Award Season, For Children’s Literature

It is never too early, or too late, to encourage a child to develop the skill of reading. Despite the reliance of modern society on things having to do with engineering and technology, there is no getting around the fact that concepts and processes are most effectively conveyed through the written word.  This is why we teach children to read, with the goal of developing a lifelong interest and love of reading.

Each year during the Mid-Winter conference of the American Library Association, two of the most famous book awards, in the world of children’s literature, are made. These are the Caldecott and Newbery medals.

According to the ALA web site, the Caldecott award is named in recognition of Randolph Caldecott, an English illustrator who lived during the nineteenth century. This award is made to the illiustrator or artist of what has been named as “the most distinguished American picture book for children” of the year.

The recipient work of the 2013 Caldecott medal is This Is Not My Hat, written and illustrated by Jon Klassen. Young readers will enjoy and relate to the tale of a small fish having something that belongs to a bigger fish, and the issie of what is right and what is wrong.

The Newbery award, also according to the ALA site, is named for John Newbery, an English bookseller who lived in the eighteenth century. Here, the medal is presented to “the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.”

The 2013 Newbery medal winner is The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate. This work is written for middle school readers, who are beginning to understand and relate to the topics and issues of friendship, hope, and humanity, which in this story are told from the view of a gorilla in a zoo.

To find out more about these and other award winning books, children and adults are highly encouraged to visit their local library – and to regularly return for additional material.


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