Yo, There's a Camel in the Humvee
2011 Caldecott, Newbery, Coretta Scott King Awards, and More

Coffee Talk, 1.6.11: "Culture is a conversation..."

IMG_0117 Susan Wyndham, the literary editor of the Sydney Morning Herald,  compiled a list of ''15 Australian books - and some extra suggestions - that every Australian can enjoy if they want to understand our literature, our country and ourselves. Culture is a conversation and knowing these books enables us to talk to each other." You can read Wyndham's list here.

As a followup to Wyndham's list, journalist and children's book expert Judith Ridge rounds up the "15 Australian picture books that everyone should know." She's planning to do the same for middle-grade and YA books, too. Ridge writes, "It is a list that, if you read them all, would go some way towards an understanding of. [...] the preoccupations Australian children's literature, and what those preoccupations say about Australian childhood and adolescence (or perhaps our adult perceptions of and ideas about Australian childhood and adolescence)."

The prolific children's book author Dick King-Smith died earlier this week. King-Smith's book The Sheep-Pig (published in the U.S. as Babe: The Gallant Pig) was the basis for the movie "Babe." Obituary at the Guardian. (news via @pwkidsbookshelf)

Jason Wallace's debut novel, Out of Shadows, won the UK's Costa Children's Book Award. The Herald Scotland reports that Out of Shadows, based on the author's experiences in post-independence Zimbabwe, was turned down by more than 100 agents and publishers before Andersen Press picked it up. The book will be published stateside by Holiday House in April.

Back to the States, Rita Williams-Garcia's middle-grade novel One Crazy Summer has won the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction. Details at Read Roger, the blog of The Horn Book's editor, Roger Sutton.

Will One Crazy Summer go on to win the Newbery? We'll see soon. The Newbery, Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, etc., are announced on Monday morning, January 10th. The American Library Association provides more information.

Speaking of the Coretta Scott King Award, author Kyra E. Hicks offers some thoughts on potential winners of the prize  for "outstanding books for young adults and children by African American authors and illustrators that reflect the African American experience." See Hicks' blog, Black Threads in Kid's Lit. Good list!

Book Links just published "Lasting Connections of 2010," the magazine's "favorite books of the last year for K–8 classrooms and libraries. The 30 titles...are all outstanding, with a multitude of possibilities for use in the core content areas." (Hat tip to The Miss Rumphius Effect for the link.)

Science-resource alert: Dr. Tricia Stohr-Hunt, who blogs at The Miss Rumphius Effect, has started Teaching Elementary Science, a new blog for this semester's class. The U. Richmond prof already posted links to lists of kids' science books and more.

Happy Three Kings Day! Usually I'd be hanging out with second graders today, but they have the day off of school. For the read-aloud next week,  Miss B's class requested How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Yay for extending the holidays.

Added 1.8.11: don't miss a fantastic roundup of "best book of 2010" lists at SCC English, the blog of the English Department at St. Columba's College, Dublin. Lots of UK links. (via Choice Literacy)


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How sad to read that Dick King-Smith died! He was one of my favorites. Besides his many animal books, I always like the Sophie series, books about a determined little girl stubborn as a mule.

I am sad, too, Catherine. I liked knowing that he was still around when I was a volunteer at the school library last year and saw all those books that he wrote.

Well, I'm in the U.S., but I've read 3 of your 15, including Fox. I'd love to get my hands on Bob Graham's book--he's marvelous!

I enjoy Bob Graham's work, too, Kate. Have you read Queenie? Or Oscar's Half-Birthday?

I like Judith's list a lot. She brought a number of books to my attention that I didn't know at all.

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