All parents looking to build a formidable library for their child knows the allure of the Caldecott and Newbery medals. Once those shiny seals are affixed to a book cover, you know you've got a shelf-worthy addition that'll hold your kids' attention for years to come. Today, the American Library Association announced the winners of its Youth Media Awards—which includes the Caldecott, Newbery, and a slew of others—so if you're tired of reading the same picture book to your toddler over and over (and over and over), try slipping one of these into the rotation.
Today's Caldecott Medal went to Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell. The Caldecott honors illustration and Wolf in the Snow really earns it; the picture book is near-wordless as it tells the tale of a girl in a red parka and the abandoned wolf cub she befriends. (The only words in the books are sounds, like the barking of the cub.) Both are lost, looking to find their way home, and the pictures tell the tale of their journey. Parents has been a fan of Cordell's illustrations for a while—we even chose Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie as one of our Best Books—so we're thrilled for him to receive the big award.
Unlikely friendships are also at the center of Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly, the winner of this year's Newbery Medal. Geared for bigger older kids (think 8+), it tells a story from the point of view of four middle-school students. They're not friends at first, and they couldn't be more different from each other, but a prank gone awry brings them together in ways where they can learn to understand each other a little better.
While those two are the most famous awards given out for the day, those looking for more picture-book recommendations can look to some of the other kidlit that received accolades, including Silent Days, Silent Dreams (which won an award for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience), Charlie & Mouse (recipient of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for beginning readers), La Princesa and the Pea (honored for its portrayal of the Latino cultural experience), and Mama Africa!: How Miriam Makeba Spread Hope with Her Song and Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets, two books that received Coretta Scott King Awards for African American authors and illustrators.
Check out the American Library Association's website for the complete list of winners. In addition to picture books, moms of older readers can find plenty of recommendations for middle-grade and YA books—Angie Thomas's The Hate U Give was another big winner today, as was We Are Okay, which received the coveted Printz Award for YA books. (Or maybe you want to snap up a couple of those for yourself? We won't judge.) Or, you can also catch up with Parents recommendations for the Best Kids' Books of 2017. We spotted one ALA award recipient on the rise—hooray for Charlie & Mouse!—but all the ones on the list are winners to us.