Tuesday, January 28, 2014

THE STATE OF OUR CHILDREN'S READING IS STRONG:  For a seventh year, Christy in NYC has the scoop from the American Library Association's annual awards for the best in children's publishing:
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Hello again, friends. This past Monday morning, the children’s publishing world came together with the children’s library world in Philadelphia for, among other things, the announcement of the Youth Media Awards at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting! Here are your big winners:
The Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults went to Midwinter Blood by Marcus Sedgwick. 
The Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children went to Brian Floca for Locomotive
The John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature went to Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo.
Scouring the full list of winners and honors for some interesting nerdy things to point out (all three Caldecott honors are wordless picture books!), what really stands out more than anything is that this list is long and varied, even more so than usual—there are few repeats from award to award, and most awards opted to give a large number of honors, which usually means those books were clustered together as runners-up in the committees’ votes.

Simply put, 2013 brought us a lot of good new children’s books.

What have you and your kids been reading? Did your new favorites get award love this year?


  1. victoria9:55 PM

    My kiddo got Flora & Ulysses for her birthday and really loved it. Lately she is into The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, the Mysterious Benedict Society, those -Ology books (Wizardology, Dragonology, etc.), and Erin Hunter's Warriors books and her other series. She also dug Kathleen O'Dell's The Aviary.

    All of us loved Colin Meloy's Wildwood, but the kiddo thought the second book (Under Wildwood) was way too scary and didn't finish. I am eagerly awaiting the third book, and hopefully she'll come around, because those books are just great.

  2. My 3 (almost 4) year old is completely obsessed with The Wizard of Oz. We've now read it 4 times in a row and he wants more. For the sake of my sanity, anyone have a recommendation for what we should read next? (I remember my dad reading me The Wind in the Willows, which I loved, but I think I must have been a bit older.)

  3. christy in nyc9:54 AM

    I haven't read F&U yet, and my copy is on backorder at this point, but it certainly sounds like your kid is in the ideal audience for it. It's middle grade, so 8-12, and it has comics mixed in with the prose (and is about a girl who reads comics).

  4. Maggie10:13 AM

    I think we were close to that age when my mom read started reading us "My Father's Dragon" (Ruth Stiles Garnett) and the "Little Pear" series (Eleanor Frances Lattimore).

  5. victoria12:06 PM

    There are a whole slew of other Oz books Baum wrote -- definitely check them out! We also did the Little House books as readalouds starting around the kiddo's fourth birthday.

  6. Marsha4:37 PM

    Mr. Popper's Penguins is fun for that age, as is the Mouse and the Motorcycle trilogy (really, Beverly Clearly is good overall). We're starting to work through the younger-skewed Judy Blumes - Superfudge is going over well.

  7. Genevieve4:50 PM

    Flora & Ulysses was my top hope for the Newbery, but I thought it was unlikely (partly because of discussions of whether the illustrations told some of the story, partly because funny books don't win often) - I was so happy!
    And Brian Floca has been overlooked by Caldecott committees for years - fantastic that he won. It's really rare for a nonfiction book to win it, too.

  8. Genevieve4:51 PM

    The Incorrigible Children books are so much fun - wasn't sure if the humor was too aimed at adults, so I'm glad to hear she likes them.

  9. Genevieve4:57 PM

    The rest of the Oz books (the first 12 are all by Baum - haven't read any of the ones written by other writers), all of Edward Eager's books (starting with Half Magic or Knight's Castle), Mary Poppins (different from the movie, but so is The Wizard of Oz so he'll likely be ok with that), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Joan Aiken short stories "A Necklace of Raindrops" (and then move on to The Wolves of Willoughby Chase), Any Which Wall by Laurel Snyder, Stuart Little. Non-magical: the Clementine series by Sara Pennypacker, all the Beverly Cleary books starting with Ramona the Pest, the Ivy and Bean books.

  10. Thanks for these suggestions! I've ordered the next 2 Oz books, and will be sure to check out the other ideas as well.

  11. victoria10:37 AM

    The Edward Eager books are so, so good! (And if he likes those, E. Nesbit, who was a big influence on Eager, is another great author.)