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Ann: January 2010 Archives

Ann

The Season for Awards Begins!

Posted by Ann on January 12, 2010 at 2:26 PM in Authors and IllustratorsAwardsPicture Books
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First, welcome back to Booklights posting, Susan! Your January 6 posting got many of us looking forward to next Monday when the Caldecott, Newbery, Coretta Scott King Awards and others will be announced. Several other important awards have already been announced.....so I want to talk about one of particular interest to Booklights parents.

The thirteenth annual Charlotte Zolotow Award was announced this morning. The award is given annually for outstanding writing in a picture book (published in the United States in the preceding year) for children from birth - age seven.

And the 2010 Charlotte Zolotow Award goes to.....What Can You Do with a Paleta? a beautiful story of a young Mexican-American child's delight with a popsicle on a hot summer day (which may be difficult to imagine after this past cold, cold week). The book is both culturally specific and universal in its theme. 1582462216_t.gif

As the judges said, "Author Carmen Tafolla playfully appeals to all of our senses with rich imagery and crisp language. She invites us to think of all the creative things that can be done with a paleta, from painting your tongue purple or giving yourself a blue mustache to making a new friend or learning to make tough decisions. A sprinkling of Spanish words and Magaly Morales' sun-warmed acrylic illustrations add details of life in a vibrant barrio where the daily arrival of the paleta wagon is met with anticipation and celebration."

So parents and teachers, go ahead now and check out this beautiful book and have it ready for a sunny day when your children are ready for popsicles/paletas!

The 2010 Zolotow Award committee named three Honor Books:
Birds, written by Kevin Henkes, illustrated by Laura Dronzek
0061363049_t.gifPouch! written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein
0399250514_t.gifPrincess Hyacinth: (The Surprising Tale of a Girl Who Floated),
written by Florence Parry Heide, illustrated by Lane Smith
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The 2010 Zolotow Award committee also cited four titles as Highly
Commended:
Hello Baby! written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Steve Jenkins
Ready for Anything! written and illustrated by Keiko Kasza
Under the Snow, written by Melissa Stewart and illustrated by
Constance R. Bergum
Who Will I Be, Lord? written by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson and illustrated by Sean Qualls

I also want to mention that the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction was also just announced. It went to Matt Phelan0763636185_t.gif for The Storm in the Barn. It is a graphic novel that will be most enjoyed by children ages 9-12.

Happy reading of award-winning books! Ann

Ann

2000-2009: What Were the BEST Picture Books?

Posted by Ann on January 2, 2010 at 12:08 PM in Picture BooksRecommendations
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My "job" at Booklights was originally supposed to be writing an end-of-the-month wrap-up. So as December ended, I thought about responding to this month's posts OR writing an end-of-the-YEAR (well, since April when Booklights began!) summary. I have spent the past few days re-reading our posts, clicking on the wonderful links, and reflecting on the great suggestions for bringing children and books together.

Decisions, decisions......I could easily do my "job" and summarize our December posts. For example, I could suggest that you heed Pam's and Jen's and Terry's advice to provide children with a model of at least one grown-up who enjoys reading a good book. If I took that route, I could mention how wonderful the conversations we have with children about our own reading tend to be.

Or, just as the media always does at this time of the year, I could certainly go back to the "Best of 2009," and re-direct you to some of the Booklights highlights. Should I do that, I'd need to talk more about Gina's September 22 Show and Tale, Susan's August 19 posting about reading the classics, Susan T.'s November 17 suggestions that started us talking about gift books, and Jen's Growing a Book Worm series that began on November 2.

But, I have been influenced by the hype about the end of the decade. We tend to want to think back over the last 10 years and how those years have changed our lives. From international events, to political activities, to the impact of cell phones and electronics, reflection on these years makes for lively discussion.

So how about thinking about the best picture books that were published over the past decade? What were your favorites? What were the favorites of your children who were born during the decade or as the last millennium ended?

To prompt your thoughts on the questions, you might want to return to the Booklights posts where we listed some of our favorites. Pam included How to Heal a Broken Wing, Susan mentioned Zen Shorts, and Jen listed Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus.....all published in the last decade. And my list of favorites? Unfortunately, they were all published pre-2000!

So this month I resolve to come up with a list of the Ten Best Picture Books from the last decade. At this point, I suspect it will likely include Ian Falconer's Olivia, David Wiesner's The Three Pigs, Jack Prelutsky's If Not for the Cat, and Jerry Pinkney's The Lion and the Mouse.
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Let me know what you'd like to see included!

Happy Reading and Happy New Year, Ann

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