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The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) is a network of more than 4,200 children’s and youth librarians, children’s literature experts, publishers, education and library school faculty members, and other adults committed to improving and ensuring the future of the nation through exemplary library service to children, their families, and others who work with children.
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26. Silent books

Silent books exhibit, photo by A. R

Silent books exhibit, photo by A. R

Librarians usually call them “wordless books”;  recently I visited the Halifax Central Library to see the traveling IBBY exhibit of Silent Books. This is a collection of around 100 books, from all over the world, that anyone, no matter their native tongue, can read. In fact, that’s the whole idea of the exhibit—a collection of books accessible to newcomers – immigrants and refugees who arrive in a land where their native tongue is not the lingua franca. The collection was created, according to the IBBY website, in response to the waves of refugees from Africa and the Middle East arriving in the Italian island, Lampedusa. The collection created the first library on the island to be used by local and immigrant children.

Here in Nova Scotia, there are already Syrian refugee families arriving, even in our rural area, and we expect there to be more. What a wonderful idea that we can offer books for families to share, no matter their language. We all have wordless books in our collections, and I am working on creating a booklist so that it is easy to find them, both for the public and for our staff.

La caca magica" photo by A. Reynolds

“La caca magica” photo by A. Reynolds

Now on to the books in the exhibit. The complete catalogue of the books is available here. Take a look: the books truly are from all over the world. I saw books from Portugal, Spain, Russia, Thailand, France, Germany, Pakistan, and many other countries. And the thing is, I could read all of these books. I may not have understood the title, as it was in language I do not know, but I certainly understood the stories. That’s the beauty of a picture book – a short story that often makes one think about life. I read a book about an urban couple who went out to pick blackberries, only to find the neighbor’s dog peeing on the bushes. So they grew their own. I read a book about a Congolese deli with an International clientele. I read about three pigs who tricked a wolf and then made a nice rug for their home.

Some of these books made me sigh at the beauty and design, such as Loup Noir, from France. Illustrated in black and white, all angles and starkness, this story cleverly tricked the reader into thinking the wolf was bad, but in the end, the wolf saved the day. It reminds us that appearances are not what they seem, and our first impressions need deeper thought before we jump to conclusions. I laughed out loud at La Caca Magica from Spain. My inner five year old chortled at the graphic-novel style story of a bird who poops on a rabbit, but gets a big surprise in the end.

Loup Noir" cover, photo by A. Reynolds

“Loup Noir” cover, photo by A. Reynolds

These books were funny. They were endearing. They were absurd, beautiful works of art. I felt like I was on a world tour where I got a little insight into stories from other cultures, stories that felt very familiar. Look again at your wordless books. They are silent in one way, but then again, they speak volumes. And if you are lucky enough to be near this exhibit as it tours the world, go see it!

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27. 5 Things You May Have Missed from #alamw16

Don’t you just love all of the conference liveblogging that happens here on the ALSC Blog? We at the Public Awareness Committee certainly do–it’s a great way to keep in the loop if you can’t be at a conference, or even if you’re attending but have to be choosey about where you spend your time. There are always so many interesting and important things happening at conferences, it can be hard to keep up with everything. So, to help everyone continue to be as informed as possible, here are…

5 Things You May Have Missed from #alamw16

1. ALSC is working with First Book for a Día initiative, and First Book is offering ways to make sure libraries with an e-rate of 90% and/or serving communities with 70%+ students eligible for free/reduced lunch have access to low cost or free books. That’s excellent, multicultural books in the library and in the hands of the children you serve. Find out more information here.

2. The toolkit for Library Services to Special Population Children and their Caregivers made its official debut. Does your library serve any of the following?: homeschoolers, LGBTQ families, children on the autism spectrum, children with incarcerated parents, Spanish-speaking families, children with print disabilities, and/or teens with children? My guess is that 100% of libraries are situated in communities with these populations, and that most of us could use some tips and refreshers on providing them with the best possible service. Take a look at the super resourceful toolkit here.

3. A four-part webinar series on Managing Children’s Services starts Tuesday, January 19. All of the webinars are free to register, and they’ll cover topics like communication; scheduling and time management; finances and budgeting; and supervising. Whether you’re currently a manager, have that goal for your career, or simply want to see things from a supervisor’s perspective, you’ll want to participate. More information and links to register here.

4. REFORMA, as part of their Children in Crisis project, has created a bilingual flier to invite Spanish-speaking immigrants and refugees to the library. You should be aware of these fliers, in particular if you’re in a library in the American southwest where the bulk of this population influx is located. Check out the flier here.

5. The 2016 Youth Media Awards marked the first time EVER that the Stonewall Book Awards recognized BOTH children’s and young adult winners. This news is big, folks, because the appearance of two awards is a direct result of the fact that more excellent literature capturing the GLBT experience is being published than ever before. That’s a huge win for everyone. Check out the winners and honors of the Stonewall Book Award, as well as all the other Youth Media Awards winners, here.

What are some things that you learned or encountered at Midwinter 2016 that you think others should know about? Please chime in below in the comments so we can all stay as informed as possible.


Amy Koester is Youth & Family Program Coordinator at Skokie (IL) Public Library and is writing this post for the Public Awareness Committee, of which she is chair. You can reach her at amy.e.koester@gmail.com.

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28. There’s still time to apply for a 2016 Bookapalooza Grant!

Is your library’s children’s book collection languishing for lack of funds?

There’s still time to apply for a 2016 Bookapalooza Grant!

Each year the ALSC office receives almost 3,000 newly published books, videos, audio books, and recordings from children’s trade publishers. The materials are primarily for children age birth through fourteen and are submitted to ALSC award and media evaluation selection committees for award and notables consideration. After each ALA Midwinter Meeting in January, these materials (published in the preceding year) need to be removed from the ALSC office to make room for a new year of publications.

The Bookapalooza Program was created to find new homes for these materials. ALSC will select three libraries to receive a Bookapalooza collection of materials to be used in a way that creatively enhances their library service to children and families.

Applying for a Bookapalooza grant involves demonstrating your library’s need and showing how the influx of materials will enhance service to your community.
One tip to potential applicants: We are looking for creative and innovative ways to use the collection, but we are hoping that the books will enhance your library service for years to come, rather than merely serve as give-aways.

Find out more about the grant criteria and application requirements at http://www.ala.org/alsc/bookapalooza-program

Applications close on February 1, 2016.

— Sondra Eklund for the ALSC Grants Administration Committee

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29. Fired Up About the Freedom to Read

When you say “yes” to an appointment to serve on an ALSC committee, you’re saying “yes” to meeting interesting people, and getting re-energized about topics and issues that are important to our profession and vital to those we serve. The ALSC Intellectual Freedom (IF) Committee serves as a liaison to other ALA Divisions and Committees, but also to a partner institution you might not know well.  At Midwinter 2016, the co-chairs of the ALSC IF committee spent a fascinating day with the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) folks and learned a lot.

Source: Freedom to Read Foundation website

Source: Freedom to Read Foundation website

FTRF is an affiliate – not a part – of ALA. Its purpose is to protect and defend the First Amendment, particularly supporting “the right of libraries to collect – and individuals to access – information.”  If you face a challenge in your library, you’ll probably call ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom for advice.  But you also want to remember our powerful advocates at FTRF, since that is where passionate attorneys speak for our patrons and for us when legal defense is needed.  They’ll go to court, if necessary. FTRF also works to fend off trouble before it gets to litigation by keeping close tabs on state and federal legislation.  And they’re on the lookout for developing issues on the free speech and privacy horizon, such as the question of labeling book and media content for youth.

So here are a couple of action items for you to consider: Join the FTRF for as little as $10 if you’re a student, or $35 if you’re not.  Get started on your application for a Conable Conference Scholarship for a free trip to an ALA Annual conference if you’re a student or new to the profession.  (Applications open in February.)

And volunteer to serve on an ALSC committee to feed – or reignite – your passion.  

-Laura Jenkins, ALSC Intellectual Freedom Committee co-chair

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30. Top Ten Blog Posts of 2015

While we can still view 2015 somewhat clearly in the rearview mirror, here are the top ten posts of the last year:

  1. Turning Your Library into a Haunted House  by Christopher Brown, a Curator of the Children’s Literature Research Collection at the Free Library of Philadelphia.
    Learn how to create a haunted house in your library! This post includes suggestions and plans for a haunted house which will remind community members that the library is vibrant and exciting and about much more than just books.
  2. 3D Printing Programs for Kids  by Claire Moore, a member of the ALSC Digital Content Task Force, and the Head of Children’s Services at Darien Library in Connecticut.
    A sampling of 3D Printing programs for children including Makerbot 101, Tinkercad Design, 3D Printing and Crafting, and Gift Giving 3D Style.
  3. An A-Maze-ing Library Experience by Amy Seto Forrester, a children’s librarian at the Denver Public Library.
    Imagine! A 75’ long, 15’ wide, and 6’ tall maze, sitting right in the middle of the main hall of Denver Public Library’s Central Library. Details and hints for creating a maze in your own library.
  4. Mock Election Results compiled by Mary R. Voors, the ALSC Blog manager and the manager of Children’s Services at the Allen County Public Library.
    Every year, libraries and schools gather to discuss children’s books and select YMA  2016 Mock winners. Find out what titles libraries, book clubs, and media centers selected in their Mock Elections for Newbery, Caldecott, Geisel, Pura Belpre, and more!
  5. Notable Children’s Books Nominees — Summer 2015 #alaac15
    The ALSC Notable Children’s Books committee is charged with identifying the best of the best in children’s books, discussing books at the ALA Annual Conference and the Midwinter Conference. This is the complete list of titles discussed at the Annual Conference in Summer 2015.
  6. Survey on Summer Reading Trends by Jennifer Cummings, Youth Services Manager at the Frisco Public Library in Frisco, Texas.
    Learn about how libraries around the country are handling their summer reading programs and activities.
  7. Notable Children’s Books — 2015 Discussion List
    The ALSC Notable Children’s Books committee is charged with identifying the best of the best in children’s books, discussing books at the ALA Annual Conference and the Midwinter Conference. This is the complete list of titles discussed at the Midwinter Conference in January 2015.
  8. Code for Parents by Sylvia Aguiñaga, LSSPCC Committee Member
    Ways to offer parents opportunities to understand the importance of code in today’s world in order to support and encourage their child as they learn to code.
  9. Leveling and Labeling: An Interview with Pat Scales by the ALSC Intellectual Freedom committee
    The recently announced winner of the 2016 ALSC Distinguished Service Award shares information on leveled reading systems, labeling, and their relationship to intellectual freedom.
  10. Engaging Adults in Storytime by Sharon McClintock
    A Youth Services Librarian at the City of Mountain View Public Library in Mountain View, CA shares top techniques for helping adults, as well as kids, stay engaged during programs

Did you have a favorite ALSC Blog post from 2015? Let us know in the comments below.

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31. The Power of Active Listening

photo credit: Elise Katz

photo credit: Elise Katz

I am still reeling from the excitement & energy of the ALA Youth Media Awards this week. As part of this year’s Caldecott Committee, I spent the majority of my Midwinter Conference in book discussions with fourteen other committee members participating in the book discussion of a lifetime. It was an incredible thing and I absolutely adore my fellow committee members-I learned so much from them and I felt we all created an incredible bond that can only happen with such an experience.

As I reflect on my committee experience, I feel as though I am not only a better librarian and feel more equipped to understand the awards process, but I also feel as though I am coming away from this experience as a better librarian.

During our discussions, the power of active listening really demonstrated itself. Listening fully to what others had to say without interrupting or coming to your own conclusions is a powerful and incredible thing. I felt appreciated and respected. It was an incredible experience and made me love the people I was with.

It also made me think how I can practice active listening more as a Youth Services Manager with my staff and my patrons. I want to listen to my staff and hear their concerns and questions as well as their praise. I want to remember to stop, pause, and think about what they have said before I respond. I want to show them respect and really listen to what they have to say. 

I am so thankful for this experience and I am so grateful to the committee for making it so wonderful. Thank you for demonstrating a wonderful tool that I can take back and use as a manager. I know it’s an experience I will never forget.

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32. How the Morris Seminar Changed My View on Awards

My view of the YMAs this year! [Photo courtesy of the author, originally posted on Instagram.]

My view of the YMAs this year! [Photo courtesy of the author, originally posted on Instagram.]

It began immediately after the Youth Media Awards were announced on Monday. Quiet whispers to friends and colleagues: “I was surprised by this committee’s choice” and “Why wasn’t this title selected?” and “How could that title have won?” and “My pick didn’t win and it should have!”

While I’ve often heard this kind of discussion after the announcement, I haven’t always had the words to articulate a response. But this year’s announcements for me were colored by a very new and different experience — on Friday, I had the great privilege of attending ALSC’s 2016 Morris Seminar. Here are some of the things I learned:

  • Every book has faults. It’s about what book rises to the top of the pile.
  • Only discuss the books on the table. You can’t talk about books from previous years.
  • When you read independently, you read in a vacuum. The committee as a whole is stronger together.
  • While at a group discussion, it is possible to change your mind several times in the span of a few minutes.
  • No one is as widely read as the committee and no one has re-read as often as the committee.
  • The committee must come to a consensus. Even committee members may not see their favorite awarded.

So, where does that leave you with your commentary? With your thoughts? With the books that you wanted to win?

Just because your favorite book didn’t win a shiny sticker doesn’t mean its days are over. Maybe that book won a different award — an invisible award — one that only you can award.

I tweeted this last year after the YMAs. [Screenshot courtesy of the author.]

I tweeted this last year after the YMAs. [Screenshot courtesy of the author.]

Instead of worrying about how the committee didn’t honor your choice, you honor it. You champion it. You make sure that it gets in the hands of your patrons or students and your readers. Choose it for storytime. Create a display around it. Suggest it to be the next book club book in your library or your friends group or your town. Put it on a booklist. Nominate it for your state’s reader award if you have one.

Making your difference of thoughts from the committee’s known may make you feel better, but it can take away the committee’s hard work and joy. And it doesn’t help your choice.

Take the time to make a positive contribution. Take the time to award your own choice. Award it your heart and your time and your energy. Make it the winner of your own awards.

So, what books are you going to champion? Who won your heart this year and how are you going to promote it? Let me know in the comments!

– Katie Salo
Early Literacy Librarian
Indian Prairie Public Library
http://storytimekatie.com

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33. Top Rainbow Reads for Kids

This weekend I had the most incredible book discussion experience of my life. No joke. I had the joy of meeting with 9 wonderful and incredibly smart people to decide on the best LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning) books for kids and teens that were published between July 2014 and December 2015. You can find the entire list on the Rainbow List site; I am going to highlight the top books for kids through grades 6 here. The final list includes over 40 titles and of these we selected a top 10. Top ten titles are indicated with an *.

I know that book budgets are not limitless, so if you can’t buy all of these titles for your collection, a good place to start is with anything on the top 10 list: Gracefully Grayson, The Marvels (who are we kidding, you already have this book!), and Sex is a Funny Word.
While no picture books made the top ten list, that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth having. They would all make excellent additions to a library collection, but if you can only buy three start with: Red: A Crayon’s Story, Stella Brings the Family and Heather Has Two Mommies.

Picture Books

Red: A Crayon's StoryHall, Michael. Red: A Crayon’s Story. 2015. 40p. Greenwillow, $18.89 (9780062252098). 3-7 yrs.

The label read, “Red.” However, all of Red’s strawberries and hearts come out blue. Friends and family try to fix Red until new buddy Berry helps this crayon discover his true color.

Newman, Lesléa. Heather Has Two Mommies. Written by Lesléa Newman, illus. by Laura Cornell. 2015. 32p. Candlewick, $16.99 (9780763666316). 3-7 yrs.

Heather’s favorite number is two: she has two arms, two legs, two pets, and two mommies. When Heather goes to preschool, she learns that not all families look alike, but that they all have one thing in common—love. New text and illustrations make this classic accessible to a modern audience.

Rotner, Shelly, and Sheila M. Kelly. Families. 2015. 32p. Holiday House, $17.95 (9780823430536). 3-7 yrs.

A beautiful diversity of family life is depicted through simple text and photographs.

Schiffer, Miriam B. Stella Brings the Family. Written by Miriam Schiffer; illus. by Holly Clifton-Brown. 2015. 36p. Chronicle, $16.99 (9781452111902). 3-7 yrs.

It’s Mother’s Day, and everyone is making invitations for their mothers to come to the school celebration. But Stella has two dads and no mom to invite…What should she do?

Tyner, Christy. Zak’s Safari. Written by Christy Tyner; illus. by Ciaee. 2014. 38p. CreateSpace, $15.00 (9781502325464). 3-7 yrs.

When young Zak’s outdoor “safari” gets cancelled because of the rain, he leads his readers (and his stuffed animal tourists) on an adventure through the story of his family. Zak introduces his two mothers and how they became a family of three with the help of a donor from a sperm bank.

Juvenile Fiction

Gino, Alex. George. 2015. 195p. Scholastic, $16.99 (9780545812542). Gr 3-7.

Stonewall Book Awards–Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s Award Book. When people look at George, they see a boy. But she knows she’s a girl. With the help of her best friend, George comes up with a plan, not just so she can be Charlotte in her school play but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.

Gracefully Grayson*Polonsky, Ami. Gracefully Grayson. 2014. 243p. Hyperion, $16.99 (9781423185277). Gr. 4-7.

Twelve-year-old Grayson, through a school play, finds the courage to reveal a deep truth: in spite of being seen as a boy, she knows for a fact that she’s a girl.  

*Selznick, Brian. The Marvels. 2015. 667p. Scholastic, $32.99 (9780545448680). Gr. 5-8.

In black-and-white pencil illustrations, Selznick depicts three generations of actors descending from the sole survivor of a legendary shipwreck. As that story closes, another unfolds in prose as young Joseph discovers his connection to the actors and his family history, and he embraces his uncle’s life story as it affects and changes his own.

Juvenile Nonfiction

Pohlen, Jerome. Gay & Lesbian History for Kids: The Century-Long Struggle for LGBT Rights, with 21 Activities. 2015. 192p. Chicago Review, $17.95 (9781613730829). Gr. 4-9.

From ancient China to the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision on marriage equality, this narrative history reference gives context to the challenges and achievements of both queer individuals and the broader quest for civil rights.

Sex is a Funny Word*Silverberg, Cory. Sex is a Funny Word: A Book about Bodies, Feelings, and YOU. Written by Cory Silverberg; illus. by Fiona Smyth. 2015. 159p. Seven Stories, $23.95 (9781609806064). Gr. 3-6.

For children with questions about bodies, gender, touch, sex, and love, this all-inclusive book guides the conversation between children and trusted adults in an accessible graphic format. Gentle, intelligent humor brings home the message of respect, trust, joy, and justice for everyone’s body. Stonewall Book Awards–Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Award Honor Book.

The Rainbow Booklist Committee had so many wonderful books to choose from this year! If you collect for teens or if you are just looking for something good to read, do check out the rest of the list here. I have already started reading for next year and let me tell you, there are some GREAT books on deck. John Corey Whaley’s Highly Illogical Behavior (May 2016) is so splendid, it is ridiculous. If you read a book for kids or teens published between July 2015 and December 2016 that you think the Rainbow Booklist Committee should consider for next year’s list, please send in a suggestion. We would love to hear from you. Happy reading!!

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34. Displays, Circulation, and the Power of Wimpy Kid

The weather outside may not be this frightful, but circ is still down!  courtesy of Flickr user Phil Roeder/CC https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The weather outside may not be this frightful, but circ is still down!
courtesy of Flickr user Phil Roeder/CC

December is a traditionally slow month for circulation in our library. Though the library itself is usually packed with patrons on their school breaks attending our annual Stuffed Animal Sleepover and Winter Crafts programs, something about the combination of visiting relatives bringing children to the library and the lack of projects and homework over the break make our circulation dip. I recently pulled our monthly print book circulation for the past five years for a project I’m working on and was surprised to note that each year; December is our lowest-circulating month. The drop from November to December is not drastic, but it is significant, and it remains consistent no matter the weather, break schedule, or staffing of the children’s library.

With nowhere to go but up, this December we decided to play with different types of displays in an effort to see if we can raise circulation. Was December circulation destined to remain lower than the rest of the year?

I will always circulate!

I will always circulate!

Our motto was “Give the people what they want.” Instead of putting new books on display, we put popular books on display. We brought all the extra copies of older Diary of a Wimpy Kid and the original Percy Jackson series up from their homes in storage. We turned display space traditionally reserved for a broad array of holiday-themed books into a display of Dora, Daniel Tiger, and classic animated Holiday DVDs. Our themed displays, which traditionally circulate well (except in December!) came down in favor of “We Love Wimpy!” “We Love Harry!” and “We Love Percy!” displays centered on, respectively Wimpy Kid, Percy Jackson, and Harry Potter, plus close read-alikes that we knew kids would take out.  Our Non-Fiction display area became home to a wide variety of fact-based books, like Guinness World Records and This or That?

The results were encouraging. While circulation didn’t climb to the heights of summer reading, it did outstrip ever December for the past five years! Th experiment raised interesting questions. Are we doing our patrons a disservice if we only highlight new, well-reviewed books by authors they may not know? Is it elitist to keep books like Wimpy Kid off display because you know children will ask for them anyway? What matters more – keeping circulation high or giving the people what they want?

January is witnessing a transition back to our traiditonal types of displays, which truly drive circulation during other months of the year. But I wonder if we should be mixing more populist displays in with our regular displays on a monthly basis. How do you decide what goes on display in your library?

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35. Bundle Up for Storytime

The weather outside may be frightful (or it may not, depending on where you live!), but it’s always a great time to cozy up for storytime. There are TONS of great ideas for winter storytime and here are some of my favorites:

Books:

  • Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2002). This is a great rhyming book about hibernation.
  • Blizzard by John Rocco (Disney-Hyperion, 2014). I use this one for slightly older kids and they love the idea of school being closed for days (and the fold-out map through the snow).
  • Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathan London (Puffin Books, 1992). The pattern and humor in this book lend themselves well to storytelling, so this makes a great felt story, too!
  • A Hat for Minerva Louise by Janet Morgan Stoeke (Dutton Children’s Books, 1994). Silly Minerva Louise wanders out into the snow and gets everything mixed up! This one is sure to get children laughing.
  • Red Sled by Lita Judge (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2011). This wordless book shows what happens to a red sled left out at night. There’s plenty of opportunity to encourage talking in your storytime as you discover what happens together.
  • Red Sled by Patricia Thomas (Boyds Mills Press, 2008). This story-poem is almost completely made up of rhyming words, making this a great choice for developing phonemic awareness.
  • Snow by Uri Schulevitz (Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 1998). This book perfectly captures what it feels like to wait for and hope for and finally get SNOW!
  • Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit by Il Sung Na (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2011). This book talks about what many different animals do in winter. There are some great STEM connections  to make here.
  • Snowballs by Lois Ehlert (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1995). This book lends itself really well to a cheap, creative craft: decorate your own snowmen with leftover bits and pieces from your craft cabinets or cupboards.
  • Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner, illustrated by Mark Buehner (Dial Books, 2002). Bouncy rhyming text answers the question: What DO snowmen do at night?
  • The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats (Puffin Books, 1962). This book is a classic for a reason. That experience of exploring a snow-covered world and Keats’s gorgeous artwork continue to captivate young audiences.
  • Soup Day by Melissa Iwai (Henry Holt BYR, 2010). On a winter’s day, a girl and her mother buy the ingredients and make soup. This is a cozy, yummy book.
  • Supertruck by Stephen Savage (Roaring Brook Press, 2015). When a terrible blizzard hits the city, one truck comes to the rescue. This will pull in all your littles who love things that go.

Thanks to the following Twitter librarians who helped me compile this list!: @annavalley@hollystorckpost, @itsmissmeg, @lizinthelibrary@lizpatanders@lmulvenna, @MelissaZD, @misskubelik@MrsHendReads@mytweendom@rockinlibrarian,  @SharonGrover2, @storytimekatie

Flannel Stories/Rhymes/Activities:

Build a Snowman. There are infinite variations of this that you could try with felt OR with your imagination. Get kids talking by asking them for suggestions of what your snowman needs. Ideas: eyes, nose, mouth, arms, buttons, scarf, hat… what else could you put on a snowman? (Answer: anything! Everything!)

Photo by Abby Johnson

Photo by Abby Johnson

Matching Mittens. We adapted this prop from Miss Mary Liberry’s Sorting Socks game. This is a great activity to talk about colors & same/different.

Photo by Abby Johnson

Photo by Abby Johnson

Snowman Colors. We adapted this felt from Melissa Depper’s Red, White, and Blue felt. We have used this structure for several enjoyable felts!

Songs:

  • If You’re Happy When it Snows, Clap Your Hands
  • Jbrary has an AWESOME Winter Storytime playlist of songs and rhymes.
  • “Saw a Snowflake” – adapted from the song “Saw a Leaf” from Jean Warren’s page. I use this one with scarves and we float and twirl our scarves like flying snowflakes.
  • Toss Your Scarves” by Jean Warren. This song to the tune of “Jingle Bells” is a fun way to incorporate scarves into your storytime and practice gross motor skills.

More resources!

You can find more Winter Storytime plans on the following sites:

What are YOUR favorite books, songs, and activities to use for winter storytimes?

— Abby Johnson, Youth Services Manager
New Albany-Floyd County Public Library
New Albany, IN
http://www.abbythelibrarian.com

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36. #ALAMW16 Illustrated Morris Seminar Wrapup

I had a mind-blowing time at the Bill Morris Seminar  in Boston. The gist of it is: you take a room, fill it with librarians from all over the country at varying times in their librarian and ALSC careers, and then have incredible people lecture them on book evaluation and put them into discussion groups to apply what they’ve learned. Here is my illustrated wrap-up of the day, with wise words from KT Horning (sometimes reading the words of out-sick Martha Parravano), Thom Barthelmess, Mary Burkey, Kevin Delecki, Randy Enos, Junko Yokoto, and other participants.

pg1 copy pg2 copy pg3 copy pg4 copy pg5 copy

All original artwork copyright 2016, Lisa Nowlain

Lisa Nowlain is the Harold W. McGraw Jr. Fellow and Children’s Librarian at Darien Library in Darien, CT (you can be the next one! Apply by April 1 at www.darienlibrary.org/mcgrawfellowship) She is also an artist-type (see more at www.lisanowlain.com).

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37. Educate Girls and Change the World

“One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world.”                                
­ Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

Young Malala – the girl who survived a brutal assassination attempt – has spent most of her life fighting for the right to learn … not only for herself but for every child, especially girls.

Studies around the world consistently show that educating girls can break the cycle of poverty – in just one generation. Even the White House is getting involved: First Lady Michelle Obama made recent international headlines with Let Girls Learn, a global initiative to enable adolescent girls to complete school. The First Lady speaks for #62MillionGirls!

As a leader in the girls’ education movement, Girl Rising is working closely with FLOTUS to enable and empower girls. In 2013, the film of the same name, debuted with nine stories of nine girls facing nine challenges around the world. Nine leading writers with direct connections to each of the nine countries captured the stories, which were voiced by nine actresses who used both their fame and their convictions to empower girls.

Bringing Girl Rising into classrooms and libraries couldn’t be easier – it begins by clicking here. Thanks to the Pearson Foundation, the film is available with a comprehensive curriculum guide so versatile that it can be used across age groups and disciplines, from literature to economics to social studies to politics and more. And yes, the curriculum meets the U.S. Common Core State Standards.

New York Times-bestselling author Loung Ung – a survivor of the Cambodian Killing Fields – with Alicia Keys, tells the story of Sokha, who was once an orphan scavenging through rancid garbage dumps to help support her family. National Book Critics Circle winner and National Book Award finalist Edwidge Danticat, with Cate Blanchett, presents the story of 7-year-old Wadley, whose home is a dangerous refugee tent camp in post-earthquake Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

The Ethiopian-born Maaza Mengiste – a Pushcart Prize nominee and Dayton Literary Peace Prize Fiction nominee – with Meryl Streep, embodies 13-year-old Asmara, who somehow defied generations of tradition and escaped the perils of child marriage while fighting for her chance to be educated. Oscar-nominated Indian screenwriter Sooni Taraporevala, with Priyanka Chopra, captures the story of 11-year-old Ruksana, whose parents moved from their rural village to the squalid streets of Kolkata – just so their children could go to school.

Anywhere and everywhere in the world, when girls go to school and get an education, they speak up, they stay healthy, they save money, they build businesses. Then they pass it all on: poverty declines, progress happens.

Share the stories, multiply the impact. Educate girls, change the world.

**************************************************************************

Terry Hong writes BookDragon, a book blog for the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. She is the chair of the 2016 USBBY Outstanding International Books committee. She has written this post as a member of the ALSC National Organizations Serving Children and Youth Committee.

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38. Reflecting on ALA Midwinter #alamw16

I’m all packed and ready to catch a plane back home, tired but re-energized & excited to begin to utilize some of the resources and information I’ve learned while at ALA Midwinter in Boston.

Reflecting on the highlights of the conference, I think of:

  • The information I learned at the ALSC Collection Management Discussion Group session and the decision to create a Facebook page for the group; this will surely be a good place for ongoing discussions.
  • The announcement of Pat Scales as the 2016 recipient of ALSC’s Distinguished Service Award. A former middle school and high school librarian and a passionate advocate for children’s intellectual freedom, it was exciting to see her receive this well-deserved award.
  • Sitting in on book discussions
  • Visiting the exhibits and talking with vendors
  • The number of ARCs in my suitcase which I will bring back to my library to offer to excited young readers and to start work on our 2017 Mock Election programs
  • Learning new ideas about creative programming in libraries
  • Networking
  • Participating in ALSC Board meetings and working to move the division forward
ALSC Board of Directors Midwinter 2016

ALSC Board of Directors Midwinter 2016

  • Meeting authors & illustrators and hearing them speak about their work
  • The excitement of being among the hundreds and hundreds of people at the YMA Press Conference as the 2016 Awards were announced.
YMAs

Hundreds of librarians excitedly listen to the announcement of winners at the 2016 YMAs

  • Seeing old friends and colleagues; meeting new friends

So much to process!

Thanks, Boston! It’s been a great conference.

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39. ALSC helps YOU with advocacy #alamw16

Aside from checking out great new titles, sitting in on book discussions, and listening to speakers, I had the opportunity to meet with the members of my virtual committee who were attending ALAMW too.  Bonus!

The ALSC Advocacy & Valuation Task Force is a two year task force focused on advocacy and valuation using outcome/output measurement.

One of our most shocking take-aways so far is that many members don’t know about or use the Everyday Advocacy website and newsletters, created specifically to help YOU with advocating for youth services.  Take a few minutes today to check out the important work Jenna Nemec-Loise is doing and participate in her January 5 challenge to set a 2016 advocacy goal for yourself.

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40. ALA Youth Media Awards 2016

#alaYMA @ #ALAmw16

It is always a highlight of my midwinter ALA journey to attend the Youth Media Awards Press Conference, and this year was no exception.

The excitement was palpable in the Boston Convention Center ballroom as hundreds of librarians and other children’s literature aficionados excitedly heard the announcements of the Youth Media Awards. As the winners were announced, they were greeted with (sometimes raucous) applause, hoots of delight, and gasps of surprise.

Tremendous thanks go to all the committee members who worked and read so diligently throughout 2015 to bring us this stellar collection of winners!

Here is a complete list of the winners announced this morning:

John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature:

“Last Stop on Market Street,” written by Matt de la Peña, is the 2016 Newbery Medal winner. The book is illustrated by Christian Robinson and published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.

Three Newbery Honor Books also were named: “The War that Saved My Life,” written by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley and published by Dial Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC; “Roller Girl,” written and illustrated by Victoria Jamieson and published by Dial Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC; and “Echo,” written by Pam Muñoz Ryan and published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.

Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children:

“Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear,” illustrated by Sophie Blackall, is the 2016 Caldecott Medal winner. The book was written by Lindsay Mattick and published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

Four Caldecott Honor Books also were named: “Trombone Shorty,” illustrated by Bryan Collier, written by Troy Andrews and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS; “Waiting,” illustrated and written by Kevin Henkes, published by Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers; “Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement,” illustrated by Ekua Holmes, written by Carole Boston Weatherford and published by Candlewick Press; and “Last Stop on Market Street,” illustrated by Christian Robinson, written by Matt de le Peña and published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.

Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award, recognizing an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults:

“Gone Crazy in Alabama,” written by Rita Williams-Garcia, is the King Author Book winner. The book is published by Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Three King Author Honor Books were selected: “All American Boys,” by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division; “The Boy in the Black Suit,” by Jason Reynolds and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, and “X: A Novel,” by Ilyasah Shabazz with Kekla Magoon and published by Candlewick Press.

Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award:

“Trombone Shorty,” illustrated by Bryan Collier, is the King Illustrator Book winner. The book was written by Troy Andrews and Bill Taylor and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS.

Two King Illustrator Honor Books were selected: “The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth & Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore,” illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, written by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson and published by Carolrhoda Books, a division of Lerner Publishing Group, Inc. and “Last Stop on Market Street,” illustrated by Christian Robinson, written by Matt de la Peña and published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons, an imprint of Penguin Group USA.

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award:

“Hoodoo,” written by Ronald L. Smith, is the Steptoe author award winner. The book is published by Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award:

“Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement,” illustrated by Ekua Holmes, is the Steptoe illustrator award winner. The book is written by Carole Boston Weatherford and published by Candlewick Press.

Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement:

Jerry Pinkney is the winner of the Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement. The award pays tribute to the quality and magnitude of beloved children’s author Virginia Hamilton.

Jerry Pinkney’s illustrations detail a world that resonates with readers long after the pages of a book have been turned. His five decades of work offer compelling artistic insights into the legacy of African American storytelling and experience. Beyond Pinkney’s technical brilliance, his support of differentiated learning through art and of young illustrators sets him apart as both artist and educator. His powerful illustrations have redefined the scope of the sophisticated picture book and its use with multiple levels of learners.

Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults:

“Bone Gap,” written by Laura Ruby, is the 2016 Printz Award winner. The book is published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Two Printz Honor Books also were named: “Out of Darkness,” by Ashley Hope Pérez and published by Carolrhoda Lab™, an imprint of Carolrhoda Books, a division of Lerner Publishing Group, and “The Ghosts of Heaven,” by Marcus Sedgwick and published by Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.

Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience:

“Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah,” written by Laurie Ann Thompson, illustrated by Sean Qualls and published by Schwartz & Wade Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company, New York, wins the award for children ages 0 to 10.

“Fish in a Tree,” written by Lynda Mullaly Hunt and published by Penguin Group, Nancy Paulsen Books, and “The War that Saved My Life,” by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley and published by Dial Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, are the winners of the middle-school (ages 11-13).

The teen (ages 13-18) award winner is “The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B,” written by Teresa Toten and published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company, New York.

Alex Awards for the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences:

“All Involved,” by Ryan Gattis, published by Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

“Between the World and Me,” by Ta-Nehisi Coates, published by Spiegel & Grau, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

“Bones & All,” by Camille DeAngelis, published by St. Martin’s Press.

“Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits,” by David Wong, published by Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press.

“Girl at War,” by Sara Novic, published by Random House, an imprint and division of Penguin Random House LLC.

“Half the World,” by Joe Abercrombie, published by Del Rey, an imprint of Random House, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.

“Humans of New York: Stories,” by Brandon Stanton, published by St. Martin’s Press.

“Sacred Heart,” by Liz Suburbia, published by Fantagraphics Books Inc.

“Undocumented: A Dominican Boy’s Odyssey from a Homeless Shelter to the Ivy League,” by Dan-el Padilla Peralta, published by Penguin Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

“The Unraveling of Mercy Louis,” by Keija Parssinen, published by Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Andrew Carnegie Medal for excellence in children’s video:

Weston Woods Studios, Inc., producer of “That Is NOT a Good Idea,” is the Carnegie Medal winner. In an innovative adaptation of this read-aloud favorite, Goose accepts an invitation to accompany Fox on a simple stroll – or is it? Watch along with a comical chorus of goslings as they react to this cautionary tale.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Award honors an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made, over a period of years, a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children.

The 2016 winner is Jerry Pinkney, whose award-winning works include “The Lion and the Mouse,” recipient of the Caldecott Award in 2010. In addition, Pinkney has received five Caldecott Honor Awards, five Coretta Scott King Illustrator Awards, and four Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honors.     

Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults:

David Levithan is the 2016 Edwards Award winner. His books include: “The Realm of Possibility,” “Boy Meets Boy,” “Love is the Higher Law,” “How They Met, and Other Stories,” “Wide Awake” and “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist,” all published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award recognizing an author, critic, librarian, historian or teacher of children’s literature, who then presents a lecture at a winning host site.

Jacqueline Woodson will deliver the 2017 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture. Woodson is the 2014 National Book Award winner for her New York Times bestselling memoir, “Brown Girl Dreaming.” The author of more than two dozen books for young readers, she is a four-time Newbery Honor winner, a recipient of the NAACP Image Award, a two-time Coretta Scott King Award winner and was recently named the Young People’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation.

Mildred L. Batchelder Award for an outstanding children’s book translated from a foreign language and subsequently published in the United States:

“The Wonderful Fluffy Little Squishy” is the 2016 Batchelder Award winner. Originally published in French in 2014 as “Le merveilleux Dodu-Velu-Petit,” the book was written and illustrated by Beatrice Alemagna, translated by Claudia Zoe Bedrick and published by Enchanted Lion Books.

Three Batchelder Honor Books also were selected: “Adam and Thomas,” published by Seven Stories Press, written by Aharon Appelfeld, iIllustrated by Philippe Dumas and translated from the Hebrew by Jeffrey M. Green; “Grandma Lives in a Perfume Village,” published by NorthSouth Books, an imprint of Nordsüd Verlag AG, written by Fang Suzhen, illustrated by Sonja Danowski and translated from the Chinese by Huang Xiumin; and “Written and Drawn by Henrietta,” published by TOON Books, an imprint of RAW Junior, LLC and written, illustrated and translated from the Spanish by Liniers.

Odyssey Award for best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States:

“The War that Saved My Life,” produced by Listening Library, an imprint of the Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group, is the 2016 Odyssey Award winner. The book is written by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley and narrated by Jayne Entwistle.

One Odyssey Honor Recording also was selected: “Echo,” produced by Scholastic Audio/Paul R. Gagne, written by Pam Muñoz Ryan and narrated by Mark Bramhall, David de Vries, MacLeod Andrews and Rebecca Soler.

Pura Belpré (Illustrator) Award honoring a Latino writer and illustrator whose children’s books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience:

“The Drum Dream Girl,” illustrated by Rafael López, is the Belpré Illustrator Award winner.  The book was written by Margarita Engle and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Three Belpré Illustrator Honor Books for illustration were selected: “My Tata’s Remedies = Los remedios de mi tata,” illustrated by Antonio Castro L., written by Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford and published by Cinco Puntos Press; “Mango, Abuela, and Me,” illustrated by Angela Dominguez, written by Meg Medina and published by Candlewick Press: and “Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras,” illustrated and written by Duncan Tonatiuh and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS.

Pura Belpré (Author) Award:

“Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir,” written by Margarita Engle, is the Belpré Author Award winner. The book is published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division.

Two Belpré Author Honor Books were named: “The Smoking Mirror,” written by David Bowles and published by IFWG Publishing, Inc.; and “Mango, Abuela, and Me,” written by Meg Medina, illustrated by Angela Dominguez and published by Candlewick Press.

Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award for most distinguished informational book for children:

“Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras,” written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh, is the Sibert Award winner. The book is published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS.

Four  Sibert Honor Books were named: “Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans,” written and illustrated by Don Brown and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; “The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club,” by Phillip Hoose and published by Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers; “Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March,” written by Lynda Blackmon Lowery as told to Elspeth Leacock and Susan Buckley, illustrated by PJ Loughran and published by Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC; and “Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement,” written by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Ekua Holmes and published by Candlewick Press.

Stonewall Book Award – Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award given annually to English-language children’s and young adult books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience:

“George,” written by Alex Gino and published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc., and “The Porcupine of Truth,” written by Bill Konigsberg and published by Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc., are the winners of the 2016 Stonewall Children’s and Young Adult Literature Awards respectively.

Two honor books were selected: “Wonders of the Invisible World,” written by Christopher Barzak and published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC; and “Sex is a Funny Word: A Book about Bodies, Feelings, and YOU,” written by Cory Silverberg and Fiona Smyth, illustrated by Fiona Smyth and published by Seven Stories Press.

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished beginning reader book:

“Don’t Throw It to Mo!,” written by David A. Adler and illustrated by Sam Ricks is the Seuss Award winner. The book is published by Penguin Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA), LLC.

Three Geisel Honor Books were named: “A Pig, a Fox, and a Box,” written and illustrated by Jonathan Fenske and published by Penguin Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC; “Supertruck,” written and illustrated by Stephen Savage and published by A Neal Porter Book published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership; and “Waiting,” written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes and published by Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

William C. Morris Award for a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens:

“Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda,” written by Becky Albertalli is the 2016 Morris Award winner. The book is published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publisher.

Four other books were finalists for the award: “Because You’ll Never Meet Me,” written by Leah Thomas and published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books; “Conviction,” written by Kelly Loy Gilbert and published by Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Book Group; “The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly,” written by Stephanie Oakes and published by Dial Books, an imprint of  Penguin Young Readers; and “The Weight of Feathers,” written by Anna-Marie McLemore and published by Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press.

YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults

“Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War,” written by Steve Sheinkin, is the 2016 Excellence winner. The book is published by Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan’s Children’s Publishing Group.

Four other books were finalists for the award: “Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir,” written by Margarita Engle and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing; “First Flight Around the World: The Adventures of the American Fliers Who Won the Race,” written by Tim Grove and  published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS; “Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad,” written by M.T. Anderson and published by Candlewick Press; and “This Strange Wilderness:  The Life and Art of John James Audubon,” written by Nancy Plain and published by University of Nebraska Press.

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41. ALSC Process & Program Committees May Not Be Glamorous on Monday Morning, but are Super Worthwhile #alamw16

Everyone knows about ALSC committees like Newbery & Caldecott, but there is a galaxy of other committees full of dedicated librarians that make ALSC tick and support us all in our work.

Serving on a process committee like Membership, Grants Administration, or Organization and Bylaws provides opportunities to build relationships with other librarians, while also building leadership skills, looking at ALSC: The Big Picture, and guiding how ALSC operates and serves us all.

Not all of these groups require attending a conference, there are virtual committees too. These can be really excellent for finding mentors and building a librarian community if you’re feeling isolated.

Check out the roster of opportuntities on the ALSC Committees page & fill out your volunteer form today!  Join us!

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42. The YMAs illustrated!

image image image image image image image image image image image image

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43. Youth Media Awards

How exciting to have Last Stop on Market Street  be awarded the Newbery Medal as well as a Caldecott Honor.  I remember this also happened with A Visit to William Blake’s Inn.

 

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44. You’ll Never Go Wrong with Notables! #alamw16

IMG_0945If you have a few free minutes at the conference, stop by the Notable book discussion. You’ll hear thoughtful insights about a range of titles for children. I personally would rather spend extra time there than in the exhibit hall! The work this committee does is so impressive and important. It is an open meeting, so audience members can quietly come and go. The books they are discussing are all on a table in the room, so if something catches your attention in their discussions you can check it out in person. Don’t worry, if you’re #alaleftbehind, you can see what they’re discussing with this online list. Soon we’ll all get to see what titles they pick to be on the 2016 Notable Children’s Books List!

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45. Family Feud at #ALAmw16

Among all the required meetings and opportunities for learning, networking, and growth, it’s always good to make room for some good old-fashioned fun. AAP’s Library Family Feud was such an opportunity.

Family One: The Fearless Authors

Family One: The Fearless Authors

Played in the style of the classic TV game show, the session pitted authors (Ruta Sepetys,  Margaret Peterson Haddix, Josh Funk, Stephanie Evanovich, and Cecilia Tan) against a team of Boston librarians with team captain, Michael Colford.

It was a entertaining interlude in a very busy day.

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46. Reconnect with your favorite authors on the ALSC YouTube Channel #alamw16

Did you know that ALSC has its own YouTube Channel?  Neither did I.  One of the themes of my year is exploring all the avenues ALSC uses to share information with its members and this is a fun one!  I heard about this today in a committee meeting and had to check it out.

The ALSC Channel has author and illustrator interviews, Newbery/Caldecott/Wilder acceptance speeches, and great information from members and leaders in ALSC.

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47. The 2016 Distinguished Service Award Winner is… #alamw16 #leadalsc

Pat Scales! Congratulations to Pat, a 38-year member of ALSC, and a dedicated and influential librarian, advocate, teacher, and author.

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48. Sessions, meetings, exhibits — Oh My!

Wow, my brain is starting to hurt!   #alamw16 has offered some amazing opportunities, of that you can be sure–you’ve read about many of them here.   But don’t forget to take a break too!

I like to hop into the Pop Top or Book Buzz areas to hear authors, illustrators, and editors talk about their work.  Today, my “must read” pile grew by leaps and bounds.

I loved Charlesbridge’s- The Art of Storytelling: How Illustrators Construct Stories event yesterday.  These illustrators shared their processes, where they start and the responsibility of bringing stories to life.   Which of these events have you attended? What was your favorite? Share your pictures!

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49. #alamw16 Doors open in two hours and 15 minutes

I wonder if the phones have already rung? It’s 5:15am EST and today is the day when the Youth Media Awards will be announced here in the Boston Convention Center at 8:00am. Someone will learn she or he has won the Newbery Medal or the Caldecott Medal or the Schneider or any one of the amazing 19 awards to be announced today.   Lives changed forever.

Last year I had goosebumps as the Newbery winner was announced….goosebumps.

My dream is that the day will come when America joins us in our goosebumps. My dream is that the awareness of this day will spread and families will know that on this day the most distinguished contribution to literature for children in the U.S. was honored.

Boston with all of its memories of revolution and change and determination to create a place where everyone could be free to carve out a life of dreams come true might be a starting point for us. Let’s consider together what we might do to catapult ….absolutely launch … the importance of reading and books onto the national stage and into the national conversation.

Come on America…let’s talk books for children. Let’s change lives. Let’s share story. The big networks have been silent about the youth media awards for about 5 years now. They either think we don’t care or they think we shouldn’t care and I’m not keen on either one of those assumptions. No thanks.

In an era when someone’s breakfast gets notice I think stories that create possibilities in the lives of children deserve to have a huge moment.

Pretty soon the microphones will come alive and the energy in the room will start pulsing. I’ll be waiting for the goosebumps to come! I would love to invite a few million children to join me.

Cheers!!

The post #alamw16 Doors open in two hours and 15 minutes appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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50. Being In the Room!

You can feel the anticipation in the air! So many fans of books in one room. Soon the tweets will be flying so make sure you are following the hashtags #alamw16 and #

I cannot wait!

The post Being In the Room! appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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