Caldecott, Newbery and NBCC awards

Occasionally, I like to read children’s books — picture and chapter books — because the illustrations and stories allow me to see and read through a kid’s eyes again.  That is, me as kid, when I read Caldecotts and Newbery winners, such A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle and Sam, Bangs & Moonshine by Evaline Ness.

Earlier this week, the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association, announced this year’s Caldecott and Newbery award winners. Already, and not surprising, there are waiting lists at the libraries for the books. I’m debating whether to put in my request at the library or buy these new award-winners.

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead won the 2010 Newbery. From the ALSC website: “Twelve-year-old Miranda encounters shifting friendships, a sudden punch, a strange homeless man and mysterious notes that hint at knowledge of the future. These and other seemingly random events converge in a brilliantly constructed plot.”

The Newbery Medal is awarded annually for the most distinguished American children’s book published the previous year. It is named for John Newbery, an 18th century London bookseller and publisher of children’s books, including Little Goody Two Shoes. (So that’s where the phrase originated.)

The Lion & the Mouse, illustrated and written by Jerry Pinkney won the 2010 Caldecott. From the publisher’s website: “In award-winning artist Jerry Pinkney’s wordless adaptation of one of Aesop’s most beloved fables, an unlikely pair learn that no act of kindness is ever wasted. After a ferocious lion spares a cowering mouse that he’d planned to eat, the mouse later comes to his rescue, freeing him from a poacher’s trap. With vivid depictions of the landscape of the African Serengeti and expressively-drawn characters, Pinkney makes this a truly special retelling, and his stunning pictures speak volumes.”

The Caldecott Medal is awarded annually to the most distinguished picture book published the previous year. It is named in honor of the nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph J. Caldecott.

Up next on January 23: This weekend we’ll get the list of National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) finalists in the running for the annual award. The categories are autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, nonfiction and poetry.

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