Using technology to mix up read-alouds

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At a recent literacy conference, I was introduced to an online resource called Storyline Online. Created by the Screen Actors Guild Foundation, Storyline Online provides animated videos of picture books that are read by actresses, actors, and other well-known individuals. In addition to the videos, there are also activity guides to accompany each book, which […]

Coretta Scott King Awards 2015

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Some of the most eagerly awaited announcements during the ALA Youth Media Awards press conference are the Coretta Scott King Awards. This year, with all the discussion about diversity, anticipation was high about what would captivate the CSK jury. Would previously decorated authors and illustrators receive additional accolades to gild already outstanding bodies of work? […]

Five questions for Antoinette Portis

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Antoinette Portis won a Geisel Honor in 2007 for her picture book Not a Box (Harper, 3–6 years), a celebration of child’s imaginative vision over the skepticism that tends to creep in later in life. Her latest picture book Wait (Roaring Brook/Porter, 3–6 years) likewise encourages children — and their parents — to stop and […]

Caldecott and Newbery 2015

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Handicapping the Newbery and Caldecott awards is a favorite pastime (blood sport?) among aficionados of books for children and teens. We gather in hallways, on blogs, around water coolers, to guess and argue and wonder. We postulate, some of us for twelve full months, until the ALA Midwinter meeting’s Youth Media Awards Press Conference when […]

Putting it together

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After ALA, we had a couple of days to visit with our kids and grandchildren up in sunny Marin. One afternoon, Miles (just turned six) and I were walking back from the playground when a friendly neighbor lady approached and pressed an envelope into Miles’s hands. “Oh, I know what this is,” he said, “it’s […]

All ALA, all the time

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The Horn Book Magazine‘s annual special Awards issue (cover by Caldecott winner Dan Santat) is out! Here’s what we’ve posted just this week, with more coming soon: Table of Contents Editorial: “What the Survey Doesn’t Say” Profile of 2015 Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat by editor Connie Hsu Profile of 2015 Newbery Medalist Kwame Alexander by […]

2015 Mind the Gap Awards: The books that didn’t win at ALA

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Mad, man! The Madman of Piney Woods by Christopher Paul Curtis No Printz for the princes The Children of the King by Sonya Hartnett #WWBYD (What Would Baba Yaga Do?) Egg & Spoon by Gregory Maguire Slow and steady didn’t win the race The Turtle of Oman by Naomi Shihab Nye, illustrated by Betsy Peterschmidt […]

Profile of 2015 Wilder Medal winner Donald Crews

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Looking back on my childhood, it is clear that my parents, Donald Crews and Ann Jonas Crews, gave my sister and me a visual education. They taught us to look at the world and shared with us their passion for visual and cinematic art. They taught us that the way something is presented is a […]

Profile of 2015 Newbery Medal winner Kwame Alexander

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I laugh with my students…I hope never at…when they tell me they are having Writer’s Block…No Such Thing…I declare…that’s only a sign…of not enough knowledge…go do your research…and to me that’s the end…yet…I am having Writer’s Block…because I want so much…to write the perfect introduction…to one of the nicest young men I know Do I […]

Profile of 2015 Caldecott Medal winner Dan Santat

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Dan Santat is one of the hardest-working people in publishing. This is widely known among his followers on Twitter and Facebook, who often see him burning the midnight oil, and the editors and art directors at the several publishing houses with which he’s worked. This is obvious in the number of books that bear his […]