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2015 in Review: The Year in Pictures

mattick_finding winnie

2015 was a striking, if fractious, year for picture books. At ALA, picture books were in the spotlight not just for their usual recognition — with Sophie Blackall receiving the 2016 Caldecott Medal for Finding Winnie — but also for winning top awards in many more categories: the Batchelder Award went to a picture book […]

2015 in Review: The Year in Words

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The year was 2015. A year in which so many people from so many backgrounds said so much about books with so few words. It was a year in which people didn’t just discuss books. They cheered and argued, raged and kvetched, praised them and condemned them. Social media wasn’t new in 2015, but never […]

Lots of ALA 2016 love

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All week we’ve been celebrating the 2016 ALA Youth Media Award–winning authors and illustrators. Here are the winners’ acceptance speeches and profiles; stay tuned for more next week! Newbery Medal: Matt de la Peña’s Newbery acceptance speech for Last Stop on Market Street Profile of Matt de la Peña by Jennifer Buehler “Becoming ‘A Better […]

Becoming “A Better Witness for What’s Beautiful”: Reading Last Stop on Market Street with Children

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Last Stop on Market Street was among my top choices for 2016 Caldecott gold, so I was delighted when illustrator Christian Robinson won both Coretta Scott King and Caldecott honors. And, like many in the room at the ALA Youth Media Awards Announcements last January, I was also surprised — and delighted! — when it […]

ALA 2016 on hbook.com

Last Stop on Market Street. Illustration 2015 by Christian Robinson. Photo: Jennifer Buehler.

In case you missed it: Jerry Pinkney’s 2016 Coretta Scott King/Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award speech and his 2016 Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal Acceptance speech: “Drawing My Dream.” Sophie Blackall’s Caldecott acceptance speech and Matt de la Peña’s Newbery speech. Rita Williams-Garcia’s Coretta Scott King Author Award acceptance speech and Bryan Collier’s Illustrator Award speech. […]

Profile of 2016 Newbery Medal winner Matt de la Peña

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The first time I met Matt de la Peña, he was sitting at a table in the Random House booth at the 2008 National Council of Teachers of English annual convention in San Antonio. It was shortly before the exhibit hall was scheduled to close, and the booth was empty. No fans. No signing lines. […]

The Audacious Choice of Sophie Blackall: Profile of 2016 Caldecott Medal Winner Sophie Blackall

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In 1914, Lindsay Mattick’s great-grandfather Captain Harry Colebourn, a veterinarian traveling across Canada on his way to serve in the Great War, stopped at a train station and decided to buy a baby black bear from a trapper on the platform. That was a rather audacious thing to do. As it turns out, literature for […]

Profile of 2016 CSK Author Award winner Rita Williams-Garcia

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Whenever I think of Rita Williams-Garcia, it is not long before the memory rises of a teen mother asking Rita a question at a school visit coordinated by my library, Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore. The young women at the school had read Rita’s seminal novel Like Sisters on the Homefront in preparation for […]

Profile of 2016 CSK Illustrator Award winner Bryan Collier

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In 2012, I met two men whose talent and generosity would change my life: Trombone Shorty and Bryan Collier. Born and raised in New Orleans, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews found a broken trombone when he was four years old and taught himself how to play. By the seasoned age of six, he was leading his […]

Jerry Pinkney and the Power of Story: Profile of 2016 Wilder & CSK–Virginia Hamiliton Award Winner Jerry Pinkney

Photo: Robyn Pforr Ryan.

The power of story takes on new and exciting meaning when applied to the work of Jerry Pinkney. His choice of tales, his selection of words, the artistry of his pictures, and the way he brings these aspects together give power to the story. In exquisite and relevant ways, Jerry conveys a richness that lingers […]