We found ourselves at the annual Reading Roundup hosted by the Maine State Library last month. Instead of attending solely as a vendor there to supply books to librarians lucky enough to have a purchasing budget from their schools, we had the additional pleasure of being there to support three of our talented book makers who each won awards for which every book maker in Maine longs.
The Katahdin Award for Lifetime Achievement: Cathryn Falwell!
The Lupine Award for Best Children’s Book of the Year: Island Birthday!
“Inspired by Miss Rumphius, the classic Maine children’s book character who plants lupines across the state, the Maine state librarians honor children’s books each spring with the Lupine Award. This year the Lupine Award honored the picture book ISLAND BIRTHDAY by Matinicus Island author Eva Murray, illustrated by Peaks Island’s Jamie Hogan and published by Tilbury House Publishers in Thomaston.
“As a Maine publisher, we have an automatic affinity for stories that portray the uniqueness of life in Maine,” says Tris Coburn of Tilbury House Publishers, “it’s not often that we get the chance to share that story from the perspective of a child growing up in one of Maine’s purest forms: island life. This book reminds us of the importance of a shared upbringing, of a communal experience, and the impact each of us has on another, no matter our age or circumstances.”
In Eva Murray’s picture book ISLAND BIRTHDAY (Tilbury House Publishers, 2015), Riley’s birthday is coming, but the mail plane with his gifts from the mainland has been unable to fly for days because of bad weather. Riley makes the rounds amongst his neighbors, eventually realizing that everything he needs for a great birthday is already right at hand. Murray has depicted what Maine islands are really about – community.
Eva Murray’s books for adults, ISLAND SCHOOLHOUSE: ONE ROOM FOR ALL and WELL OUT TO SEA: YEAR-ROUND ON MATINICUS ISLAND (Tilbury House), open a window into island life. When Murray wanted to open her world to young readers, she brought Tilbury House Publishers a picture book manuscript. When it came time to illustrate Murray’s manuscript, Tilbury House editor Audrey Maynard turned to another Maine islander, illustrator Jamie Hogan.
“Both islands possess a raw beauty that inspires me,” said Jamie Hogan, while accepting the Lupine Award.
Eva Murray recalls visitors to Matinicus Island asking how her children, who enjoyed the same freedoms as Riley in ISLAND BIRTHDAY, would survive in the “real world.” Again and again, Eva Murray reminds island visitors and now young readers, that is does not get more real than living 20 miles out to sea relying on your neighbors and your own ingenuity.”
Note: Text taken from the official press releases