Wednesday, January 13, 2016

When Books Dream, and Other Caldecott Thoughts

When books sleep, do they see in color? 
In their slumbering, do they take a wayward path, 
meandering through bright worlds and words, 
do their characters reach for lofty things?

Do books dream
of Caldecott and Newbery?

Or do they wish
to be read,
to be loved,
from end to end,
from page to page,

word after word after word?

On Monday, the American Library Association announced their choices,
the most distinguished books of 2016. 
They've picked the stellar standouts, 
a handful of beautiful treasures. 
Finding Winnie gets the Caldecott medal this year. 
Oh happy day for illustrator Sophie Blackall and author Lindsay Mattick!

Caldecott Honors go to:
Waiting, by Kevin Henkes,
Trombone Shorty, illustrated by Bryan Collier & written by Troy Andrews,

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement,
illustrated by Ekua Holmes & written by Carole Boston Weatherford

and one more Caldecott Honor-
glorious surprise!

Last Stop on Market Street,  illustrated by Christian Robinson & written by Matt de la Peña
rode home not only a Caldecott Honor,
but a Coretta Scott King Honor,
and the Newbery Medal,
the award given each year for the most distinguished contribution
in American literature for children. 
What an exciting day!

Some of our other book favorites were honored on Monday with special awards as well.

Drum, Dream Girl, illustrated by Rafael Lopez & written by Margarita Engle
won the Pura Belpre' award for illustration.

Mango, Abuela, and Me, illustrated by Angela Dominguez & written by Meg Medina
earned Pura Belpre' Honors in both writing and illustration.

Emmanuel's Dream, illustrated by Sean Qualls 
& written by Pacific Northwest author Laurie Ann Thompson
was honored with the Schneider Family Book Award. 
Yay, Laurie! 

And tomorrow, our Library Mock Caldecott committee
finds out our own winners - different from the American Library Association awards,
but just as important to our small readers.

Last week, the committee had to stand up
and defend their favorite book finalists,
provide good, deep dirt on why their books mattered.

 Nearly every kid present had a different favorite book.
Each speaker, even my crowd-shy wildebeests,
braved the limelight to give strong, passionate, thoughtful evidence
as to why that book was a winner.
And that's when it struck me -
each book wins.
Each book published has a chance to speak, to set a spark in a child.
And that is a win.

That's the beauty and the power
of these little, flat packages of words and pictures
that we call books.

So if tomorrow at the Library Mock Caldecott Awards Party,
there just happens to be one Mock Caldecott winner
and a surprising eight Honor books,
it is because
each of those books
has won over
some very passionate readers.

And if you just happen to be around tomorrow -

Thursday, January 14, 2016 at 3:45 p.m.

at the Jefferson County Library,

come in for the party!

All are invited!

Come see the books!

Have some party snacks and toothpicks!
If you read five books, you get to weigh in on the People's Choice vote.

And next Thursday at 3:45 p.m. at the library,
we'll write letters to authors and illustrators.
We'll send awards to our winners.

Here's to books that dream,
and to books that spark readers and dreamers!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Caldecott Countdown!

It's the final week before the 
2016 Caldecott medal is awarded!

And it's almost time for our very own Jefferson County 
Library Caldecott committee to choose a winner!
The selection  of thirty-four books has been narrowed down 
to these nine favorites:
Kid committee members meet this Thursday, January 7, at 3:45 p.m. 
to defend and debate their favorites before their peers
 and hold a final election. 

Most of our members are kids, ages 5-11. 
Did I mention that?  

I have been blown away by the details they discover,
things that my broad adult eye skips right past, 
the critical thinking skills they are developing 
as they compare and contrast books and styles, 
themes and layers of story.

What a treat to learn to look, to really look
alongside this multi-age group.
And the fun keeps coming!
Simultaneously, the library has displayed all 34 top contenders 
in-house for the month of January, so that patrons of all ages can participate 
in a library-wide People's Choice vote.  
 Look at those yummy choices!

Wouldn't it be exciting if picture book delight spilled over 
to the greater library populace through all of this bookish hooplah?
 I hope so.

Up next:
bring on the sparkly gowns!
the announcements!
the fancy treats!
that gold sticker we've all been waiting for!

All ages are invited to our Library Caldecott Award Party
 on Thursday, January 14 at 3:45 p.m.

Good times are sure to be had by all! 

Our Top Nine Finalists:

Thank You and Goodnight - by Patrick McDonnell
The Bear Ate Your Sandwich -by Julia Sarcone-Roach
Out of the Woods - by Rebecca Bond
A Fine Dessert - by Emily Jenkins, illustrated by Sophie Blackall
Sonya's Chickens - by Phoebe Wahl
Mango, Abuela and Me  - by Meg Medina, illustrated by Angela Dominguez
The Whisper - by Pamela Zagarenski
If You Plant a Seed  - by Kadir Nelson
In a Village by the Sea - by Muon Van, illustrated by April Chu


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