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ALA announces Caldecott and Newberry winners

Caldecott Winner 2012

Randolph Caldecott Medal
The Randolph Caldecott Medal honors the illustrator of the year's most distinguished American picture book for children. Presented every year since 1938, the medal is named for Randolph Caldecott, a 19th-century English illustrator known for the action, vitality and humor of his picture books. It is administered by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of ALA.

Dorothy P. Lathrop won the first Caldecott Medal in 1938 for ANIMALS OF THE BIBLE.

This year’s winner is A BALL FOR DAISY written and illustrated by Chris Raschka, published by Schwartz & Wade Books (Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc.).

“In a wordless book with huge children’s appeal, Chris Raschka gives us the story of an irrepressible little dog whose most prized possession is accidently destroyed. With brilliant economy of line and color, Raschka captures Daisy’s total (yet temporary) devastation. A buoyant tale of loss, recovery and friendship.

“Chris Raschka’s deceptively simple paintings of watercolor, gouache and ink explore universal themes of love and loss that permit thousands of possible variants,” said Caldecott Medal Committee Chair Steven L. Herb. ‘A Ball for Daisy’ holds as many unique stories as there will be young readers and re-readers.” –from the ALA website.

Caldecott Honor Awards went to:

Blackout, written and illustrated by John Rocco, published by Disney • Hyperion Books, an imprint of Disney Book Group

Grandpa Green, written and illustrated by Lane Smith, published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership

Me … Jane, written and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell and published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

The John Newberry Medal
The Newbery Medal is awarded annually by the American Library Association for the most distinguished American children's book published the previous year. The award was named for eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery.

The Newbery Award became the first children's book award in the world. Its purpose: "To encourage original creative work in the field of books for children. To emphasize to the public that contributions to the literature for children deserve similar recognition to poetry, plays, or novels. To give those librarians, who make it their life work to serve children's reading interests, an opportunity to encourage good writing in this field."

Hendrik van Loon was awarded the first Newberry Medal in 1922 for THE STORY OF MANKIND.

This year’s winner is DEAD END IN NORVELT by Jack Gantos, published by Farrar Straus Giroux.

“The importance of history and reading (so you don’t do the same “stupid stuff” again) is at the heart of this achingly funny romp through a dying New Deal town. While mopping up epic nose bleeds, Jack narrates this screw-ball mystery in an endearing and believable voice.

“Who knew obituaries and old lady death could be this funny and this tender?” said Newbery Medal Committee Chair Viki Ash.” –from the ALA website.

Newberry Honor Awards went to:

Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai, published by HarperCollins Children's Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers

Breaking Stalin's Nose by Eugene Yelchin, published by Henry Holt and Company, LLC.
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Warming up to children's books in MO

Greetings from O’Fallon! It’s been a summer of emptying boxes, finding things and re-discovering other things, and everything else that it takes to move from one state to another. We’re finally settling in, and I’m beginning to make a few connections to the world of children’s books here in Missouri.

My first stop, shortly after moving in, was to the Middendorf-Kredell Library in O’Fallon, where I visited the children’s department and met the librarian and staff there. I’m lucky to be just ten minutes away from this beautiful new branch of the St. Charles Library District.

The O’Fallon children’s librarian gave me the name of the owner of Main Street Books, an independent bookstore in near-by St. Charles. I made a visit to Main Street Books a couple of weeks later, and met Vicki Erwin, bookstore owner and fellow SCBWI member. The warm, cozy atmosphere, like most independent bookstores, feels like family, and I have it on my list to return soon and browse through the stacks. (www.mainstreetbooks.net)

Wherever there’s an SCBWI member, there’s a smiling, friendly person ready to share children’s book-related information. Vicki gave me the link to the St. Louis Independent Bookstore Alliance. I was amazed at the number of independent bookstore in the St. Louis area. Checking their schedule of events, I found that several children‘s authors were on the books doing author appearances at various stores, including Jarrett Krosoczka (the LUNCH LADY graphic novel series), author/illustrator Peter Brown (CHILDREN MAKE TERRIBLE PETS and YOU WILL BE MY FRIEND!), and Jack Gantos (JOEY PIGZA and ROTTEN RALPH). My calendar is filling up quickly! (www.stlindiebook.com)

I enjoy doing author visits to schools and libraries, as well as visits to bookstores. I stopped at the Mid Rivers Barnes & Noble bookstore in St. Peters, where my son’s family lives, and met Shelly, who schedules the activities there. I just added an author story time and a book signing to my calendar during Educators Week on October 22nd. My daughter’s family recently moved from north of St. Louis to Fenton. I contacted the South Roxana Library where they visited before they moved, and offered to sign copies of my books. I'm looking forward to doing an author visit there sometime in the next several months.

Of course, the one place that I KNOW will connect me to other children’s writers no matter what state I’m in is SCBWI (http://www.scbwi.org ). I’ve registered for the Missouri SCBWI fall conference (http://moscbwi.org/Home_Page.html) on November 5th in St. Charles, which is just a hop over from O’Fallon. I’m looking forward to meeting an editor, an agent, and of course other children’s authors and illustrators.

I’m beginning to warm up to this new home state of Missouri. No pun intended (or maybe so), since except for the past few days, the temps have been in the 90’s and 100’s ever since we moved here!
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