It’s safe to say that no one appreciates children’s literature more than Children’s Librarians. They understand that quality writing and vivid illustrations are more likely to inspire children to read, learn and dream. Each year, the American Library Association honors the illustrator of the most distinguished children’s picture book with the Caldecott Medal, and the author of the highest quality children’s literature book with a Newbery Award.
While the official Caldecott and Newbery winners will be announced in January, the Dayton Metro Library held a Mock Caldecott and Newbery meeting on December 12. Using the criteria prescribed by the American Library Association, nearly 40 Children’s Librarians and guests considered over 100 favorably-reviewed children’s books, and a winner was chosen in each category, along with several honor books.
The winning Mock Caldecott picture book was They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel, author and illustrator.
“At first glance you might think that They All Saw a Cat is a simple picture book, but it’s quite rhythmic, multilayered and creative,” said Erin Wen, Materials Selection Librarian. “It’s about perception and perspective, but it’s also a book that could be used in early grades as a discussion starter on point of view. It’s a clever book!” The selected Honor Books were Monday is Wash Day, Real Cowboys, and Daniel Finds a Poem.
The winning Mock Newbery Award for children’s literature was Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk.
“Wolf Hollow is compelling and complex enough for an adult to pick up, yet suspenseful enough for a child,” said Wen. “Think of this book as a relative of To Kill a Mockingbird.” The Honor Books selected were We Will Not Be Silent, Pax, and The Wild Robot
Participating in the Mock Caldecott and Newbery process gives Librarians the opportunity to practice procedures used to determine the actual award winners.
“They hone their skills and critically assess what makes a book excellent,” said Wen. “Then they can recommend to our patrons some of the best quality books available.”