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CBB Trivia Night 2018—or—Lyle, Lyle Bibliophile: We Never Wabered

The venue for the fifth annual Children’s Books Boston Trivia Night, the Brahmin, was new this year.

But much was the same: host Jack Gantos and his Gantosian commentary. Silly team names: “TK,” “Where’s Papa Going with That Axe?” And of course, lots of children’s literature professionals muttering, “I should know this!”

Elissa and I, with compatriots Jennifer, Karen, Nancy, and Jamie, formed team “Lyle, Lyle Bibliophile.” Lulled into a false sense of security with a relatively easy Tuck Everlasting question, I was then blindsided by question two and grateful to teammate Nancy for her Frog Prince identification skills. And the game was on. We identified most, though not all, of the illustrators on the beach-themed picture round; thank you for your recognizable styles, Ekua Holmes and Rafael López and Kadir Nelson and Melissa Sweet. And darn you, Margaret Bloy Graham, for not popping into our heads in time. (It’s not your fault.)

I gained a new appreciation for the work involved in putting the event together by writing one round of questions and testing another (and recused myself from both). Confession: it’s perhaps a little easier to write a difficult round of themed closing lines than it is to create an easy one. Sorry ‘bout that. Kinda.

But I’m not sorry that there was a Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards question (what first novel was recognized in 2017? Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give, of course). Or that my job compiling the Magazine’s Impromptu column was good preparation for awards trivia — even though I did still have to remember which author goes with which award.

host Jack Gantos and 2018 winning team Lyle, Lyle, Bibliophile: top row L to R, Nancy, Jamie, Jennifer, Karen; bottom row, Shoshana and Elissa. Photo: Yolanda Scott, courtesy Jennifer Kelley Reed.

Ultimately, we Bibliophiles edged out The Book Bags to win the day…and win the on-brand prizes: art (“A Mother Goose Portfolio: Being Twelve Original Portraits of Characters Variously Famous and Obscure with Mother Goose Herself”) and chocolate (L.A. Burdick chocolates in the shape of Henkes-esque mice).

As I’ve learned recently, closing lines are hard. So I’ll just point you toward CBB’s Facebook group, and suggest that, if you enjoy children’s books and nerding out about them — and if you’re reading this, you probably do — you join to learn about future events!

Shoshana Flax About Shoshana Flax

Shoshana Flax, assistant editor for The Horn Book, Inc., is a former bookseller and holds an MFA in Writing for Children from Simmons College. She is a member of the Sydney Taylor Book Award committee.

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