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Friday, February 11, 2011

Award Season by Mary Leslie

The first part of each New Year is dedicated to awards and honors for something outstanding, marvelous, and exceptional from the previous year.  We have the Golden Globes, the SAG awards, the Academy Awards, and the Grammys.  The Association for Library Service to Children (a division of the American Library Association) also presents awards at this time.  The Caldecott Medal and the Newbery Medal are two of the highest honors awarded to illustrators and authors of children's books.

The Caldecott Medal has been presented every year since 1938 and is named after Randolph Caldecott, a 19th century English illustrator of picture books.  Books that are selected for the award must have exceptional illustrations, not only for their quality, but for the relationship of the pictures to the story.  The illustrations must enhance the story and must convey the meaning of the story without the words.  The illustrator must be a citizen or resident of the United States.  

The 2011 winner of the Caldecott Medal is “A Sick Day for Amos McGee,” written and illustrated by Erin E. Stead.  This is a lovely story about friendship and giving.  Two books won 2011 Caldecott Medal Honors:  “Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave” by Laban Carrick Hill, illustrated by Bryan Collier and “Interrupting Chicken” written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein.

The Newbery Medal has been presented every year since 1922 and is named after John Newbery, an 18th century British publisher and bookseller who first made children's literature a sustainable and profitable part of the literary market.  The award is presented to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American Literature for children.  

The 2011 winner of the Newbery Medal is "Moon Over Manifest" written by Clare Vanderpool.  In her book, the author emphasizes the importance of stories for the understanding of our past, present, and future.  The 2011 Newbery Medal Honors go to the following books:  “Turtle in Paradise” by Jennifer L. Holm; “Heart of a Samurai” by Margi Preus; “Dark Emperor & Other Poems of the Night” by Joyce Sidman; “One Crazy Summer” by Rita Williams-Garcia.

The lists of all the past recipients of the Caldecott and Newbery Honors are in the Children's Section of the library.  I'm sure you remember many of the books from your own childhood. The library tries to keep copies of each of the books in our collection.  Each honoree is labeled on the spine with either Caldecott or Newbery stickers.  If you need assistance in locating the books, please ask at the Help desks (or  Enjoy!

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