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March 2010
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May 2010

UK's Best (Arguably) Children's Books 2010

Honoring children's book writing and art, respectively, the Carnegie and Greenaway Medals are the UK equivalents to the Newbery and Caldecott awards. The CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) recently released the shortlists for both. Almost all of these books have been published in the United States, too, and Gaiman's Graveyard Book won the Newbery in 2009. 

Who will win on June 24th? The books are listed below the break. 

Continue reading "UK's Best (Arguably) Children's Books 2010" »

Just Right for Reading Aloud: The E.B. White Awards 2010

The Association of Booksellers for Children announced the finalists for the 2010 E.B. White Read Aloud Awards. Winners will be announced at the trade show BookExpo America in late May. The two categories and the shortlists are as follows: 

Picture Book

14 Cows for America, by Carmen Agra Deedy, illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez 

Once Upon a Twice, by Denise Doyen, illustrated by Barry Moser 

Princess Hyacinth (The Surprising Tale of a Girl Who Floated), by Florence Heide Parry, illustrated by Lane Smith 

The Curious Garden, by Peter Brown 

For Older Readers 

Leaving the Bellweathers, by Kristin Clark Venuti 

Tumtum and Nutmeg: Adventures Beyond Nutmouse Hall, by Emily Bearn, illustrated by Nick Price 

The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z., by Kate Messner 

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, by Grace Lin

Eisner Award-Nominated Comics

Comic-Con International, a huge annual comics-industry showcase, announced nominations for the Eisner awards recently. The following are the lists of books specifically for kids. There are many other categories. All winners are declared at Comic-Con in San Diego on July 23rd.

Best Publication for Kids 

Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute, by Jarrett J. Krosoczeka (Knopf) 

The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook, by Eleanor Davis (Bloomsbury) 

Tiny Tyrant vol. 1: The Ethelbertosaurus, by Lewis Trondheim and Fabrice Parme (First Second) 

The TOON Treasury of Classic Children's Comics, edited by Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly (Abrams ComicArts/Toon) 

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz hc, by L. Frank Baum, Eric Shanower, and Skottie Young (Marvel) 

Best Publication for Teens 

Angora Napkin, by Troy Little (IDW) 

Beasts of Burden, by Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson (Dark Horse) 

A Family Secret, by Eric Heuvel (Farrar Straus Giroux/Anne Frank House) 

Far Arden, by Kevin Cannon (Top Shelf) 

I Kill Giants tpb, by Joe Kelly and JM Ken Niimura (Image)

My son can vouch for Lunch Lady, Tiny Tyrant, and The TOON Treasury, but I see we need to pick up The Secret Science Alliance (which also won a Cybils graphic novel award) and the Oz book, too. I may snag Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species: A Graphic Adaptation, adapted by Michael Keller and Nicolle Rager Fuller (Rodale), which was nominated for Best Adaptation from Another Work; several comics cited in other areas will likely appeal to older kids.

Verses Reign in April

April is National Poetry Month, which was invented by the Academy of American Poets. I like National Months, and I like celebrating poetry. The Academy offers a bounty of celebratory resources at its web site, A big section for educators ought to be particularly helpful.

Kidlitosphere Central, a handy gateway to the children's literature blogs, kindly links to many poetry-related goings-on during the month of April. (Click on "News" at the top.) A few highlights:

"30 Poets/30 Days." A poem a day by children's poets. at Gregory Pincus's GottaBook.

"Poetry Makers." Interviews with children's poets, at The Miss Rumphius Effect.

"Poetry Tag." More poetry from well-known children's book authors, at Poetry for Children.

Moving on to poetry for grown-ups, I'll point to Martin Earl's prickly essay about National Poetry Month, at the Poetry Foundation,   

Ninety-eight percent of the reading public is not interested, or simply doesn’t have the specific training to read verse. The training is the crux, just one of the ineluctable facts that institutional April bypasses. A reader can’t just pick up Chaucer, (or Dante, or [...]

Earl goes on to say that even a lot of poets don't read Chaucer, but they should. When they do, though, they'll start losing readers because their work will become too hard to follow. Or something. Is the essay the howl of an unread poet? Is Earl's attitude indicative of why poetry is not more popular? No one likes to be called stupid, after all.