Greetings! Hope you had a happy Kansas Day on Saturday, as our fair state turned 150 years old. A highly celebrated day for the library world took place recently as well. The Academy Awards of the children's book world were announced, which is always a big deal inside these walls.
Here's a bit about some of the awards. The Newbery award goes to the author of the most distinguished contribution to children's literature. The medal winner this year was somewhat of a dark horse. It is Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool. The thing that has Kansans excited is that the book's author is a Kansan and the story takes place in our state!
The American Library Association, who is responsible for awarding this winner and others, shares a bit about this book.
The 2011 Newbery Medal winner is Moon over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool. The town of Manifest is based on Frontenac, Kan., the home of debut author Clare Vanderpool's maternal grandparents. Vanderpool was inspired to write about what the idea of "home" might look like to a girl who had grown up riding the rails. Vanderpool lives in Wichita with her husband and four children.
The Caldecott award goes to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. The 2011 Caldecott Medal winner is A Sick Day for Amos McGee, illustrated by Erin E. Stead and written by Philip C. Stead. In this tender tale of reciprocity and friendship, zookeeper Amos McGee gets the sniffles and receives a surprise visit from his caring animal friends. Erin Stead's delicate woodblock prints and fine pencil work complement Philip Stead's understated, spare and humorous text to create a well-paced, gentle and satisfying book, perfect for sharing with friends.
The Theodor Geisel award goes to the most distinguished American book for beginning readers written in English. That medal goes to Bink and Gollie, written by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGee and illustrated by Tony Fucile. Bink and Gollie provides a clever peek into the lives of dissimilar friends celebrating the ups and downs of their daily escapades in three lively chapters. Bink and Gollie explore the rocky terrain of compromise, asserting independence, and jealousy, yet their friendship remains steadfast.
Non-fiction books are not left out of the awards. The Robert F. Sibert award covers that category. The medal 2011 Medal Winner is Kakapo Rescue: Saving the World's Strangest Bird, written by Sy Montgomery and illustrated by Nic Bishop. Kakapo Rescue is an inspiring call to action. This visually appealing and engaging book takes readers on an unforgettable journey to New Zealand. Naturalist Sy Montgomery and wildlife photographer Nic Bishop document the successes and failures of the rescue team dedicated to saving a species of flightless parrot numbering fewer than 100.
The Coretta Scott King Book Awards annually recognize outstanding books for young adults and children by African American authors and illustrators that reflect the African American experience. Author Award Winner is One Crazy Summer, written by Rita Williams-Garcia, which tells the story of 11-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters as they travel to Oakland, California in 1968 to face the emotional challenge of reaching out to a distant mother and learn about a different side of the Civil Rights Movement. Themes of friendship, family and identity intertwine with broader social issues in this compelling historical novel.
Illustrator award in this category goes to Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave, written by Laban Carrick Hill. Dave, a slave in 19th century South Carolina, demonstrated extraordinary talent and skill to achieve creative success. At a time when it was illegal for slaves to read and write, the eloquent poetry on Dave's remarkable pots provided inspiration and hope to those who had none.
The Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, is presented to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth. Illustrator award was given to Grandma's Gift, illustrated and written by Eric Velasquez. Grandma's Gift is a personal tale based on Velasquez's special relationship with his abuela who influenced his dream of becoming an artist. Velasquez's penchant for details and use of oil on watercolor papers complements his amazing use of color and light to reflect the mood of the characters.
Author award goes to The Dreamer, written by Pam Muñoz Ryan, illustratedÂ by Perter Sís, published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc. The Dreamer masterfully imagines the magic-filled youth of Chilean Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda. Through her skillful use of language inspired by Neruda's work, Muñoz Ryan weaves this stunning tale of a young boy's discovery of self and the development of his ideologies and artistic voice.
In addition to all these great winners, each category has honor books as well. The library maintains a listing of both the winning titles and the honor books at the children's desk. Stop by and check out these great titles.
Another thing worth checking out is a number of new music cd's. The grant mentioned in an earlier column allowed the purchase of music for little ones by Ella Jenkins, Raffi, and Jim Gill, as well as some great fitness materials. Americans are becoming increasingly aware that childhood obesity is a national epidemic. The healthy approach taken by these music cd's makes the topic fun for youngsters. Titles to look for include Physical Ed, Catch a Brain Wave Fitness Fun, Nutricise, Cool Aerobics for Kids. Â Come on in and check out what's new. See you at Memorial Library!