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Read Across America, March 1st and March 2nd!

"Grab your Hat and Read with the Cat" is the 2013 theme of the National Education Association’s (NEA) Read Across America celebration. The program, which is in its 16th year, focuses on motivating children and teens to read through events, partnerships, and reading resources.

Read Across America is an annual reading motivation and awareness program which coincides with the birthday of children’s author, Dr. Seuss, March 2nd. Since the date falls on a Saturday this year many schools are celebrating on Friday, March 1st.

So what will you be reading this week-end? Some schools, libraries and communities hold special events in honor of this day of reading. Will you celebrate with your child’s school or at your local library? Are there any book fairs or author readings in your area? Or are you ‘snowed in’ this week-end? Maybe you’ll make it a family event.

You can find lots of ideas for planning your own reading celebration at the NEA website. Here are some of my favorites from the list, along with some of my own ideas.

--Bake a Dr. Seuss birthday cake. Or make some cookies shaped like a hat that you can decorate to look like ‘the Cat’s’ hat.

--Have a pajama party where reading books is the main focus. It can be at night or even during the day. Have everyone wear their favorite hat.

--Act out the books that you read and let the others guess what your book is by clues that you give. If you do it charade style, there’s no ‘talking’ allowed when you give your clues!

--Tape the name of an author on everyone’s back, but don’t tell anyone whose name they have. The idea is to guess which author you are by the clues others give you. For example, if you are Dr. Seuss, someone might ask you “Do you really like green eggs and ham?” Or if you are Doreen Cronin, someone might say to you “Did your cows ever get that air conditioning in their barn?”

--Vote for your favorite Dr. Seuss book.

--Make up some crazy ‘Seuss-like’ words and have the others guess their meaning.

--Cook up a Dr. Seuss meal. There are some great ideas on the NEA website under the link for ‘Seuss-inspired recipes.’

Whatever you do, have fun reading! I definitely will!  Read More 
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ALA Awards and Best Children's Books lists for 2012

The 2013 announcements of the ALA Youth Media Awards took place at 8 a.m. PT on Jan. 28, from the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle.

The winner of the Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children is “This Is Not My Hat,” illustrated and written by Jon Klassen, and published by Candlewick Press.

Five Caldecott Honor Books also were named:
“Creepy Carrots!” illustrated by Peter Brown, written by Aaron Reynolds and published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing

“Extra Yarn,” illustrated by Jon Klassen, written by Mac Barnett and published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

“Green,” illustrated and written by Laura Vaccaro Seeger and published by Neal Porter Books, an imprint of Roaring Brook Press

“One Cool Friend,” illustrated by David Small, written by Toni Buzzeo and published by Dial Books for Young Readers, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group

“Sleep Like a Tiger,” illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski, written by Mary Logue and published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company

The winner of the John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature is “The One and Only Ivan,” written by Katherine Applegate, and published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers.

Three Newbery Honor Books also were named:
“Splendors and Glooms” by Laura Amy Schlitz and published by Candlewick Press

“Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon” by Steve Sheinkin and published by Flash Point, an imprint of Roaring Brook Press

“Three Times Lucky” by Sheila Turnage and published by Dial Books for Young Readers, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group.

For a complete list of ALA awards for youth media, go to ALA Awards

If you’d like to see what other reviewers have chosen as the best children’s books of 2012, check out the following lists.

Looking for some laughs? Check out this list of children’s lit in 2012 from SLJ.
2012 Children's Lit: The Year in Miscellanea
School Library Journal

For a more serious look at children’s books in 2012, check out the Horn Book's picks.
Horn Book Fanfare: Our Choices For The Best Books of 2012
Horn Book

And more from three major review sources.

Publishers Weekly
Booklist
Book Page
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