No, this isn't about who is custom-designing my dress for Oscar's night. This is about the Newbery, Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, and other Youth Media Awards, soon to be unveiled, on Monday January 27th!
You met Miriam Medow, OPL librarian and member of this year's Caldecott committee, a couple of weeks ago. Miriam, and members of many award committees, are now in their final weeks of re-reading their confidential short-lists, nominated from among hundreds of children's books published this year. Around the middle of next week, they will pack their bags with warm clothes, books and notes, and head to Philadelphia PA for the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting. They will meet in closed sessions with their committees for 2 full days, often long into the night, discussing, voting, and coming to a consensus on which books will receive the gold and silver medals for their award. Then, very early on Monday morning, those awards will be announced to the world at a press conference, which you can watch live at 8am ET. Yep: that's 5am here.
I will be there in Philadelphia and sitting in the press conference that morning, and can't wait to see books are honored. Your librarians will jump into action that morning to order more copies of anything we lack, so don't hesitate to request the books! Among the awards announced that morning will be:
The Newbery Award for the most distinguished contribution to literature for children of any age. It's an award for writing, but it doesn't have to be for a novel for older children, even if it usually is. Poetry, nonfiction, easy readers and picture books have all been honored by the Newbery Award. The award was established in 1922. (By the way...has your family submitted an entry yet to the 90-Second Newbery film festival? The deadline is Monday January 20th!)
The Caldecott Award for the most distinguished picture book for children of any age. It's an award for art, but the books honored have ranged from books for toddlers to books for independent readers. The award was established in 1937.
The Coretta Scott King Awards honor authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that "demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values. It was established in 1969.
The Pura Belpré Awards honor writers and illustrators whose work "best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth." It was established in 1996.
The Robert F. Sibert Award honors the author and illustrator of the most distinguished informational book for children. It was first awarded in 2001.
The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award is given to the author and illustrator of the most distiguished beginning reader book. It was first awarded in 2006, and is named for Dr. Seuss!
And this only scratches the surface! Will you join us in celebrating great children's and young adult books on January 27th?
In the photo: me, Nina Lindsay, to the left of the top hat; and OPL librarian Sharon McKellar to the right of the top hat, at last year's award celebration.