Even a Chicago blizzard can't dim the excitement as librarians eagerly await the big "Youth Media Awards" announcements -- always the highlight of the American Library Association's Midwinter conference.
At 8 a.m. CST tomorrow, several hundred librarians will pack into a room at the McCormick Convention to learn which books will win the "Oscars" of the children's literature world: the Caldecott Medal, given for illustrations, and the Newbery Medal, given for text. Those winners will be the last two announced at the hour-long program, during which a number of other awards also will be bestowed; among them, the Coretta Scott King Award (focused on books by African-American authors and illustrators), the Sibert Medal (given to the best non-fiction book for kids), the Pura Belpre Award (spotlighting books by Latino authors and illustrators), and a number of others.
The program will be broadcast live. There's also a couple of fun pre-announcement and post-announcement shows, hosted by librarians Betsy Bird and Lori Prince. Betsy also has compiled a list of all the Mock Caldecott and Mock Newbery winners she could find; it makes interesting reading.
Last week, we held our first-ever Mock Caldecott at my library, and we made our own choices for the 2015 Caldecott. There were a dozen of us, and our nearly unanimous winner was The Farmer and the Clown, written and illustrated by Marla Frazee. The Farmer and the Clown also has won a number of other Mock Caldecotts around the country, and it was the winner on the Calling Caldecott blog, so we're in good company.
Our Mock Caldecott group also chose four Honor books (listed here in order of title): Bad Bye, Good Bye, written by Deborah Underwood and illustrated by Jonathan Bean; The Iridescence of Birds, written by Newbery Medalist Patricia MacLachlan and illustrated by Hadley Hooper; The Noisy Paint Box, written by Barb Rosenstock and illustrated by Mary GrandPre; and The Right Word, written by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Melissa Sweet.
Just a few more hours to see how close we came!