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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Caldecott Medal, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. Register for Spring 2016 ALSC Online Courses

Spring 2016 ALSC Online Courses

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) encourages participants to sign up for Spring 2016 ALSC online courses. Registration is open for all courses. Classes begin Monday, April 4, 2016.

Two of the courses being offered this semester are eligible for continuing education units (CEUs). The American Library Association (ALA) has been certified to provide CEUs by the International Association of Continuing Education and Training (IACET). ALSC online courses are designed to fit the needs of working professionals. Courses are taught by experienced librarians and academics. As participants frequently noted in post-course surveys, ALSC stresses quality and caring in its online education options. For more information on ALSC online learning, please visit: www.ala.org/alsced

The Caldecott Medal: Understanding Distinguished Art in Picture Books
6 weeks, April 4 – May 13, 2016
Instructor: KT Horning, Director, Cooperative Children’s Book Center, University of Wisconsin- Madison

It’s Mutual: School and Public Library Collaboration
6 weeks, April 4 – May 13, 2016
Instructor: Rachel Reinwald, School Liaison and Youth Services Librarian, Lake Villa District Library

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Programs Made Easy
4 weeks, April 4 – 29, 2016, CEU Certified Course, 1.2 CEUs
Instructor: Angela Young, Head of Children’s Department, Reed Memorial Library

Storytelling with Puppets
4 weeks, September 14 – October 9, 2015, CEU Certified Course, 2.2 CEUs
Instructor: Steven Engelfried, Youth Services Librarian, Wilsonville Public Library

Detailed descriptions and registration information is available on the ALSC website. Fees are $115 for personal ALSC members; $165 for personal ALA members; and $185 for non-members. Questions? Please contact ALSC Program Officer for Continuing Education, Kristen Figliulo or 1 (800) 545-2433 ext 4026.

Images are courtesy of ALSC. 

The post Register for Spring 2016 ALSC Online Courses appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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2. Liz’s Summer Reading Pick

Time of Wonder

 by Robert McCloskey

           How could I begin my Liz’s Summer Picks with any other book than Robert McCloskey’s Time of Wonder?  Winner of The Caldecott Medal as “The most distinguished picture book of 1958,” it is a classic picture book, if the word classic still has meaning in this genre. His observations of one matchless summer season in the islands in and around Penobscot Bay in Maine are evocative, beautifully illustrated and reflective as the moods of the seasons and the sea he describes through the eyes of two children.

Out on the islands that poke their rocky shores above the waters of

Penobscot Bay you can watch the time of the world go by from minute

to minute, hour to hour, from day to day, season to season.

           Whether diving off rocks on the island’s point made by glaciers eons ago into icy cold water, sailing among the islands where mother seals nurse their babies in Swain’s Cove Ledges, watching porpoises at sunset “puffing and playing around your boat”, days build with a lazy momentum. It captures the pulse and promise of life lived by this family of four that is unhurried enough to savor the moments. But these small moments of discovery build to a sense and signal that the winds inevitably change to something quite eventful. Nature can change in a moment with a sudden ferocity coming ashore, blowing the cozy cabin door open sending people, Parcheesi boards and papers flying.

            There is gentleness to McCloskey’s book that gives the eye and ear time to sense and explore with the children the feeling of this island respite in Maine. And there is a sweet sadness at its close as another summer ends and school beckons with the quickening pace of life off island. The time you and your children will spend there is time lived fully and intimately with nature and the natural pace she sets. It is a time of wonder you will long remember and savor with your child again and again.

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3. Nana in the City – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Don’t you just love the serendipitous discovery that one of your favorite picture books of the previous year that you already have scheduled for this Friday’s Perfect Picture Books just happens to have won a well deserved Caldecott Honor Award … Continue reading

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4. 2015 Caldecott Awards Announced!

Every year at it's mid-Winter Conference the American Library Association presents the Caldecott Award "to the artist of the most distinguished American picturebook for children." In addition to the Medal award, several Honor awards are presented to the runner-ups in the category. The awards were announced this past Monday, Feb. 2, 2015.

The day of the announcement the first edition Caldecott Medal and Honor books become instantly collectible, and copies are quickly bought up by both collectors and booksellers, the latter buying them for resale.

2015 Caldecott Medal Winner

Adventures Of Beekle First Edition Caldecott Medal

The 2015 Caldecott Medal winner is The Adventures Of Beekle illustrated and written by Dan Santat  (Little Brown).

From the American Library Association's website:

" In four delightful “visual chapters,” Beekle, an imaginary friend, undergoes an emotional journey looking for his human. Santat uses fine details, kaleidoscopic saturated colors, and exquisite curved and angular lines to masterfully convey the emotional essence of this special childhood relationship.

“Santat makes the unimaginable, imaginable,” said Caldecott Medal Committee Chair Junko Yokota.

Now that Santat has won a Caldecott Medal, look for his earlier first edition children’s picturebooks to have higher collector interest. I was fortunate to acquire a couple of first edition copies of The Adventures of Beekle at a neighborhood independent bookstore.

2015 Caldecott Honor Books

Six books were awarded the Caldecott Honor by the ALA’s Selection Committee. The first edition for each of these will have increased book collector interest, as will the other books for each of the award winning illustrators.

Nana In The City First Edition Caldecott Medal

Nana In The City, written and illustrated by Lauren Castillo published by Clarion Books.

“Castillo’s evocative watercolor illustrations tell the story of a young boy’s visit to his grandmother, and the reassuring way she helps him to lose his fear and experience the busy, loud city in a new way.”

From Clarion’s promotional page:

In this magical picture book, a young boy spends an overnight visit with his nana and is frightened to find that the city where she lives is filled with noise and crowds and scary things. But then Nana makes him a special cape to help him be brave, and soon the everyday sights, sounds, and smells of the city are not scary—but wonderful. The succinct text is paired with watercolor illustrations that capture all the vitality, energy, and beauty of the city.

Noisy Paint Box First Edition Caldecott Medal

The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art (Alfred A. Knopf), illustrated by Mary GrandPré and written by Barb Rosenstock.

Abstract artist Vasily Kandinsky experienced colors as sounds and sounds as colors; he created work that was bold and groundbreaking using colors from his “noisy paint box.” His process is reflected beautifully by GrandPré, whose paint flows across the page in ethereal ribbons of color.

Many people know Mary GrandPré’s artwork from the covers of the Harry Potter books published by Scholastic – before the movies she imagined Harry for the US reading public. It’s nice to see her honored by the ALA.

Sam & Dave Dig A Hole First Edition Caldecott Medal

Sam & Dave Dig a Hole (Candlewick Press), illustrated by Jon Klassen and written by Mac Barnett.

Klassen’s use of texture, shape and earth tones in this deceptively simple book invite readers into the experience of two boys, who, accompanied by their dog, set out to dig a hole. Readers will find an unexpected treasure and be challenged to ponder the meaning of “spectacular.”

Jon Klassen won the Caldecott Medal award in 2013 for This Is Not My Hat, and he has won a Caldecott Honor award for his illustrations in Extra Yarn.

Viva Frida First Edition Caldecott Medal

Viva Frida (Roaring Brook Press), illustrated and written by Yuyi Morales.

Using a unique variety of media – puppetry, printmaking, painting and photography – combined with an intoxicating use of color and unfailing sense of composition, Morales celebrates the artistic process.

This is a beautiful mixed media book, see Macmillan’s promotional page

The Right Word First Edition Caldecott Medal

The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers) illustrated by Melissa Sweet and written by Jen Bryant.

Sweet’s inspired mixed media illustrations illuminate the personality and work of a man passionately interested in many things. Her collages combine disparate elements to create a cohesive whole, echoing the ways in which Roget ordered the world into lists that evolved into his groundbreaking thesaurus.

This book also won this year’s Robert F. Silbert Medal for the “most distinguished informational book for children”, from the ALA Silbert Award announcement:

The Right Word is about Peter Mark Roget, whose boyhood passion for list-making and finding the right word for every situation led him to create his “treasure house” of a book, the thesaurus. Bryant’s engaging, accessible narrative and Sweet’s delightfully detailed mixed media illustrations meld together to create “a marvel, a wonder, a surprise,” of a book.

With both lovely storytelling and intricate illustrations, this picture book biography of a life that had such a far reaching impact takes the format to another level,” said Sibert Medal Committee Chair Deborah Taylor.

Melissa Sweet’s illustrations were awarded a 2008 Caldecott Honor for A River Of Words.

This One Summer First Edition Caldecott Medal

This One Summer (First Second), illustrated by Jillian Tamaki and written by Mariko Tamaki.

Intricately detailed illustrations in shades of indigo are masterfully layered with the text in this graphic novel. The pacing and strong imagery evoke myriad emotions and ground this poignant and painfully realistic coming-of-age story.

Beautiful illustrations notwithstanding this is an odd choice by the Caldecott Selection Committee, as This One Summer is more a graphic novel than a children’s picturebook. See Macmillan’s promotional page .

The Newbery and Caldecott Medals and Honor Book seals are property of the American Library Association and cannot be used in any form or reproduced without permission of the ALA Office of Rights and Permissions.

Members of the 2015 Caldecott Medal Selection Committee are: Chair Junko Yokota, Center for Teaching through Children’s Books, Skokie, Ill.; Lucia Acosta, Princeton (N.J.) Public Library; Tali Balas Kaplan, Success Academy Charter School, Bronx, N.Y.; Bradley Debrick, Johnson County Library, Overland Park, Kan.; Alison Ernst, University Liggett School, Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.; Adrienne Furness, Henrietta Public Library, Rochester, N.Y.; Jonathan Hunt, San Diego (Calif.) County Office of Education; Rebecca Jackman, New Providence Middle School, Clarksville, Tenn.; Roger Kelly, Santa Monica (Calif.) Public Library; Barbara Klipper, Stamford, Conn.; Susan Kusel, Temple Rodef Shalom Library, Falls Church, Va.; Amy Lilien-Harper, Ferguson Library Harry Bennett Branch, Stamford, Conn.; Sharon McKellar, Oakland (Calif.) Public Library; Shilo Pearson, Chicago Public Library; and Angela Reynolds, Annapolis Valley Regional Library, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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5. Flora and the Flamingo

A 2014 Caldecott Honor Book
In this innovative wordless picture book with interactive flaps, Flora and her graceful flamingo friend explore the trials and joys of friendship through an elaborate synchronized dance. With a twist, a turn, and even a flop, these unlikely friends learn at last how to dance together in perfect harmony. Full of humor and heart, this stunning performance (and splashy ending!) will have readers clapping for more!

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6. You Need To Watch: Caldecott-Newbery-Wilder Awards Speeches

I’ve attended the annual conference of the American Library Association every year since 2010, when the conference was in Washington, DC. For whatever reason (probably because it required an expensive banquet ticket), I never attended the Caldecott-Newbery-Wilder Medals banquet, even when the winner was a graphic novel. This year changed that. I was staying at the AYH hostel […]

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7. Kitten's First Full Moon

This black and white book may not seem like much at first glance, but Kevin Henke's Caldecott Medal-winning Kitten's First Full Moon will soon become a favorite upon opening the cover.  A little kitten, upon seeing the full moon for the first time, thinks it is a bowl of milk and sets off on an adventure to try and reach it.  Kitten's expressive face, and the simple illustrations and story will delight readers of all ages.

Try also:

My Friend Rabbit by Eric Rohman
City Dog, Country Frog by Mo Willems
Bark, George by Jules Feiffer
Gossie by Olivier Dunrea
The Tale of Tom Kitten by Beatrix Potter

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8. Learning From Mistakes

It’s a fact that I’ve learned a whole lot more from my writing mistakes than from my writing successes. Take, for example, the chapter book debacle.

The first manuscript I wrote was an 8,000-ish word chapter book called, "Eddie’s Chance to Dance." Except that I didn’t really know it was a chapter book. I just thought it was a charming tale that might be a tad short for juvenile fiction.

Then somebody told me it was a chapter book. Well, okay, no need to be all smartypants about it. It wasn’t like I hadn’t heard of chapter books. I’d bought a ton of them for my kiddies. I just hadn’t…what’s the word again? Oh, yeah. Read many of them. So I thought I’d better brush up on chapter books.

I checked out shelves full of these slim books from my local library and read every single one. And what I realized, after all that brushing up, was that my chapter book was not very good. Or to put it another way, Eddie didn’t stand a tap shoe's chance of getting published.

I’d made a big mistake. I dashed off a chapter book before I knew much about what makes a good chapter book. It seems like an obvious concept, to research before you write, but you’d be surprised how often writers (and I’m including myself here) will write something willy-nilly and expect the world (and I’m including mostly editors here) to love it.

I figured out a few things after all that reading, and not just about chapter books. For example, if I want to write for a market, say a webzine like WOW!Women-on-Writing, I’ll read a ton of issues before making a pitch. If I have a mystery novel in mind, I’ll read a couple Edgar Award winners before pounding out 50,000 words. And now that I write fiction for the kiddies, I’ve read picture books on the Caldecott Medal list, and chapter books and middle grade on the Newbery Medal list, and young adult novels on the Printz Award list. These days, I do my reading research.

Lesson learned.

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9. The Caldecott Is Coming . . . Soon, Soon

One of my favorite blogs is Calling Caldecott. It's co-written by Robin Smith (a second grade teacher and reviewer for Kirkus and Horn Book) and Lolly Robinson (who teaches children's lit. at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and is designer/production manager for Horn Book.)

November was Picture Book Month at the Horn Book and two exceptional articles in that section of the blog are "Over and Over," an emotional tribute to Charlotte Zolotow written by her daughter, Crescent Dragonwagon; and Patricia Gauch's article "The Picture Book as an Act of Mischief."

Moving on to the reviews of possible Caldecott Medal candidates, here are a few of the books they've featured:

 Bear Has a Story to Tell  written by Philip Stead, illustrated by Erin Stead. A Home for Bird written and illustrated by Philip Stead and And Then It's Spring by Julie Fogliano, illus by Erin Stead. Could this be another "Stead" year?

 Goldilocks and The Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems. Could the committee go for a fractured fairy tale? Maybe an Honor book?

Penny and Her Song.  Kevin Henkes. For the Geisel committee instead?

And my favorite:
Z is For Moose by Kelly Bingham and Paul Zelinsky. A wacky romp through the alphabet. Amazing to me that Paul Zelinsky, of the rich, traditional oil paintings, illustrated this with such freedom and verve. You can read Roger Sutton's interview with him on the Horn Book website.

Do you have a favorite Caldecott candidate?

6 Comments on The Caldecott Is Coming . . . Soon, Soon, last added: 12/21/2012
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10. ALA Youth Media Awards Have Been Announced!

Earlier today the American Library Association announced the 2013 Youth Media Awards Winners. Click here to read the press release.

Highlights include:

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

The One and Only Ivan written by Katherine Applegate (HarperCollins Children’s Books, 2012)

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

This Is Not My Hat, illustrated and written by Jon Klassen (Candlewick Press, 2012).

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

Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America, written by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrated by Brian Pinkney (Disney/Jump at the Sun Books, 2012).

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

I, Too, Am America, illustrated by Bryan Collier, written by Langston Hughes (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2012)

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

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, written by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2012)

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

Martín de Porres: The Rose in the Desert, illustrated by David Diaz, written by Gary D. Schmidt (Clarion Books, 2012)

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11. Caldecott Thoughts 2013

This is not my hat  This year’s winner of the Caldecott Medal is This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen (Candlewick Press, 2012).  This story is a big fish tale, but not in the way you might think. It’s also a small fish tale about a small fish who stole the hat of a big fish. He’s pretty sure he can get away with it, but stealing is wrong, isn’t it? Do you think he’ll get away with it? Do you think he should? This story certainly made me smile. Mr. Klassen does a superb job moving the story along with short sentences and illustrations that change ever so slightly as they move to the right and off of the page.

Creepy carrots! The ALSC chose five honor books this year! Among them is Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Peter Brown (Simon & Schuster, 2012). This fun picture book is cleverly illustrated with just enough color to set an eerie mood. If picture books were horror movies, this one would be rated G. It’s just so much fun; I read it three or four times. Jasper Rabbit has this terrible feeling that carrots are following him. Is it his imagination? Or have the creepy carrots devised a plan to keep Jasper out of the carrot patch?

Extra yarn Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen (Balzer+Bray, 2012) is my favorite of the picks this year. The story includes everything from a magic box of colorful yarn, to an evil archduke, to a sweet, young heroine who cares very much for her town. I like how the town gets more and more colorful as the story goes along. But the best part is the quiet, unassuming, and peaceful ending.

Green This honor book simply titled Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger (Roaring Brook Press, 2012) is beautifully illustrated in different shades of green, one of my favorite colors. It sports minimal text and peek-a-boo cut outs on several of the pages, which tie one page cleverly to the next. As you may guess, all of the illustrations depict the great outdoors and the natural beauty of the world, and showcase trees, flowers, animals, vegetables, and more.

One cool friend One Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo and illustrated by David Small (Dial Books, 2012) stars a polite, young boy named Elliot who decides he wants a penguin. I like Elliot; he has a lot of character. I like the combination of color and black and white for the multimedia illustrations. My favorite picture shows Elliot and the penguin skating in his room. This is a fun story that will make you laugh. And the twist at the end is the best!

Sleep like a tiger Sleep Like a Tiger by Mary Logue and illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski (Houghton Mifflin Books, 2012) is a dreamy, bedtime story with muted colors that fill up the pages. The paintings are a mix of fantasy and reality and, along with the solid text, tell the story of a young girl who doesn’t want to go to sleep. I just love the pictures of the dog asleep on the couch; just gorgeous!

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12. Swooning Over Swag (or Christmas in July)

I count myself lucky to know some really terrific people. And one such person is my colleague and friend Brian Abbott. Brian is the coworker who went to the ALA (American Library Association) Midwinter Conference back in January and brought me back several ARCs. (Read more about that by clicking Here.) A few weeks ago, he attended the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas and he came back bearing swag, and lots of it! From posters, to prints, to magnets, and even CDs, they were giving it all away at ALA. And Brian gave a bunch to me! 











But his generosity didn’t end there. He waited in line and managed to grab me a signed copy, yes, a signed copy of Caldecott Medal winner Brian Floca’s book Locomotive! (Read my review of Locomotive Here.) 














Okay, that’s definitely sweet, but the most unique item Brian brought back was a seven-page, full-color booklet that was given out to attendees of the Newbery Caldecott Awards Banquet. Brian was invited to attend! (Okay, push down the author envy.) The booklet is so cool; it even has a pop-up in it! Swoon.   















Thanks Brian, you’re awesome! To learn more about adult mystery novelist Brian Abbott, check out his site, The Poisoned Martini, and look for his debut novel Death On Stoneridge, coming soon.

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13. Illustrator Saturday – David Small

MY PUBLICITY PHOTO copy-2I noticed that illustrator David Small’s new book, Catch That Cookie was hitting the bookshelves on August 14th, so I contacted him to see if he would like to be featured on Illustrator Saturday. He will be doing a book tour in September, so I’ll make sure I tell you all the ins and outs as soon as I know them. It will be a great opportunity to meet him and Hallie Durand, if they are coming to a bookstore near you.

Here is a little bit about David:

David Small was born and raised in Detroit. In school he became known as “the kid who could draw good,” but David never considered a career in art because it was so easy for him. At 21, after many years of writing plays, David took the advice of a friend who informed him that the doodles he made on the telephone pad were better than anything he had ever written. He switched his major to Art and never looked back. After getting his MFA at the Yale Graduate School of Art, David taught art for many years on the college level, ran a film series and made satirical sketches for campus newspapers.

Approaching tenure, he wrote and illustrated a picture book, “Eulalie and the Hopping Head”, which he took to New York, pounding the pavements and collecting rejections for a month in the dead of winter. “Eulalie” was published in 1981. Although tenure at the college did not follow, many more picture books did, as well as extensive work for national magazines and newspapers. His drawings appeared regularly in The New Yorker and The New York Times. A learn-as-you-go illustrator, David’s books have been translated into several languages, made into animated films and musicals, and have won many of the top awards accorded to illustration, including the 1997 Caldecott Honor and The Christopher Medal for “The Gardener” written by his wife, Sarah Stewart, and the 2001 Caldecott Medal for “So, You Want To Be President?” by Judith St. George.

“At the Caldecott ceremony in San Francisco,” said David, “facing that veritable sea of smiling faces — of librarians, of friends in publishing, of my family and other well-wishers— I was so overcome that I lost my voice and croaked my way through the speech. Having been turned from a frog into a prince by the American Library Association, before their eyes that night, I turned back into a frog.” To date he has illustrated over 40 picture books. At an average of 40 pages per book, that makes around 1,840 illustrations, though someone ought to check that math. Currently David is working on a graphic memoir about his problematic youth.

David Small and Sarah Stewart make their home in an 1833 manor house on a bend of the St. Joseph River in southwest Michigan. David’s studio is an 1890 farmhouse also overlooking the river, just a short walk from home.

Here’s David discussing his process for the cover of his new book, CATCH THAT COOKIE written by Hallie Durand:


Every picture-book has its unique set of problems in the making of it. This one had relatively few worries on the interior art but, what we didn’t know was: we had a long hard struggle coming up, trying to find a good title and a good jacket design as well. This was a first jacket sketch, from back in the summer of 2013, when the working title was “Searching for Gingerbread”, which nobody liked.


By December, Holly had come up with a great title. I still clung to that original pose for the Kid but, as you can see from my inked notations, we were already discussing a different attitude, one without the theatrical “Scout-Searching-the-Plains” hand over the eyes.


Here the Kid’s pose is more dynamic, but still something was wrong. Nobody thought the Kid should be able to see the Cookie. They were right: it made it look like an uneven match.


Here their positions are reversed. The hiding cookie seemed okay, but the Kid has no verve. The thrill was going out of this jacket project. By now, six months had passed. It was February 2014, I was working from my studio in Mexico, and our deadline for a jacket was coming up very soon. We decided to get the creative juices kick-started by taking a radically-different approach. (We had no idea what that approach would be, only that it had to be radical. [Slide #4a:] Lily (the Art Director) and I decided to comb over some old movie posters for dynamic image ideas. Here is Mark Wahlberg as “Max Payne.”


…. and here is the Kid saying: “Stop right there, you darn cookie! Put your doughy little arms up or suffer maximum pain!”


Another wrong direction. The illustrator’s panic shows in the whole pose. I and Lily, Holly and two editors– were working every day, all day and often into the night on this. We had passed the deadline long ago and were nearing the drop-deadline. We had to find another way!


Some smart-thinking person (not me,) had come up with this “WANTED” poster for the back jacket. Another person (also not me,) decided it might work as the front jacket.


For several days we went with that, but nobody was getting buzzed. This one had too much text to read …


…this had less text but still no “Grab-Me-Off-The-Shelf” appeal.

JKT 10

How this– the final jacket design–evolved, was a similar ordeal full of false starts, wrong turns, bad decisions, do-overs and raw nerves but we finally got it. And that, in the end, is all that matters. I’ve shown you 10 examples here, but in my archives I have at least 50 different comps for this jacket, which doesn’t count all the others that went into the trash. It now seems amazing, unusual — even weird– that it took so long to get this right., but so it goes.


When did you first know you were destined to become an artist?

When I realized I was not fit for life in the real world and that any normal employment was out of the question.


Did you always live in Michigan?

No. I’ve lived in Chicago, in Boston, in New Haven and in a small burg in Upstate New York. Also, you should know that there are two Michigans: one is called Detroit, and I’ve done time in both.

What was the first thing you illustrated and got paid for doing?

An article in the NYTimes Book Review. I was in NYC for 2 months, trying to market my first children’s book. (This was in the early 1980’s, before the Internet, when you had to be in NYC to get work there.) I  went up to the Times to the office of Steve Heller, showed him my portfolio, and then and there he gave  me an assignment for the Book Review. Since he wanted it the next day, I stayed up all night, working on
the floor of an empty apartment on W. 10th Street. (Some friends had loaned us their apartment while  they moved into another one, and the place had no furniture except a bed and a lamp.)

Do you feel getting your MFA at the Yale Graduate School of Art helped develop your style?

No. I had a far better art education getting my BFA at Wayne State University in Detroit, during the ‘60’s.

What made you decide to go to Yale vs. other schools for art?

I didn’t make the decision. My mentor– a Boston artist named Michael Mazur–decided I needed to go to grad school. Mike had gone to Yale, was good friends with the printmaker Gabor Peterdi, who at that time taught in the Printmaking Department at Yale, and he used his influence to get me in.

Did you have a favorite class at Yale?

Life Drawing was always my favorite class, wherever I was. At Wayne I had had great instructors in drawing the figure and Anatomy, so by the time I got to Yale all I really needed was to be left alone to continue practicing.
You may sense a certain “distant” tone when I speak about Yale? At the time I was
there, in the early 70’s, the Yale Grad School of Art was a ruptured institution, with one part of the faculty –the Traditionalists–at war with another, the Abstractionists. This tension got passed along to the students, who basically stayed hidden away in their studios, coming out only for the faculty group critiques of their work. These forums were staged in public, in an open pit, with people watching from the balconies tiered around that space. They were like gladitorial games and they always devolved into ideological screaming-matches between the professors, while students were frequently driven away in tears. I got spared these ordeals because we Printmaking majors weren’t considered actual artists.

You mention in your bio that you began with writing plays. Do you think you will ever write another play?

Making graphic novels is much like play writing, and it’s even more like film-making.

Do you feel getting your MFA at Yale opened doors for you?

Absolutely. In the world of academe, that Yale degree has genuine snob appeal. Out in the world of actual illustration, Art Directors at magazines and publishing houses could care less where you went to school. They don’t read your resume, they just look at your portfolio.

My opinion of art schools in general is they offer you two important things: 1) a place to work where you can avoid having to be out in the world while you develop your art, and, if you’re lucky, 2) possibly one or two good instructors who might encourage you. I still think the portfolio is more important than the degree.

What was the catalyst for your first picture book, “Eulalie and the Hopping Head”?

My family. I grew up feeling my parents wanted to trade me in for a different model.

Where did you teach art? How did the job to teach art come along?

I first taught at the S.U.N.Y. college at Fredonia. I presume it was the Yale degree that put me in the running for that position, but also, my work was substantial and I interviewed well. That job lasted 7 years. I left that institution -and tenure — when I was hired at Kalamazoo College ,which had all the qualities I was looking for in a place to teach; it was small, it offered a real quality education, it had that
Georgian architecture ( the look of a little Parnassus-On-A-Hill) and –a big plus–there were very few Art majors. That meant that my students came from other disciplines like the sciences and language, and so, had other interests than flinging paint around.

After 4 years there, the Reagan Recession hit and colleges everywhere began cutting positions to save money. My position was eliminated and my wife and I –both around 40 years old at that time– found ourselves out on the street, with no jobs, no savings and no place to live. At the time it seemed like a disaster, but it turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me. It pushed me out into the world of work. If I had stayed in academe I think I might have withered away and dried up completely.

How did you land your gigs with The New Yorker and The New York Times?

I showed them my portfolio and, to my surprise, they hired me. Then they hired me again. But there was  absolutely no certainty that they would ever hire you after that. This uncertainly–to me– was exhilarating, and stillis. It’s so different from academia, where you could relax and be assured that your next paycheck would be coming in.

Do you still do illustrations for magazines?

No. Maybe things have changed now, but for the years when I worked for magazines, the work was always very interruptive, the pay was low, and it all had to be done very fast. The pace got even crazier with the advent of fax machines, overnight delivery and the Internet.

Which books of yours were recreated into animated films and musicals?

IMOGENE’S ANTLERS was made into a great little mini-musical. Weston Woods has made films of SYWTB President?, MY SENATOR AND ME, and– coming soon– ONE COOL FRIEND.

Did your illustrating and your wife’s writing bring the two of you together?

No. A mutual friend introduced us at a party and it was love at first sight. I loved her face, her intellect, and the tiny vase of live violas she wore around her neck that night. We were friends for eight years before we married.

Was it fun working on “The Gardener” that your wife Sarah Stewart wrote?

The word “fun” did not enter my work vocabulary on that project The story ,as you know, is set in the Great Depression, and concerns a child whose family can’t afford to keep her. She is torn away from everything she knows and loves and is sent off to work for her uncle in the city. When I illustrate a story I have to make my own. That is, I have to find myself in it. With The Gardener, at first and for a long time, I agonized over the pain and loneliness that child must have felt. I couldn’t find any light in it. Also, I was familiar with the black and white photos from that era, of the
starving families in the Dust Bowl, of the urban bread lines … It wasn’t pretty. I decided it was beyond my powers to illustrate that story, and I was ready to turn back the contract. Then came a breakthrough.

I had a talk with Lydia Grace Finch–the gardener friend of Sarah’s on whose childhood Sarah had based her story. I asked Lydia what it was like growing up during the Depression.She said: “I was just a kid like any other kid. I didn’t know what ‘the Depression’ was; that was just life. We all had to work, of course.
We worked hard, but we also knew how to enjoy ourselves. I had a lot of fun during the Depression!”

That conversation was an eye-opener for me. I put it together with my own childhood memories of growing up young and innocent in Detroit, and suddenly things began to develop rapidly on paper. I guess, maybe, at that point it started to be fun.

How excited were the two of you to win The Christopher Medal and receive a Caldecott Honor for that book in 1997?

Very excited and surprised as well. It was stunning for both of us, to have such a private, personal experience given such huge recognition by the larger world.

Did you see a jump in demand for your illustrating after those wins?

I suppose I did. I know I started getting offered a lot of manuscripts that resembled Sarah’s but that weren’t Sarah’s, so I really had no interest in doing them.

Did you have any idea that “So, You Want To Be President?” by Judith St. George would win the Caldecott?

I personally didn’t think that book would sell five copies. But, speaking of “fun?” … that book was fun to make! Maybe that’s why I had little hopes for it, because it seemed more like bad-boy misconduct than work.

Once we realized that a Presidential election (Bush v. Gore) was coming up that very Fall, we stepped up the production schedule and I had to work very quickly; I didn’t have time to fuss and fret over every drawing. So, maybe my pessimissim about its prospects was related to my anxiety that maybe I hadn’t done a “perfect job”. (Aways a worry.)

Was Imogene’s Antlers the second picture book that you wrote? How did you find a home with a publisher for that book?

It was the fifth book I had illustrated, the second book I wrote. The editor of my first book– Alan Benjamin– had just become the Senior Buying Editor at Crown. Nobody among the higher-ups at Crown wanted to buy that book, but Alan made them publish it. He had a sense about it. He and I shared that bad-boy quality in our taste for books, but Alan was also very suave, very urbane, and could be very persuasive.

When did you meet your agent Holly McGhee?

It must have been 1997, the year she began Pippin Properties. I had given up on my search for a literary agent because all of the ones I met, for one reason or another, I had found disturbing. (One of them — a very famous kids book agent– was an outright crook. I had been warned away fromhim by several of my peers, but I interviewed him just to see if they were right. They were right. He met all red flag points on the official “How To Recognize a Sociopath” list. After that creepy encounter I had decided to go back to being agentless.

Then, Holly McGhee wrote to me. Her letter not only showed a genuine interest in– and enthusiasm for — my work, but she already had an impressive list of clients including William Steig and Jon Agee. When I met her face-to-face and found myself talking not to a self-inflated suit but to a genuine, straight-talking human being, I was convinced. I knew that she could help bring some business clarity to my life.

Were you Holly’s first client?
I was not the very first, but I was among them.

Was it hard to write “Stitches,” since it is so heartfelt?

It took me about 7 years to make that book, and yes, it was very very hard to make. But, that being said, I was driven to do it. All the false starts, all the re-do’s, the frustrations and self-doubts, the piles of material that ended up in the trash and the fifteen full-length versions (all of them different) were just things that seemed very necessary to working out a coherent story.

Holly, by the way, was very involved with Stitches from the beginning. She edited the first 12 versions of it. When we finally had it in a form she thought she could present with confidence, she spent a whole year of research to find a list of 6 editors at 6 different houses where she thought my book would fit. After that, she and the other Pips spent months putting together a presentation package. About that, Holly said, “I want this thing to be so extraordinary-looking that an editor will immediately
pop it into their briefcase and read it on the train ride home.” The day after she sent it out she immediately got 5 offers.

Was that your first graphic novel?


Which one of your books is your favorite?

Stitches is the book of my life, okay?–but it is in a much, much different category from the picture books. Of those, The Money Tree (by Sarah ) and my own Paper John were probably the most  meaningful, because they both were pulled up from some place very deep in us both. As for the 50+  other picture books, I have to give the by-now cliched but still very-honest answer: I don’t play favorites with my children. That said, there are a few of those children who–although I wish them well– I’d prefer not to see again. You try the best you can every time, but sometimes the stars are misaligned ….  something has gone wrong.

What is your favorite material to us when you do a colored illustration?

I first draw in waterproof ink, then do the color in water color and pastels.

Have your materials changed since your first published book?

Yes. By the time I did So, You Want To Be President? I was getting tired of Realism and was ready for a change in both my style and materials. That was when I loosened up my drawing style, began drawing more with a brush, and working in some patches of pastel chalk, for more emphatic color.

Have you tried your hand at Photoshop or drawing with a graphic tablet?

I have. Like everyone else in this ramped-up age of publishing, I was seduced by the “apparent” speed with which changes can be made with the computer, and by some of the impressive effects achieved by a few of the artists who use it. But, when I started taking Photoshop lessons I realized that I disliked more things about the medium than I liked. Most of all I missed the disconnect between the hand and the image. I missed having inky fingers and masses of art supplies surrounding me. I found out that being able to make speedy changes was not necessarily a good a thing for me: it felt strange that a drawing could be instantly evaporated into the ether, without having time to mellow and to reveal its good aspects. I should add that, when I go to an exhibit of original art I prefer to see original hand-made art, not a digital print-out. From the former I feel I’m always learning something useful about what the human hand is capable of doing, while from the latter I generally learn nothing. I also see a lot of computer artists trying clumsily to imitate the effects of
hand-drawn work. I’m not saying I’m against digitally-generated images, I’m only saying it’s not for me.

jane and david
Do you spend any time promoting your work or does Holly take care of all that for you?

I spend Zero time in self-promotion. I’m not on Facebook or Twitter. Holly is my advocate, my procurer (heh) , my confessor, my confidante, occasionally (as with Stitches,) my first editor and one of my best friends. As Artistic Director of her own company now, she chooses the best artists and authors she can find, gets them the best contracts she can, and lets their work stand for itself.

Promotion is up to the publishers and their Marketing Departrments. What makes them get behind a book –or not– is always a mystery, but I have to trust them. In any case, I’d much rather have them out there, doing all that, than doing it myself. I have other fish to fry.

What do you feel was your greatest success?

You can have many different kinds of success. There are books that might have been commercially successful that were not, in your own opinion, so successful as works of art or literature. There are books you are very proud of from an aesthetic standpoint, which sink without a trace. There are books that have a big critical success but which, for some reason, the public doesn’t go for. I’ve had all of  these.

The 2001 Caldecott Medal ceremony was the most astonishing public display of success I’ve  ever experienced. I think almost everyone present, that night in San Francisco, felt that something really significant had been done by the ALA. The crowd was immense and the air was electric. There was something very daring and spirited about the committee’s choice that year. I am sure it had something to
do with the political miasma swirling in D.C. at the time, and with the sense that Judy St. George, our editor Patricia Gauch and I had delivered some straight-talk to American children about the real human beings–full of real talents and real faults — who have held the highest office in the land. So, it was an enormous thrill being at the center of all that , but what I felt mainly was a fearsome lack of words with
which to express adequate thanks to the givers.

Since you have a separate studio, would you tell us a little bit about it?

We have two houses on our property. One is the house we live in, the other–a 3-minute walk along the riverbank– is my studio, which occasionally doubles as a guest house. When I used to work at home Sarah and I found the intertwining of our lives too distracting. Sarah needs absolute silence, while I need music on, sometimes very loud, when I work. Sarah likes to leave the phone off the hook, but I don’t
mind interruptions. I enjoy emails, while Sarah has never touched a computer and won’t have one in the house. Those are significant differences, but we both share a need for privacy, so having separate work spaces –when we finally got them–was a big relief. That being said, I have to tell you that Sarah never once complained while I was at work at home, but, when the opportunity came along for me to have a studio, she was on it like spots on dice.

Do you try to spend a specific amount of time working on your craft?

No. I don’t have a stopwatch for the amount of time I put into my work , just as I don’t go over my Profit & Loss sheets. I pay no attention to time and I pay even less to money. If I paid attention to those things, my worries would be all about time and money. As it is, my worries are all about art.

Do you take pictures or do any types of research, before you start a project?

For things like architectural styles and period costumes one must have research tools, books and the Internet. Computers are amazing tools for this, but I cherish equally my collection of books, which is big. A book is a often a better research tool, especially when you don’t know specifically what you’re looking for, you often find it by leafing through the pages.

Do you think the Internet has opened doors for you?

Oh yes! I live on a prairie outside a small farming village, Population 800. There is a distinct lack of culture out here. We have a very small library, but nothing else, no museums, no theatres. Even though Chicago and Detroit are only 3 hours distant, we visit them only occasionally and for very brief stays. With e-mail I communicate daily with business friends, editors and art directors in NYC and with close friends in
Boston, San Francisco, Mexico, Paris and Brazil. It’s fantastic.


Do you have any career dreams that you want to fulfill?

I hope to keep working and to fall over into my ink bottle when I croak. If there is an afterlife I hope they have a good art supply store there.


What are you working on now?

I have a book coming out with Dial this September, CATCH THAT COOKIE! written by Hallie Durand. Next year will see GLAMOURPUSS by Sarah Weeks (Scholastic, Spring 2015.) At the moment I’m working on finals for BLOOM by Doreen Cronin (Atheneaum, Spring 2016.) I also have a graphic novel in the works. That will be published by Liveright.


Do you have any material type tips you can share with us? Example: Paint or paper that you love – the best place to buy – a new product that you’ve tried – A how to tip, etc.

A few years ago I fell in love with a refillable brush pen made in Japan and distributed by Pentel. I buy mine from Wetpaint in St. Paul MN. (On their website store, click on Brush Pens and it will be the first item listed.) I drew most of Stitches with that pen, and I always travel with them to use in my sketchbooks.

As for”How To” tips, I have two good ones:

A. Always carry a sketchbook with you and use it. If you’re self-conscious about people watching you, wear tinted glasses and develop a “don’t mess with me” look. (You are, after all, at work, and you have to focus at all costs.)
B. If you’re learning watercolor, try to put down no more than three layers of color, the first having so little paint in it that you can hardly detect any color. This advice comes from good old John Ruskin’s “Elements of Drawing” (1857.) When I can calm my own impatient impulses and follow it, a painting usually works out beautifully. When I forget Ruskin’s tip, my painting gets muddy and has to be done again.


Any words of wisdom you have on how to become a successful illustrator would be appreciated?

Sure. Don’t think about being a successful illustrator. Just try being a great one. Copy the old Masters.


Thank you David for sharing your journey, expertise, and process with us. Good luck with CATCH THE COOKIE. I hope it is a big success.

Here is the Amazon link for anyone who wants to check it out: CATCH THAT COOKIE by Hallie Durand.  Can anyone tell me who is Hallie Durand?

You can visit David at his website: http://www.davidsmallbooks.com

Please take a minute to leave David a comment. I am sure he would love to hear from you and as always, I would, too.

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: Advice, Illustrator's Saturday, inspiration, Interview, Process, Tips Tagged: Caldecott Medal, Catch the Cookie, David Small, Sarah Stewart, Yale Graduate School of Art

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14. Newbery! Caldecott! Librarians Honor Graphic Novels including El Deafo and This One Summer

The American Library Association announced their 2015 youth media award winners at its Midwinter Meeting in Chicago.

Covering a diverse range of titles and readers, graphic novels were among the honorees!  First…  The big news…

9781419712173 Newbery!  Caldecott!  Librarians Honor Graphic Novels including El Deafo and This One SummerEl Deafo, Cece Bell’s memoir of her hearing loss and fitting in at grade school was selected as a Newbery Honor Book, as an outstanding contribution to children’s literature!

While already a bestseller, with long autograph lines this weekend at the conference, this honor will encourage more libraries, especially school libraries, to shelve and promote this title, a great book which just happens to be a graphic memoir!

Then there’s the Caldecott Medal, for most distinguished American picture book.  This is another “instant bestseller”, generating instant sales among libraries and bookstores.  This year’s winner was Dan Santat, for “The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend”, which is a regular picture book.  But…  Santat has also written a graphic novel, titled “Sidekicks”, and his picture books are geeky and fun, so I’m claiming him!

Also… there were SIX honor books announced.  One of which was…  “This One Summer“, illustrated by Jillian Tamaki, written by Mariko Tamaki.  Yes… it’s awarded to the illustrator, but many times, the story is essential for a title rising among the many amazing books being published today.

Don’t feel sory for Mariko… she received a Printz Honor for excellence in literature written for young adults!  This is the Newberry for YA literature, with a similar explosion in sales expected!  (Graphicologists will recall that Gene Luen Yang won the award for American Born Chinese in 2007.)

What… you want more?  Okay…  How about an outstanding children’s book translated from a foreign language?

The Mildred L. Batchelder Award honored “Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust“, published by First Second.  Written in French by Loic Dauvillier, illustrated by Marc Lizano, color by Greg Salsedo, and translated by Alexis Siegel, it chronicles a young Jewish girl in 1942 Paris.  I confess… I overlooked this title last Spring. (Hey… they have an amazing list, and there’s lots of great stuff from other publishers too!)  Here’s a friendly reminder, and an enjoyable one at that!

9780525426813M Newbery!  Caldecott!  Librarians Honor Graphic Novels including El Deafo and This One SummerOne more title of note…  YALSA (the Young Adult Library Services Association) gave an award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults.  This year’s winner:

Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek by Maya Van Wagenen

If you’d like to know more about these and many other winners (many in multiple categories), visit the Youth Media Awards website! You can read our 2014 coverage here.

Me, I’m off to discover more great titles, and to help librarians use graphic novels to encourage literacy and a life-long-love of reading!

6 Comments on Newbery! Caldecott! Librarians Honor Graphic Novels including El Deafo and This One Summer, last added: 2/3/2015
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15. Timeless Thursdays: Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey


I love the picture book, Make Way for Ducklings, written in 1941 by Robert McCloskey because he “noticed the traffic problem of the ducks” in Boston when he returned there to work. He had heard stories about them, and so he wrote and illustrated this timeless picture book.

Why should you still use this book with preschoolers, kindergarteners, and first graders? Because they will love it. First, the illustrations are priceless. My favorite is when the ducks want to cross the street, and they are all quacking at the cars. Which one is your favorite? What about your students? What do they think of Robert McCloskey’s style? What about the brown and white pictures in Make Way for Ducklings?

If you teach or live in Boston, you have to share this book with your students or your children. Do they recognize the places drawn or mentioned in the book? You can even talk about rhyming words and make up silly names with this book. Just look at the names of the ducklings–they all end in -ack. That’s pretty appropriate, don’t you think?

Have fun with Make Way for Ducklings! Show your students this Caldecott Winner, and then a Caldecott Winner from recent years. Ask them to compare and contrast the books.

The thing I love about Timeless Thursdays is that I get to revisit all these old books and realize why I still remember them.

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16. Wild Things

Before the movie fades from awareness, let’s look at some not so exalted celebrations of Maurice Sendak’s strangely theatrical Caldecott Medal winning-story, Where the Wild Things Are, opera for toddlers.

From Wikipedia:  “The original concept for the book featured horses instead of monsters. According to Sendak, his publisher suggested the switch when she discovered that Sendak could not draw horses, but thought that he ‘could at the very least draw ‘a thing.’  He replaced the horses with caricatures of his aunts and uncles, whom he had studied critically in his youth as an escape from their weekly visits to his family’s Brooklyn home.”

Children’s author-illustrators  influence our world.  Like a good ghostbuster I have video proof that I’ll share with you now. Monica Kelley posted this clip on her blog,  My Place For Art recently.

It got me looking at more of them.  So next it’s Jammin’s Crazy Chalk Drawings — the Wild Things’ island rendered on a blackboard.

And Max in his boat:

Here’s the Disney version, which luckily the public never saw.  It has Max in his wolf suit, chasing his dog.  Except he scurries  around his home and room like one of the baby squirrels from Snow White.

This next one one has feet of clay.  I don’t know what the journalism school students were doing working on this project, but I hope they all got A’s.  I think they brilliantly captured the spirit of Max.

Of course the  ballet companies pounced on Sendak’s premise that always seemed more suited to dance and backdrops than to words.

These are but a few of the many versions of Max’s odyssey on YouTube. They range in kookinesss and fun. They demonstrate how an  artist’s idea can inspire a chorus of creative interpretations and loving imitations  — in this case, 47 years after the book first rolled off presses at Harper & Row Publishers.

* * * * *

We had fun at our group call last night in the children’s book illustration class — even if it was a call without sound. We saw some great work by students.  Learn more about the online course, Make Your Splashes; Make Your Marks at this 0 Comments on Wild Things as of 1/1/1900

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17. Evaline Ness Collection Auction

Have you ever heard of Evaline Ness? She was an illustrator of many children’s books during the mid-20th century period. At a time when most illustration was still being done in a style of literal realism, Ness was among that group of stylistic pioneers whose work still influences the look of illustration today.

She also has the unusual distinction of having been married for a time to the famous FBI agent, Elliot Ness.

The Bloombury Auction House in New York has an upcoming auction featuring a collection of children’s books signed by Evaline Ness, her Caldecott medal for Sam, Bangs and Moonshine and some never before seen sketchbooks and dummies all of which come from her family collection.

The sale will take place at Bloomsbury Auctions New York on Wednesday, December 9th, but those who won’t be able to attend can view nearly a dozen pieces from the Ness collection in my Evaline Ness Flickr set.

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18. 2010 ALA Youth Media Awards Announced

Earlier today the American Library Association (ALA)  announced the top books, audiobooks and video for children and young adults – including the Caldecott, King, Newbery and Printz awards – at its Midwinter Meeting in Boston.

A complete list of all the 2010 literary award winners can be  seen here. Highlights include:

Winner of the John Newbery Medal ( for most outstanding contribution to children’s literature):
When You Reach Me written by Rebecca Stead

Winner of the Caldecott Medal (for most distinguished American picture book for children):
The Lion & the Mouse illustrated and written by Jerry Pinkney

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

Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal written by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie

Winner of the Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award
My People illustrated by Charles R. Smith Jr. and written by Langston Hughes

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

Book Fiesta!: Celebrate Children’s Day/Book Day; Celebremos El día de los niños/El día de los libros illustrated by Rafael López and written by Pat Mora

Winner of the Pura Belpré (Author) Award
Return to Sender written by Julia Alvarez

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19. Watch ALA winners on the Today Show

Missed seeing some of the ALA winners on the Today Show this morning? You can watch it here, featuring:
Rebecca Stead, author of When You Read Me (winner of the 2010 Newbery Medal);

Jerry Pinkey, illustrator of The Lion and the Mouse, winner of the 2010 Caldecott Medal;

and ALA President, Camila Alire.

It would have been nice if they’d had a bit longer segment on the author, illustrator, and winning books, but I’m happy they featured them at all. What do you think?

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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20. Odds and Bookends: January 29

An Interesting Approach to Exciting Youngsters About Reading
What better way to get kids interested in reading than to make them the star of their very own personalized book?

Mixtape: 10 Songs About Libraries and Librarians
Check out these fun songs about libraries and librarians, including artists such as Frank Zappa and Green Day. You can even listen in to discover why these songs made the list.

Little House on the Prairie Continues to Wow Audiences
Everyone’s beloved story is back with a new musical twist. Be sure to check out this new musical, based on Laura Ingalls Wilder’s treasured classic storyline.

Baby-Sitters Club: Life After 30!
The acclaimed teenage gang gets a new twist as we ask the question: Where are they now? From Kristy Thomas to Stacey McGill, these projections will certainly bring back cherished memories.

The Caldecott, Newbery and Printz book awards go to…
John Pinkney’s exceptional illustrations were awarded the Caldecott Medal for capturing the true spirit of a classic fable. The Newbery Medal as well as the Printz Award were also given to some special talent for excellence in both children’s literature and young adult literature.

Books to Film: Martin Scorsese Continues the Trend
With the release of some truly spectacular new films based on classic children’s books, Brian Selznick’s “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” appears to be next in line.

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21. Drawing from a Story: Illustrations by Selected Caldecott Medal Winners

Last year I joined Rutgers’ (the State University of New Jersery, USA) Child_Lit service. This is a free, unmoderated discussion group convened for the express purpose of examining the theory and criticism of literature for children and young adults. For anyone interested in any aspect of children’s literature, I highly recommend signing up. The service provides a wealth of information and also makes my job a bit easier when looking for events that can be added to our Eventful World calendar.

Last week there was a post on Child_Lit that talked about  Drawing from a Story: Illustrations by Selected Caldecott Medal Winners, an exhibit taking place though May 23rd at the Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, PA, USA.

Myths, fables, fairy tales, and folk tales are usually a child’s first steps into the world of literature, and the illustrations that often accompany the text when such stories are published for children stir the imagination and provide entrée to magical worlds. First awarded in 1938, the Caldecott Medal is considered the most prestigious award for children’s illustration. This exhibition will feature the works of selected Caldecott winners from seven decades, including Maurice Sendak, Dorothy Lathrop, David Wiesner [see image at right], Paul O. Zelinsky, Leo and Diane Dillon, Robert McCloskey, and 2010 medal winner, Jerry Pinkney, among many others.

Deidre Johnson responded on Child_Lit with the following comments which she has also allowed us to share with our readers :

I’ve seen it twice and can’t praise it enough. There’s material from most of the major archival collections, such as the Kerlan and deGrummond, as well as a generous sampling from the illustrators’ private collections.

The display is arranged beautifully — sometimes thematically (fairy tales grouped together, for example), sometimes by medium. There’s even an entire corner devoted to art from David Wiesner’s three winners. The exhibit includes not only art from the first Caldecott (and one of Caldecott’s own sketches for John Gilpin’s Ride!) but also from the two most recent winners. Some of the other materials show process (the McCloskey studies for Make Way for Ducklings seen in Marcus’s Caldecott Celebration are on display, and there are also studies for Rohmann’s My Friend Rabbit).

The Brandywine has hosted some fine exhibits associated with children’s literature in the past, but I think this is one of the best.

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22. December 2010 Events

(Click on event name for more information)

2011 PBBY-Salanga Prize Winner Announced~ Philippines

Dromkeen National Centre for Picture Book Art Exhibits~ Riddells Creek, Australia

Making Books Sing Presents a One-Woman Play Based on The Storyteller’s Candle/La velita de los cuentos by Lucía Gonzalez~ New York, NY, USA

Doha International Children’s Book Festival~ ongoing until Dec 2, Doha, Qatar

2010 Bologna Illustrators Exhibition~ ongoing until Dec 5, Nanao, Japan

Off the Page: Original Illustrations from NZ Picture Books~ ongoing until Dec 5, Ashburton, New Zealand

Guadalajara Book Fair~ ongoing until Dec 5, Guadalajara, Mexico

2011 Canadian Children’s Book Centre Awards~ submissions accepted until Dec 17, Canada

Scholastic Asian Book Award~ submissions accepted until Dec 31, Singapore

Hedwig Anuar Children’s Book Award 2011~ submissions accepted until Dec 31, Singapore

An Exquisite Vision: The Art of Lisbeth Zwerger~ ongoing until Jan 9, Hannover, Germany

Monsters and Miracles: A Journey through Jewish Picture Books~ ongoing until Jan 23, Amherst, MA, USA

Drawn in Brooklyn Exhibit of Original Picture Book Art by Brooklyn Illustrators~ ongoing until Jan 23, Brooklyn, NY, USA

National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature Presents From Houdini to Hugo: The Art of Brian Selznick~ ongoing until Jan 29, Abilene, TX, USA

Fins and Feathers: Original Children’s Book Illustrations from The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art~ ongoing until Jan 30, Raleigh, NC, USA

Summer Reading Club: Scare Up a Good Story~ ongoing until Jan 31, Australia

2011 Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Children’s Book Award

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23. Brave Irene - William Steig, Narration by Meryl Streep

"An extroadinarily eloquent story about love andcourage"
- The New Yorker

The Duchess eagerly awaits the delivery of her ball gown by Irene'smother, Mrs. Bobbin, but the seamstress is sick in bed and can't possiblydeliver the gown in time.
Enter Brave Irene! Through a ferocioussnowstorm and deliberately treacherous winds, Irene sets out to save the dayfor her dear mother (who always smells like fresh-baked bread to Irene).
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24. 2012 Children’s Book Award Winners Announced


This morning I got up at 5 a.m. to see (via webcast) the 2012 winners of the biggest awards in children's publishing--the American Library Association (ALA) awards.  The film industry has their Golden Globes® and their Oscars®, and we have the Caldecott and Newbery Medals, the Coretta Scott King Award, and the Michael J. Printz Award.  Unlike most other book awards, the major children's book awards given by the ALA have no lists of finalists or nominees.  It's a surprise every single year (with plenty of speculation beforehand) and I kind of love the secrecy.  This year's announcement had both the unexpected and the "ah, of course" books on the lists (including some 2011 Best of the Month titles)--you just never know who is going to win what. Congratulations to this year's winning and honored authors and illustrators:


2012 Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children:


2012 Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature:



2012 Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults:  

25. 2012 Children’s Book Award Winners Announced


This morning I got up at 5 a.m. to see (via webcast) the 2012 winners of the biggest awards in children's publishing--the American Library Association (ALA) awards.  The film industry has their Golden Globes® and their Oscars®, and we have the Caldecott and Newbery Medals, the Coretta Scott King Award, and the Michael J. Printz Award.  Unlike most other book awards, the major children's book awards given by the ALA have no lists of finalists or nominees.  It's a surprise every single year (with plenty of speculation beforehand) and I kind of love the secrecy.  This year's announcement had both the unexpected and the "ah, of course" books on the lists (including some 2011 Best of the Month titles)--you just never know who is going to win what. Congratulations to this year's winning and honored authors and illustrators:


2012 Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children:


2012 Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature:



2012 Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults:  

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