Posts Tagged ‘ caldecott award ’

The 2014 Newbery and Caldecott Medal Winners: Kate DiCamillo and Brian Floca

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo; Locomotive by Brian FlocaThe American Library Association announced the winners of its two highest literary honors: the Newbery Medal (for distinguished writing) and the Caldecott Medal (for outstanding artwork).

Well-known children’s book author (and recently chosen ambassador for children’s literature) Kate DiCamillo was awarded the Newbery for Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures, an illustrated novel about a tween who befriends a squirrel with superpowers. DiCamillo also won the Newbery in 2004 for The Tale of Despereux, a story about a mouse who yearns to become a knight. Her book Because of Winn-Dixie was also chosen as a Newbery runner-up in 2000.

For his illustrations in Locomotive, Brian Floca was awarded the Caldecott Medal. His book features a family of three taking their first trip (from Omaha to Sacramento) on the newly-finished Transcontinental Railroad in 1869. Floca’s book was chosen as one of the 10 Best Illustrated Children’s Books of 2013 by the New York Times and the Top 10 Children’s Books of 2013 by the Wall Street Journal.

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Summer Reading Lists-Activity Guides, from Lego Duplo and the ALSC

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Lego Duplo Read Build PlayLego Duplo’s “Read! Build! Play!” initiative strives to develop early literacy and strengthen learning through their Read and Build series of simple story books paired with easy construction activities.

Last year, Lego Duplo and the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) partnered to create resources that combined reading and play. “Through play, young children learn about their world. With this knowledge, they can understand books and stories once they begin to read,” says Starr Latronica, Vice President/President-Elect of the Association for Library Service to Children.

This summer, Lego and ALSC have created the first Summer Reading Lists/Activity Guides for toddlers and preschoolers. Two free guides (one for Ages 1-3, one for Ages 3-5) pairs 10 already-published books with Lego projects designed specifically for each one. The books, easily available at local libraries, were chosen by ALSC’s Early Childhood Programs and Services committee.  A Parent Activity Guide is also available for free, to explain the importance of play and to offer advice on how to interact with kids.

Parents can preview a list of the chosen books below and click on the jump to see a photo of the suggested activity for Meeow and the Pots and Pans by Sebastian Braun. Visit to download the entire activity guides (which includes the full lists of Lego projects with instructions, plus coloring pages).

Ages 1-3

Ages 3-5


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Getting Kids to Love Books for National Reading Month

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Children reading in a groupMarch may be National Reading Month, but it’s important to focus on reading every month of the year. In addition to setting aside time to read regularly during the day (or night) or visiting your local library and bookstore, consider subscribing to the Book of the Month service offered by

Founded by two moms, GiftLit allows parents to  choose age-appropriate books (all curated by librarians, editors, and other book experts) to be mailed on a monthly basis. Each book arrives with a personalized card and bookplates, and GiftLit also donates 10% of their profits to schools, libraries, and literary organizations.

For more ideas on what books to read, look to the lists of Newbery and Caldecott winners. The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate won the 2013 Newbury Medal and This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen won the 2013 Caldecott Medal. Also, make reading fun by downloading alphabet coloring pages and reading animals printables provided by Reading Is Fundamental. Or download this cute poster, “Reading: It’s Our Only Hope,” part of the promotion for the kid-friendly Star Wars book, Vader’s Little Princess by Jeffrey Brown, and sequel to Darth Vader and Son.


Image: Group of children enjoying reading together via Shutterstock.

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Remembering Maurice Sendak, Author of ‘Where the Wild Things Are’

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Where the Wild Things Are - Maurice SendakSince its first release in 1963 by Harper & Row, Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are” has continuously appeared on “best books for kids” lists from the past few decades.  (In fact, his book was featured on several Parents book lists, including Best Books for Toddlers, The All-Time Best Books for Preschoolers, and Best Bedtime Books.)  The famous author and illustrator, who also made headlines in January for a hilarious 2-part interview on “The Colbert Report,” passed away on Tuesday from stroke complications.  He was 83 years old.

Parents have often been divided about Sendak’s most famous book, which won a Caldecott Medal in 1964 and became a live-action film directed by Spike Jonze in 2009.  Some have been charmed by the tale of a boy (Max) in a white fur suit who asserts his independence by sailing off, having adventures, and taming the wild things of a faraway kingdom.  Other parents have been less charmed by the book, finding it a bewildering tale of a boy who behaves badly and then is rewarded by becoming king of the wild things, a legion of gigantic and scary monsters with fangs and claws.  It is also a tale without a traditional narrative and it ends on an ambiguous (though vaguely happy) note.

Even though Sendak was best known for this one book, he also wrote and illustrated other unusual books such as the controversial ”In the Night Kitchen” (a naked boy dream-falls into a baker’s kitchen), “Outside Over There” (a young girl rescues her sister from goblins), and “Bumble-Ardy” (published recently in September 2011, about an orphaned pig who throws himself a birthday party). A new book of an illustrated poem, “My Brother’s Book,” will also be published posthumously in Feburary 2013.

While he also wrote some light-hearted stories such as “Chicken Soup with Rice” (a rhyming tale about a boy who eats a year’s worth of soup), his stories often had a slightly sinister edge and depicted darkness alongside innocence and fantasy.  There’s no doubt that Sendak was a legend and a one-of-a-kind storyteller who was willing to embrace and reveal an imperfect side of children’s personalities (his famous book starts with Max having a temper tantrum), and about our continual struggle to tame the beast within all of us — and come out of the other side a little more world-weary but wiser and more imaginative.

“And he sailed back over a year
and in and out of weeks
and through a day
and into the night of his very own room
where he found his supper waiting for him
and it was still hot.” (“Where the Wild Things Are”)

We’ll miss your unique storytelling, Maurice Sendak.

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2012 Newbery and Caldecott Award Winners

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

If you’re looking to add new reads to your child’s bookshelf, consider these two distinguished winners of this year’s Newbery and Caldecott awards. The books were announced by the American Library Association (ALA) this week.

John Newbery Medal (outstanding contribution to children’s literature): “Dead End in Norvelt” by Jack Gantos, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux.  In this YA novel, a boy named Jack Gantos (same name as the author) is grounded but his life then changes over two months when a neighbor offers him a job of typewriting obituaries.

Randolph Caldecott Medal (distinguished American picture book for children):  “A Ball for Daisy,” illustrated and written by Chris Raschka, published by Schwartz & Wade Books (imprint of Random House Children’s Books). A story told without words, the book follows a playful dog named Daisy as her favorite ball is ”lost” but then “returned” to her.

Find out the honorary mentions and the winners of other awards.

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2011 Newbery and Caldecott Award Winners

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Growing up, I remember looking–with reverance–at books branded with silver and gold Newbery and Caldecott medals.  I knew those books were extra special, awarded by the American Library Association as being the best of the best in written (Newbery) and illustrated (Caldecott) children’s books.  

This week, the ALA press release announced their winners of this year’s Newbury and Caldecott medals:

John Newbery Medal (outstanding contribution to children’s literature): “Moon over Manifest,” written by Clare Vanderpool, is the 2011 Newbery Medal winner. The book is published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc. (Click here for more book award winners.)

Randolph Caldecott Medal (distinguished American picture book for children):  “A Sick Day for Amos McGee,” illustrated by Erin E. Stead, is the 2011 Caldecott Medal winner. The book was written by Philip C. Stead, and is a Neal Porter Book, published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing. (Click here for more book award winners.)


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What were your favorite children’s books growing up? What books do your kids like to read?
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