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2000 NATIONAL OUTDOOR BOOK AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED
Kristin Hostetter is a judge with an outdoor bent. A outdoor book judge that is. And when it came to judging the Children's Category in the National Outdoor Book Awards, she went right to the source: children.
Kristin, from Seattle and an editor with Backpacker Magazine, tried out the books at her son's day care center, judging their reactions as the books were read. Most of the other judges in the contest did much the same: reading the books to their children or grandchildren.
And so who won the children's category? Kristin and her fellow judges gave top honors to two books.
The first is Ann Dixon's Blueberry Shoe, a sweet and tender tale about a baby's shoe which is lost while a family is picking blueberries. Filled with colorful and enchanting illustrations and marvelously written, it's a book that will delight children and reassure their sense of belonging to the natural world.
The other winner is Jellies: The Life of Jellyfish. Full of color photographs and written by Twig C. George, the book helps make science appeal to the minds and hearts of children.
Blueberry and Jellies are two of twelve books which were honored at a special evening ceremony of the International Conference on Outdoor Recreation and Education. This year's conference was held at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio on November 9. NOBA is the largest and most prestigious national award program for authors and publishers of outdoor books. It is sponsored by the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education and Idaho State University.
Other 2000 winners include The Wildest Dream: The Biography of George Mallory by Peter and Leni Gillman. Lots of books have been written about the legendary Mallory who disappeared in the mists of Everest in 1924, but no book has captured Mallory's character as well as this one has.
The winner of the Literature Category is Celtic Tides by Chris Duff. The book is a vivid and moving account of the first ever circumnavigation of Ireland by sea kayak.
Two books won the Nature and Environment category. One by Terry Grosz is Wildlife Wars: The Life and Times of a Fish and Game Warden, an absorbing story of one man's 30-year struggle to protect wildlife in America.
The other is Penguin Planet by Kevin Schafer. It is a beautifully written and photographed book of some of the most endearing creatures in all of nature.
Taking the top award in the Design and Artistic Merit is Bradford Washburn Mountain Photography. This large format book with exquisitely reproduced black and white photographs, represents the life-work of the famous explorer, scientist and cartographer Bradford Washburn.
The winner of the instructional category is The National Outdoor Leadership School's Wilderness Guide. By Mark Harvey, this is a backpacker's handbook filled with practical and well-tempered advice about equipment, planning, clothing, traveling, navigation, and safety.
Guide to Marine Mammals & Turtles was the judge's favorite for the Nature Guidebook Category. Extraordinarily well done and easy-to-use, it's the guide of choice for identifying marine animals while traveling the coastal waters of the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.
Winner of the Outdoor Adventure Guidebook Category is Guide to Sea Kayaking Central and Northern California. The book is so well written that even non-paddlers will enjoy reading it.
Honorable mention in the Outdoor Adventure Guidebook Category went to Montana and Idaho's Continental Divide Trail, a guidebook filled with full-color photos, great graphics, and eminently usable maps for hikers and mountain bikers.
The Outdoor Classic Award was won by Aldo Leopold's Sand County Almanac. This was a no-brainer for the judges: Sand County Almanac is simply one of the great works of nature literature. Leopold's book was first published over 50 years ago, but his words and insights are as fresh as ever.
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Children's Book Category. First Winner: Blueberry Shoe
This sweet and tender tale is about a baby's shoe which is lost while a family is picking blueberries. A wondrous scene unfolds as a sequence of creatures come along and sleep and play with the shoe. One, a bear, even thinks he might eat the shoe. Filled with colorful and enchanting illustrations and marvelously written, it's a book that will delight children and reassure their sense of belonging to the natural world. (For ages 4-8).
Children's Book Category. Second Winner: Jellies: The Life of Jellyfish
Beautifully photographed, Jellies is an extraordinary book which manages to make science appeal to the minds and hearts of children. It's rich in facts about this fascinating creature of the sea, but even richer in imagination and the joy of discovery. (For ages 8-10)Design and Artistic Merit. Winner: Bradford Washburn: Mountain Photography
Photography by Bradford Washburn. Edited and Compiled by Antony Decaneas. Published by the Mountaineers
Traveling the world for eight decades, mountaineer, explorer, scientist and cartographer Bradford Washburn has documented the world's landscapes like no other. This is his life's work as seen through his own camera: one hundred large format mountain photographs, all exquisitely reproduced. The book includes a short interview with Washburn, but it is the photos which speak volumes about him and his artistic genius.History/Biography Category. Winner: The Wildest Dream: The Biography of George Mallory
By Peter and Leni Gillman. Published by The Mountaineers
Biographies don't get any better than this. Supremely well researched and documented, erudite, and masterfully written, this book isn't so much about what happened to Mallory in 1924 when he and his climbing partner Irvine disappeared in the mists of Mt. Everest, but rather it seeks the answer to another, almost more fascinating question: who was this man Mallory? This is the book to read to find the answer.Outdoor Literature Category. Winner: On Celtic Tides: One Man's Journey Around Ireland by Sea Kayak
By Chris Duff. Published by St. Martin's Press
A transfixing memoir, Celtic Tides is the vivid account of the first ever circumnavigation of Ireland by kayak. Told with sensitivity and care, Duff's odyssey is about a lone man and a capricious sea and its moods of tranquillity and contrasting terror. But the book is more than an adventure story. It's also about haunting beauty, ancient history, and spiritual renewal found along the storm-lashed coasts of an enchanting land.Instructional Category. Winner: The National Outdoor Leadership School's Wilderness Guide
By Mark Harvey. A Fireside Book Published by Simon & Schuster
The National Outdoor Leadership School is one of outdoor world's most respected wilderness education programs. They were one of the first schools to extensively promote and instruct wilderness users in the techniques of treading lightly and minimizing impact on the outdoors. This is their manual: a compilation of many years of experience, a backpacker's handbook filled with practical and well-tempered advice about equipment, planning, clothing, traveling, navigation, and safety.Nature Guidebook Category. Winner: Guide to Marine Mammals & Turtles of the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico
By Kate Wynne and Malia Schwartz. Illustrated by Garth Mix. Published by Rhode Island Sea Grant, University of Rhode Island
This is an extraordinarily well done and easy-to-use guidebook that will help you identify marine mammals while traveling the coastal waters of the east. Printed on water-resistant paper, it covers whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals, manatee and turtles. It's truly a model guidebook. Each and every detail has been designed with user convenience in mind, from its organization and lay-out, to its photographs and map graphics, to its carefully researched and understandable writing.Nature and the Environment Category. First Winner: Wildlife Wars: The Life and Times of a Fish and Game Warden
By Terry Grosz. Published by Johnson Books
Wildlife Wars is the absorbing story of one man's 30-year struggle to protect wildlife in America. This is what it's like on the front lines. Terry Grosz, a natural and gifted story teller, brings us face to face with a captivating cast of characters--on both sides of the law--as he matches wits with poachers, commercial hunters, and others who are bent on destroying America's natural heritage. If you start this book, you won't want to put it down. It's that good.Nature and the Environment Category. Second Winner: Penguin Planet: Their World, Our World
By Kevin Schafer. Published by NorthWord Press
Some of the most endearing creatures of all of nature are penguins. They've often been photographed, but never have they been captured in such vivid detail and in all their intimate and strutting glory as in Penguin Planet. But Kevin Schafer not only takes sumptuous pictures, he writes well in a engaging style, generously complementing an affectionate portrait of the world's most popular bird.Classic Award. Winner: A Sand County Almanac: A Sketches Here and There
By Aldo Leopold. Published by Oxford University Press
What can be said of Sand County Almanac? It is simply one of the great works of nature literature and from it has sprung the environmental movement. This special edition of Sand County Almanac, published by the original publisher, is a tribute to Leopold, commemorating the one-hundredth anniversary of his birth. It was over 50 years ago that the book was first published, but his words and insights are as fresh as ever.
Well designed and written, this is a splendid sea kayaking guide. The authors do what should be done in all guidebooks: show they're having fun! Even if you've never dipped a paddle, you'll be drawn in by the book's cheery personality. And then there's the maps. Created with the reader in mind, they are gems--pleasing to look at, easy to grasp, and accurate.
In the design department, this book tops the chart: artistic, full-color photos, eminently usable maps, elevation charts, trail access symbols, and user friendly lay-out throughout. If you're planning on doing some hiking on the Continental trail, this is the book to get.
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