Finding Good Children's Books

Over at What Do We Do All Day?, you'll find an excellent post about ways to locate good books for children. The blog kindly includes a nod to Chicken Spaghetti's love of book lists. So, yeah! Let's break out a couple of new kid-book lists that popped up recently.

Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers, for kids 12-18 (via Bartography)

Charlotte Zolotow Award books, honoring writing for picture books

Edgar Award finalists, mysteries (books for grown-ups, too)

NAACP Image Award nominees for literature, featuring books in a number of categories, including ones for children and teens

APALA Asian/Pacific American Awards

Amelia Bloomer Project, feminist literature

Rainbow List, GLTBQ books

American Indian Youth Literature Awards, "created to identify and honor the very best writing and illustrations by and about American Indians, Alaska Natives, Canadian First Nations and Native Hawaiians"

Caldecott, Newbery Awards on the Horizon, Orbis Pictus Announced

The two biggest U.S. children's literature awards—the Newbery and Caldecott Medals—will be announced on Monday, January 23rd, along with a slew of other prizes.

I may not be online Monday morning to immediately update Chicken Spaghetti's 2011 Best Children's Books: A List of Lists and Awards. However, the American Library Association (ALA) promises live Newbery/Caldecott/etc. coverage; for details click here.

Again, what, what, what would be wrong with a big Newbery and Caldecott banner on the American Library Association's website? If these awards are some of the biggest things an organization sponsors, isn't it okay to say so? The general public does not know from "ALA Youth Media Awards." And Twitter hashtag #ALAyma seems like it's, well, in code.

Moving on now. My pick for the Caldecott, which honors illustration, is Allen Say's Drawing from Memory. For the Newbery (writing), Candace Fleming's Amelia Lost.

This morning saw the news of the Orbis Pictus Award for outstanding nonfiction for children. Chosen by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), the winner was the picture book Balloons Over Broadway; a number of other books were honored, too, including Amelia Lost.

Updated to add: In the realm of literature for grown-ups, the National Book Critics Circle announced finalists for book awards in a number of categories. The NBCC also cited Kathryn Schulz for excellence in reviewing. I don't know her work at all, so I have some catching up to do!

Updates to the 2011 List of Best Kids' Books

Since 2008, I've been compiling an annual master list of all the lists of best children's books; I include links to various newspapers, magazines, journals, and blogs, as well as different literature prizes and awards given out.

Other bloggers are making fantastic lists. Largehearted Boy's collection of links is amazing. See the Online "Best of 2011" Book Lists; he does the same thing for music.

Another holiday treat is 150 Ways to Give a Book, MotherReader's gift guide that pairs up children's books and toys to give together. 150 ideas!

The blog of the English Department at St. Columba's College in Dublin assembles "a 'delicious list' of books of the year from a myriad of different publications and websites," which is terrific, too.

I update the big list all the time, and please, chime in if you know of some I'm missing.

Here are some recent additions to Chicken Spaghetti's 2011 Best Children's Books: A List of Lists and Awards.

All About Manga. A compilation of links to various gift guides.

Amanda Craig (great UK book critic).

BoingBoing Gift Guide. Includes quite a few children's/YA books.

Brain Pickings (Maria Popova's blog) Fun, eclectic list.

Kirkus Reviews: Children's books and teens' books

National Outdoor Book Awards (including a category for children's books) Just One More Story blog's "For the Very Youngest Readers" Surprising Science blog's Ten Great Science Books for Kids

National Book Award for Kids' Lit to First-Time Author

A debut author has won the National Book Award for Young People's Literature. Last night at the National Book Award ceremony in New York, Thanhha Lai took home the prize for her autobiographical novel in verse, Inside Out & Back Again. Elizabeth Burns, who blogs at A Chair, A Fireplace and a Tea Cozy, reviewed the book here, adding, "Am I the only one hoping this becomes a series that follows Ha [the protagonist] through her childhood and teenage years?"

The other winners were Jesmyn Ward, for Salvage the Bones (fiction); Stephen Greenblatt, for The Swerve: How the World Became Modern (nonfiction); and Nikki Finney, for Head Off & Split (poetry).

For more on the awards and the evening, hop over to NPR's Monkey See blog.

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go: Best Children's Books of the Year

I love this time of year! I've been making my list and checking it twice, and today posted the 2011 Best Children's Books. It's a little sparse right now, but will grow exponentially as we get closer to the end of the year. Since 2008, I've compiled an annual list of lists of the best children's books of the year, grabbing links from online magazines, journals, blogs, and newspapers, as well as from the various awards for children's literature. Prime season runs through late January, when the Caldecott and the Newbery Medals are announced. 

The 2011 Best Children's Books roster is in the sidebar to the right, under Pages.

Next week will see some List Madness. On Monday, November 7, Publishers Weekly unveils its Best Books of the Year. On Friday, November 11, the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) announces the Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12. Despite the dry name, the latter is a terrific guide, a must-see for ideas for all the mini-scientists and engineers in your life.

And we're off!

Caldecott Party Today!

9781596434028  If you're in Westport, CT, this afternoon, don't miss this. A Caldecott party honoring A Sick Day for Amos McGee, this year's winner, features the book's publisher, Simon Boughton of Roaring Brook Press, reading and answering questions about how picture books are created. Children's book artist Elaine Clayton is on hand to help out with face painting and an art project, too. (Westport Public Library. Monday, March 7th, at 4 p.m. Free!)

Other Languages (in English)

I'm on a new reading kick. Using Three Percent's longlist of best translated fiction 2010 (for adults), I started with Jenny Erpenbeck's Visitation, translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky. Megan O'Grady at Vogue writes, "Infused with an arrestingly immediate understanding of Berlin’s past, it’s the tale of a grand summer house on a lake just outside the city whose inhabitants have much to reveal about the ravages and battling ideologies of the twentieth century." An excellent book. I highly recommend it.

Three Percent is an online resource for literature in translation and international literature. It's part of the University of Rochester's translation program. Words Without Borders: The Online Magazine for International Literature is another good site.

Meanwhile, Zoe at Playing by the Book reminded me of the UK's Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation. Achockablog highlights the shortlist and winner, announced recently.

Good Reading & Happy New Year

Happy Year of the Rabbit! First up, check Wild Rose Reader's archives for some good books on the Chinese New Year. InCulture Parent presents a reading list, and School Library Journal chimed in last year, too. Time Out Kids offers the details on Sunday's Lunar New Year parade in New York's Chinatown and a free lion dance performance at the China Institute on East 65th Street.

At GeekDad, Jonathan Liu shares a few thoughts on the Lunar calendar and new year.

Looking back at 2010 on the Gregorian calendar, I grabbed a few of the newish "best books" lists.

Books for children

Charlotte Zolotow Award. For best writing in a picture book.

Amelia Bloomer Project recommendations. Feminist books for children and teens.

Edgar Award nominations, presented by the Mystery Writers of America. Actually, books for adults and kids are on this list.

National Science Teachers Association: Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12. One of my favorite lists, available earlier than usual this year, in a PDF format.

Sydney Taylor Book Awards, presented by the Association of Jewish Libraries.

Books for adults

Best science books. John Dupuis at Confessions of a Science Librarian has compiled a good master list of 2010 titles.

Best Translated Book Awards: Fiction Longlist,