By MOTOKO RICH writing in the New York Times, January 26, 2009
Neil Gaiman, a renowned author of science fiction, fantasy, graphic novels and comics aimed at adults, won the John Newbery Medal for the year’s most outstanding contribution to children’s literature on Monday.
Beth Krommeswon the Caldecott Medal for her art in “The House in the Night,” below, by Susan Marie Swanson.
The association, which conferred the medal at its midwinter meeting in Denver, also awarded the Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children to Beth Krommes, who illustrated “The House in the Night,” a book written by Susan Marie Swanson.
“I had thought that’s nice, there are books that are best sellers and books that are winners,” Mr. Gaiman said. “Very often, the world of award judges, and I think rightly, use their magical judging powers to try to bring books to the attention of the world that might not have otherwise been noticed.”
The selection of Mr. Gaiman’s book, which has already sold 71,000 copies, according to Nielsen BookScan, which tracks about 70 percent of retail sales, would seem to reverse a trend of the past few years when critics accused the Newbery committee of selecting books that had a tough time finding an audience among children.