caldecott is not in my mind-set; I’m more keyed into the Governor General’s Award — not so much things like this.” (That latter award is presented by the Governor General of Canada; Mariko and Jillian are native Canadians.)
“I did not anticipate having this happen, so it was very nice,” says Mariko, who in 2008 received a Governor General “text category” nomination for her previous collaboration with her cousin: the Eisner-nominated “Skim.”
[COMING SOON: A closer look at “This One Summer"]
The only other graphic novel ever to receive a Printz Honor is Gene Luen Yang‘s “American Born Chinese” (2006).
“This One Summer,” a tale of two teen girls that’s set in a fictional Ontario town, also has received the Ignatz Award for Outstanding Graphic Novel, at last fall’s Small Press Expo in suburban Washington’s.
The Printz Award, which recognizes excellence in young adult literature, is sponsored by the American Library Association publication Booklist. The Caldecott Medal honors distinguished American picture books for children.
“The Caldecott Award is the highest honor a picture book can receive, and the Printz has the same place in young adult literature,” First Second editorial director Mark Siegel says in a statement. “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.”
The American Library Association announced its youth media award winners today during its Midwinter Meeting in Chicago.
The Caldecott Medal was awarded to “The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend” (Little, Brown), written and illustrated by Dan Santat.
The Newbery Medal for outstanding contribution to children’s literature was awarded to “The Crossover” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), by Kwame Alexander. One of the two Newbery Honor books was a graphic novel: “El Deafo” (Amulet), written and illustrated by the Virginia-based Cece Bell.
The ALA’s Coretta Scott King Book Awards, which recognize an African American author and an illustrator of outstanding youth books, went to author Jacqueline Woodson for “Brown Girl Dreaming” (Nancy Paulsen Books) and illustrator Christopher Myers for “Firebird” (G.P. Putnam’s Sons).
The Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award New Talent Author Award went to Jason Reynolds for “When I Was the Greatest” (Athenum). The Coretta Scott King/Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement went to Deborah D. Taylor, whose public-service career started four decades ago at Baltimore’s Enoch Pratt Free Library.
The Carnegie Medal for excellence in children’s video went to Paul R. Gagne and Melissa Reilly Ellard of Weston Woods Studios, whose “Me…Jane” was called a “transcendent adaptation” of the 2012 Caldecott Honor book of the same title by “Mutts” creator Patrick McDonnell.