Two contributors to Tumbleweeds were recently honored with awards for their children’s books.
"Goodnight, Los Alamos,” written by Whitney Spivey and illustrated by Brenda Fleming, won in the best children’s picture book category at the 2020 New Mexico–Arizona Book Awards. Published in October 2018, it features two girls who say goodnight to 26 notable places and things in and around Los Alamos, including Bandelier National Monument, the Rio Grande and the historic Fuller Lodge.
Spivey and Fleming are Los Alamos moms who are excited to see their book being recognized. “It’s fun to see the book reaching a different audience,” Spivey said. “I hope people are inspired to come explore our little mountain town, learn about our history, and experience everything Los Alamos has to offer.”
Now in its 16th year, the awards, hosted by the New Mexico Book Co-op, showcase the best books from New Mexico and Arizona authors and publishers. This year, 64 winners and 83 finalists were selected in 48 categories. Nearly 800 entries were submitted for consideration by the panel of judges; books were evaluated on criteria including writing, content, layout, and cover design.
“I am thrilled that this book won the children’s picture category,” Fleming says. “Illustrating this book was a true passion project for me, a chance to reflect on watching my daughters grow up and explore this beautiful place we call home.”
In March 2020, "Goodnight, Los Alamos" received an honorable mention in the children’s book category in the Zia Book Awards, hosted by the New Mexico Press Women. The book is also featured in a New Mexico True tourism video.
“Goodnight, Los Alamos” is available for $20 at the Los Alamos Cooperative Market, Gadgets at the Bradbury Science Museum and Gadgets online, the Pajarito Environmental Education Center, the visitors center at the Valles Caldera National Preserve, and etsy.com. You can also email Spivey at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a signed copy. Follow the book on Instagram @goodnightlosalamos.
Other winners included Rudolfo Anaya for “No More Bullies” in the Bilingual Children’s category; Barbara Matthews Benge as a finalist in the Children’s Picture category for “Robinette Redbreast and the PEPPER Flake Escape,” and Young Adult winner Jennifer Edelson for “Between Wild & Ruin” and finalist W. Michael Farmer for “Geronimo, Prisoner of Lies.”
Santa Fe author Rosemary Zibart, another Tumbleweeds contributor, was also recently honored for her middle-grade historical fiction novel, “Beatrice On Her Own.”
The novel, set in Santa Fe at the start of World War II, received the 2020 CIPA EVVY gold medal for Juvenile Fiction - Middle Grade from the Colorado Independent Publishers Association on Sept. 18, then won the NM/AZ Book Award for Historical Fiction (New Mexico topic) from the New Mexico Book Coop on Sept. 25.
In “Beatrice On Her Own,” 13-year-old Beatrice Simms must battle prejudice and fear when America enters World War II and a Japanese internment camp is constructed in Santa Fe.
“Beatrice On Her Own" is the second book to feature Beatrice. The first, “True Brit Beatrice - 1940,” also received multiple awards for historical and middle-grade fiction.
The book is published by Kinkajou Press, the middle-grade imprint for Artemesia Publishing, a small publishing company located in Tijeras, New Mexico.
- By Kristen Cox Roby