Caldecott Honor Artist Noa Denmon

Happy Sunday! I am launching my seventh annual Caldecott series today. Hooray! 

Click here to watch the 2021 ALA Youth Media Awards press conference. 

I asked Michaela Goade, Noa Denmon, Yuko Shimizu, Cozbi A. Cabrera, and Cindy Derby to answer two questions and finish two sentence starters. First up is Noa Denmon. 

Hello, Noa Denmon! Congratulations on winning a 2021 Caldecott Honor for A Place Inside of Me: A Poem to Heal the Heart. I love learning about the CALL. What was running through your heart when the Caldecott committee was clapping and cheering for you?

Noa Denmon: I couldn’t believe what was happening; since this is my first children’s book, I had no idea to expect a phone call with the Caldecott results until a few hours earlier when my author gave me a heads-up! When I heard the jury cheering and clapping, I felt so honored, excited and shocked! What an opportunity, I never could have predicted this.
What does receiving a Caldecott Honor for A Place Inside of Me: A Poem to Heal the Heart mean to you?

Noa Denmon: It gives me a huge swell of excitement and confidence in working on future projects!

A Place Inside of Me is so unique I wasn’t sure how it would do when shown to the public. When I took this on I thought so much about how Zetta’s writing this doesn’t feel like any children’s book I’ve read before, it's completely original, it's poetic, it's bold. I was excited to be working with something so fresh and as it was my debut, such an open text made me break the mold in a lot of ways with the art! I felt like I was able to pull from references in paintings, and editorial spreads rather than the traditional children’s books that I loved so much growing up.

I am so excited for the award given because I am excited to see where children’s books will go after this. I am excited to see the publishing world encourage books that are complete originals, especially stories told about children of color!

Please finish the following sentence starters:

Picture books are collaborative and communicative. They are an artistic expression of words and emotions put on a page! They work to capture the audience in a story.

School libraries are instrumental in our creative development and independence! My school libraries, especially in middle and elementary school, provided a space for me to make independent decisions about my education. It gave me a space to engage those weird questions in the back of my brain and to be curious!

Congratulations, Noa! 

Noa Denmon is a Philadelphia-based artist and illustrator. She is a graduate of The University of the Arts with a BFA in illustration, and an MAT in arts and teaching. She loves patterns, pups, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a great cup of coffee, and all spicy foods. This is her first picture book.

Borrow A Poem Inside of Me: A Poem to Heal the Heart from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops. 

Macmillan's Description:

From award-winning author Zetta Elliott and rising star illustrator Noa Denmon comes a beautiful #OwnVoices poetic picture book about a brown child discovering and accepting their emotional landscape.

There is a place inside of me
a space deep down inside of me
where all my feelings hide.

In this powerful, affirming poem by award-winning author Zetta Elliott, a Black child explores his shifting emotions throughout the year. Summertime is filled with joy—skateboarding and playing basketball—until his community is deeply wounded by a police shooting. As fall turns to winter and then spring, fear grows into anger, then pride and peace.

In her stunning debut, illustrator Noa Denmon articulates the depth and nuances of a child’s experiences following a police shooting—through grief and protests, healing and community—with washes of color as vibrant as his words.

Here is a groundbreaking narrative that can help all readers—children and adults alike—talk about the feelings hiding deep inside each of us.


Popular Posts