2020 Oklahoma Book Awards

Design / Illustration / Photography

To The Max: Max Weitzenhoffer's Magical Trip from Oklahoma to New York and London—And Back
Book Design by Carl Brune
Full Circle Press

The immediate appeal of this book may be the full-sized Al Hirschfeld drawing of producer Max Weitzenhoffer, piquing interest in anyone with the slightest acquaintance with Broadway or show business. The biography is rich with memorabilia, illustrations, and photographs presented with a candid, snapshot quality, as though the reader were privy to a family album or yearbook. Edward Gorey illustrates one chapter with drawings. Distinctive, initial caps set in drop shadow typeface with bright color mark each new chapter. Throughout the book there are paragraph-long reminisces, in Weitzenhoffer’s words, set in the center of pages surrounded by white space and faced with photographs or illustrations. The design tone is light and almost playful, conveying its subject’s exuberant life. Designer Carl Brune is a three-time winner in this category. He lives in Tulsa.

To the Max: Max Weitzenhoffer’s Magical Trip from Oklahoma to New York and London—And Back

Protecting Our People: Chickasaw Law Enforcement in Indian Territory
Cover design by Corey Fetters and book design by Gentry Fisher
Chickasaw Press

The velvet laminated, tactile dust jacket draws the reader in with its beautiful vintage photograph suggesting notable subject matter. Inside, there is an uncluttered and consistent approach to layout with large type. Both headings and text have typefaces clearly chosen with care and consideration of context. The numerous archival photographs are presented with understated drop shadows, transitioning to contemporary, color photographs. The design has a serious, yet welcoming feel. Both Fetters and Fisher are previous Oklahoma Book Award finalists for their design work with Chickasaw Press. Fetters received the 2016 Oklahoma Book Award for his work on Ilittibaaimpa: Lets Eat Together! A Chickasaw Cookbook.

Protecting Our People: Chickasaw Law Enforcement in Indian Territory

Bear is Awake!
Hannah E. Harrison
Penguin Random House

Harrison fills her own story with meticulous illustrations. Each page reflects a spirit of fun—and even joy—as the story follows the whimsical adventures of a little girl and her surprise new friend, a bear just woken from hibernation. Harrison’s people and animals are a fine mix of caricature and naturalism, colorful and detailed. Hannah Harrison won the illustration award in 2015 for Extraordinary Jane. She made Oklahoma Book Award history in 2019 when she received both the writing and illustration awards for Friends Stick Together. She lives in Ada with her family.

Bear-is-Awake

Yogi: The Life, Loves, and Language of Baseball Legend Yogi Berra
illustrated by Terry Widener
Highlights Press

Widener’s illustrations have noticeable texture suggesting origins in painting, pastels, or chalk. The artist’s style is almost childlike, bold and warm. Figures have the doughy look of sculpted clay. The title character is always highlighted with a thick white outline. One page’s composition portrays the passage of time by containing three or four staggered views of young Yogi. One page with Yogi squatting on a ship’s deck (during World War II) faces a page with the New York Yankee catcher in an identical pose on a baseball diamond. This book is Oklahoma native Terry Widener’s sixth about baseball heroes. He won the 2017 Illustration award for My Name is James Madison Hemings.

Yogi: The Life, Loves, and Language of Baseball Legend Yogi Berra