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Islandport Press Picture Book Awarded Gold Medal


Islandport Press is pleased to announce that Halfway Wild was awarded a gold medal for Best Picture Book (Ages 4-8) in this year’s Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards.

Halfway Wild is a poetic and playful picture book that investigates feelings, emotions, and imaginations. It follows one family through the course of a day as they march through meadows like ants, dive to the depths like seals, play hide and seek like fireflies, and chatter like raccoons. Kirkus Reviews says the book is “good both for classroom explorations of metaphors and for inspiring imaginative play.” Halfway Wild was also a Children’s Book Award Finalist in the 2017 Maine Literary Awards.

The author, Laura Freudig, lives in Bernard, Maine, with her husband, six children, two ducks, fifteen chickens, one dog, and one really wild cat. She has written more than two dozen short essays as well as two books. Her work has been published in The Bar Harbor Times and The Haverhill Gazette, and she has worked at AMC Outdoors and Windswept House Publishers. Naturally, she is an animal lover. “I love small birds, especially chickadees and English robins,” says Freudig. “But my favorite creatures in Halfway Wild are the ants. I love their antennas and their comical, waggling abdomens.”

The ants are the creations of artist Kevin Barry, who began drawing crazy cats and martial artist monkeys on his homework assignments. The award-winning children’s book illustrator now enjoys scratching out stories with elementary students, diving head-first into a great book, and exploring the wilds of New England with his own Halfway Wild family. Barry, who lives in central Massachusetts, is also the illustrator of Schnitzel by Stephanie Shaw and Ghost Cat by Eve Bunting.

The Moonbeam Children's Book Awards are intended to bring increased recognition to exemplary children's books and their creators, and to support childhood literacy and lifelong reading. The Awards recognize and reward the best of these books and bring them to the attention of parents, booksellers, librarians—and to children themselves.