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

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

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 […]

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

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 […]

2016 CSK Author Award Acceptance by Rita Williams-Garcia

Good morning, family. I am overjoyed to once again stand before you. Honestly, I hoped for a Coretta Scott King Honor. I just wanted to be here at the table, as one of the many being honored. You would think that by now, I’d have it together. I would know: put the phone by the […]

Back from ALA

I’m back from ALA, but I hope that before Conference gets too far behind us that everybody takes a few minutes to read Christopher Myers’ meditation on the killings in Orlando that happened earlier this month. Chris proposed this piece to me last Tuesday night via email and got it to me Thursday morning; we […]

Drawing My Dream: 2016 Wilder Medal Acceptance by Jerry Pinkney

When I was notified about the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, I was struck once again with the revelation that drawing changed the trajectory of my life. More than that, actually — drawing changed me. I was born in 1939, smack in the middle of a family of eight, and in the middle of another turbulent […]

2016 Caldecott Medal Acceptance by Sophie Blackall

“What about a story?” said Christopher Robin. “What about a story?” I said. “Could you very sweetly tell Winnie-the-Pooh one?” “I suppose I could,” I said. “What sort of stories does he like?” “About himself. Because he’s that sort of Bear.” I am also that sort of bear and I’m going to tell you stories […]

2016 Newbery Acceptance by Matt de la Peña

“I had never known, never even imagined for a heartbeat, that there might be a place for people like us.” This is the last line of Denis Johnson’s short story collection Jesus’ Son, and it describes perfectly the way I felt way back in 2003 when I was informed that my first novel, Ball Don’t […]

Jerry Pinkney’s 2016 Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award speech

Good morning, and congratulations to my fellow honorees. Let me begin by saying how special this morning is to me and my family. Over the years, I have attended many of the Coretta Scott King breakfasts, and these events always leave me feeling filled to the brim with admiration for the CSK Book Awards Committee. […]

Horn Book Magazine – July/August 2016

Table of Contents Special Issue: Awards Features “Happy Birthday, Ashley Bryan” by Nikki Giovanni A poem written on the occasion of his ninetieth birthday (three Julys ago). 2015 in Review Two critics consider the books, the awards, and what we were all talking about. “The Year in Pictures” by Julie Danielson “The Year in Words” […]