Here's our schedule of children's programs for the week of Jan. 25-30, 2010:
Tuesday, Jan. 26:
__ 10 a.m. Circle Time
__ 11 a.m. Circle Time
Wednesday, Jan. 27:
__ 11 a.m. -- Wonderful Ones (pre-registration required; program is full)
__ 1:45 p.m. -- Piney Branch Elementary School 4th graders -- presentation on biographies
Thursday, Jan. 28:
__ 10:30 a.m. -- Spanish Circle Time
Saturday, Jan. 30:
__ 10:30 a.m. -- French Circle Time
On Monday, January 18, the American Library Association will announce the winners of the most prestigious awards in American children's literature -- the Newbery Medal, given for the best-written children's book, and the Caldecott Medal, given for the best-illustrated children's book.
These awards are chosen annually by selected committees of librarians and other children's book experts. The committees meet in secret and pledge never to divulge the content of their meetings.
But there's plenty of talk among librarians who aren't on the Newbery and Caldecott committees. Some libraries hold mock Newbery or Caldecott award selection events at which participants discuss a pre-selected group of books and then vote on which they think deserves a Newbery or Caldecott.
Here's a link to my Scripps Howard News Service column this week in which I round-up some of the top Newbery and Caldecott possibilities:
The winner of every mock Caldecott so far has been The Lion & the Mouse, an Aesop's fable masterfully illustrated by Jerry Pinkney. This definitely would be my pick as well. If Pinkney wins, he would be the first individual African-American to win the Caldecott Medal since it was established in 1938; an interracial couple, Leo and Diane Dillon, have won two Caldecott Medals.
In the mock Newbery events, there have been several winners. One popular favorite is When You Reach Me, a novel by Rebecca Stead. Another novel, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin also has won several mock Newbery events. Two non-fiction books, Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose, and Marching For Freedom by Elizabeth Partridge, also have been running strong in the mock contests. In addition, two other books, a debut novel titled The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly and The Dunderheads, a highly-illustrated novella by Newbery Medalist Paul Fleischman also are on the short lists of many mock Newbery events.
My pick would either be Claudette Colvin or The Dunderheads, but my guess is that When You Reach Me likely will be the actual Newbery winner. Few non-fiction books have won the Newbery Medal, which generally goes to a novel, so Claudette Colvin isn't a likely choice. And The Dunderheads would be a highly unusual choice for the Newbery because it has so many illustrations. The criteria for the Newbery Medal state that illustrations can be considered only if they detract from the text in a book.
So... stayed tuned for Monday's announcement! I'll post comments on the winners then.
We're going to try to post each week's library programs on this blog.
Here's what's happening next week:
Monday, Jan. 18 — CLOSED for Martin Luther King Jr. holiday
Tuesday, Jan. 19:
10 a.m. — Circle Time
11 a.m. — Circle Time
Wednesday, Jan. 20:
11 a.m. — Wonderful Ones (Program is full)
1:45 p.m. — Piney Branch Elementary 4th graders — presentation on African-American history
Thursday, Jan. 21
10:30 a.m. — Spanish Circle Time
Saturday, Jan. 23
__ 10:30 a.m. — Time to Sing program for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and their grown-ups. (No registration required)
If you have any questions, give us a call at 301-891-7259.
The Stories in Action program for toddlers ages 1-3 and their parents -- schedule for Saturday, Jan. 9 -- has been postponed because our storyteller, Arianna Ross, is ill. The program has been rescheduled for Saturday Jan. 16 at 10:30 a.m. If you have already registered, you don't need to re-register. We still have spaces available; to register, Event registration - Takoma Park Maryland Library or call us at 301-891-7259.
Here are my favorite books for 2009, drawn from my work as the children's/teen librarian for this library, as well as my job as the children's book reviewer for Scripps Howard News Service.
Perhaps my two favorite books are a non-fiction book, Claudette Colvin: Twice Towards Justice by Phillip Hoose and a picture book, The Lion & the Mouse, a reworking of the Aesop fable by illustrator Jerry Pinkney. Both of those books have been mentioned as top possibilities to win the most prestigious children's book awards -- the Newbery Medal, given for the best-written children's book, and the Caldecott Medal, given for the best illustrated children's book. Those awards will be announced on Monday, Jan. 18 by the American Library Association, and I'll blog about them here as soon as we know the winners.
Now, here's my entire list of 2009 favorites:
Baby, I Love You (Little Simon, $7.99), by Karma Wilson; illustrated by Sam Williams. (Ages infant-two years).
Daddy, Papa and Me and “Mommy, Mama and Me (Tricycle, $7.99
(Simon & Schuster, $17.99), by Liz Garton Scanlon; illustrated by Marla Frazee. (Ages 3-6).
Truckery Rhymes by Jon Scieszka; illustrated by David Shannon (Simon & Schuster, $17.99). (Ages 4-8).
Dodsworth in London (Houghton Mifflin, $15), written and illustrated by Tim Egan. (Ages 4-8).
The Dunderheads by Newbery Medalist Paul Fleischman; illustrations by David Roberts (Candlewick Press, $16.99, ages 5-10).
Pigs Make Me Sneeze (Hyperion, $8.99), written and illustrated by Mo Willems. (Ages 4-7).
Luke On the Loose by Harry Bliss (TOON Books, $12.95, ages 4-6).
The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook written and illustrated by Eleanor Davis (Bloomsbury, $10.99, ages 7-12).
The Lunch Lady series, written and illustrated by Jarrett Krosoczka (Knopf, $5.99 each, ages 6-10).
Little Mouse Gets Ready, written and illustrated by Bone creator Jeff Smith (TOON Books, $12.95, ages 4-7).
Adventures in Cartooning, written and illustrated by James Sturm et al (First Second, $12.95, ages 6-12).
The Magician’s Elephant by Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick Press, $16.99, ages 8-12)
Scat by Carl Hiaasen (Knopf, $16.99, ages 9-12).
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly (Henry Holt, $16.99, ages 10-14).
Melonhead by Katy Kelly (Delacorte, $12.99, ages 7-10).
The Faceless Ones, the latest “Skulduggery Pleasant book by Derek Landy (Harper, $16.99, ages 10-14).
The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis by Barbara O’Connor (FSG, $16.99, ages 8-12).
A Season of Gifts, the latest in the Grandma Dowdel saga, by Newbery Medalist Richard Peck (Dial, $16.99, ages 9-12).
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead (Random House, $15.99, ages 9-12).
HYBRIDS – PART NOVEL, PART GRAPHIC NOVEL
Dog Days, the latest Diary of a Wimpy Kid book, written and illustrated by Jeff Kinney (Amulet Books, $13.95, ages 7-12).
Malice by Chris Wooding (Scholastic, $14.99, ages 12 up).
Mr. Lincoln’s High-Tech War by Thomas and Roger Allen (National Geographic, $18.95, ages 10 up).
The Great and Only Barnum: The Tremendous, Stupendous of Showman P.T. Barnum by Candace Fleming (Random House, $18.99, ages 12 up).
Moonshot, written and illustrated by Brian Floca (Atheneum, $17.99, ages 7-10).
Charles and Emma: The Darwins’ Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman (Henry Holt, $18.95, ages 12 up).
Claudette Colvin: Twice Towards Justice this year’s National Book Award winner in the Young People’s Literature category, by Phillip Hoose (FSG, $19.95, ages 12 up).
Saving the Ghost of the Mountain by Sy Montgomery; photographs by Nic Bishop (Houghton Mifflin, $18, ages 9-12).
Truce: The Day the Soldiers Stopped Fighting by Jim Murphy (Scholastic, $19.99, ages 12 up).
Marching for Freedom by Elizabeth Partridge (Viking, $19.99, ages 10 up).
Sojourner Truth’s Step-Stomp Stride by Andrea Davis Pinkney; illustrated by Brian Pinkney (Jump at the Sun/Disney, $16.99, ages 5-10).
Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream by Tanya Stone (Candlewick Press, $24.99 hardcover, $17.99 paperback, ages 10 up).
City I Love by Lee Bennett Hopkins; illustrated by Marcellus Hall (Abrams, $16.95, ages 4-8).
Be Glad Your Nose Is On Your Face, a treasury of poems by Jack Prelutsky; illustrated by Brandon Dorman (Greenwillow, $22.99, ages 4 up).
YOUNG ADULT FICTION:
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson (Viking, $17.99, ages 13 up)
Fire by Kristin Cashore (Dial, $17.99, ages 13 up).
Catching Fire, the second book in “The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic, $17.99, ages 13 up).
Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork (Scholastic, $17.99, ages 13 up).
The new National Ambassador for Young People's Literature is Katherine Paterson, a two-time winner of the Newbery Medal who began her career as a children's writer while living in Takoma Park.
Paterson's best-known book is Bridge to Terebithia, a Newbery Medal-winning book based on the tragic death of a young girl in Takoma Park who was the best friend of Paterson's son David.
Paterson is the second children's author to be chosen for the ambassador's job, which is jointly sponsored by the Library of Congress and the Children's Book Council, a children's publishers' group. Paterson's apppointment was first reported by The New York Times on Monday.
Jon Scieszka, author of the Caldecott Honor-winning book The Stinky Cheese Man, was the first children's writer to hold the two-year position.
There's no heat in the Library's Children's Room because of a furnace problem. So, if you're coming to the Tuesday Circle Time programs -- either 10-10:30 a.m. or 11-11:30 a.m. -- be sure to dress warmly and be prepared to do lots of movement exercises!