March Madness R2

Well, we’ve made it through round one of the March Picture Book Madness competition. Tons of fun so far and SO difficult to choose winners from all of these fantastic books.

Without further ado, here are the results of Round 1 and the brackets for Round 2 along with a bit of analysis based on voting.

BRACKET 1

Best Frints in the Whole Universe, by Antoinette Portis

Are We There Yet? by Dan Santat

WINNER = Best Frints in the Whole Universe

All the matchups were close, but this one was absolutely down to the WIRE. People who voted for Frints loved the quirkiness, the made-up words and the humor. People who voted for Are We There Yet loved its originality, interactivity, and closing message. In the end, I think it came down to which had the most votes at closing time.

BRACKET 2

This is Not a Picture Book, by Sergio Ruzzier

The Journey, by Francesca Sanna

WINNER = The Journey

Voters loved the fact that This is Not a Picture Book reveals the “magic” of reading in a delightful and unexpected way. They also loved the humor. The Journey, depicting life of immigrants/refugees, was lyrical and timely. The Journey won out due to its importance given current global events.

BRACKET 3

Drum, Dream Girl, by Margarita Engle

The Night Gardener, by the Fan Brothers

WINNER = The Night Gardener

Voters were unanimous that both of these books are stunning works of art. Those who voted for Drum, Dream Girl loved that it featured a real person, a strong female protagonist, and the healing power of music. The Night Gardener won out due to its stunning illustrations, originality, and whimsicality. People loved that it was such a visual story.

BRACKET 4

One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree, by Daniel Bernstrom

Du Iz Tak, by Carson Ellis

Voters had strong feelings on this matchup. With Du Iz Tak, they either loved everything about it (see my thoughts here), as I did, or found it a bit taxing as read-aloud. Voters either LOVED the rhythm and playfulness of Eucalyptus, or found it a little bit off. Lots of love and support for both books.

WINNER = Du Iz Tak

BRACKET 5

School’s First Day of School, by Adam Rex

Thunder Boy Jr., by Sherman Alexie

WINNER = School’s First Day of School

Got a lot of complaints about this matchup because many people wanted to vote for both! One voter said she needed to sleep on it. 🙂 Voters loved that Thunder Boy had so much depth while retaining humor and was so relatable for many kids. Another point in its favor was the focus on the father/son relationship. For School’s First Day of School, voters were won over by the unusual combination of first-person POV attached to an anthropomorphized inanimate object. SFDS breaks a lot of rules in Picture Book writing, and does so with aplomb.

BRACKET 6

Best in Snow, by April Pulley Sayre

The Bear and the Piano, by David Litchfield

WINNER = The Bear and the Piano

Best in Snow voters loved the stunning photographs, the lyricism, and the fact that it is nonfiction that appeals to younger readers. Voters who chose The Bear and the Piano said it had a huge heart. BEAR made quite a few people cry, in fact. They also loved how the Bear found his calling and thus, himself.

BRACKET 7

We Found a Hat, by Jon Klassen

Chicken in Space, by Adam Lerhaupt

WINNER = We Found a Hat

I suppose this wasn’t a fair matchup given the immense popularity of Klassen’s “Hat” trilogy. Voters appreciated this kinder, gentler, conclusion to the hat series. Yay to Klassen for surprising us! Folks loved the, well, “folksy” nature of Chicken in Space and the “plucky” main character. 🙂

BRACKET 8

Pink is for Blobfish, by Jess Keating

Leave Me Alone! by Vera Brosgol

WINNER = Leave Me Alone!

Whew! Strong opinions on both sides here too, as these books are SO different from one another and each spectacular in its own way. Pink is for Blobfish voters commented on its genius way of making nonfiction appeal to both male and female readers, the humor infused and all of the research and fun facts that went into it. Leave Me Alone was a Caldecott Honor book and also a rule-breaker, with an elderly main character. The fact that her journey was so preposterous and humorous tipped the vote to LMA.

So, we are now on to Round 2. To vote on any bracket, you MUST read both books in that bracket. If you’ve only read one (or none), just skip voting for that bracket. Here are the second round books and brackets in case you can’t see them on the image.

BRACKET 1

Best Frints in the Whole Universe, by Antoinette Portis

The Journey, by Francesca Sanna

BRACKET 2

The Night Gardener, by the Fan Brothers

Du Iz Tak, by Carson Ellis

BRACKET 3

School’s First Day of School, by Adam Rex

The Bear and the Piano, by David Litchfield

BRACKET 4

We Found a Hat, by Jon Klassen

Leave Me Alone! by Vera Brosgol

As with Round 1, the voting for each round will take place on the 12 x 12 Facebook group. Discussions about the books and rationale for voting one way or the other will be held on the 12 x 12 Forum. Once the voting is complete, I will post the winners here on the blog along with some analysis from our discussions. At that time, I’ll launch the next round.

The remaining schedule is as follows:

 

Round 2 Launch: March 14

Round 2 Reading: March 14 – 19

Round 2 Voting: March 17 – 19

Launch Round 3: March 20

Round 3 Reading: March 20 – 25

Round 3 Voting: March 24 – 26

Launch Round 4: March 27

Round 4 Reading: March 27 – 30

Round 4 Voting: March 29  – 30

Winner Announced! March 31

Ready, Set, READ!

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