Predicting the Newbery and Caldecott Awards

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One of my favorite moments of the year is in mid-January when the winners of the Newbery and Caldecott Awards are announced at the Midwinter Meeting of the American Library Association. This coming January promises to be a little more eventful because there is also a Presidential Inauguration to look forward to. Such fun to begin 2013!

I’ve been thinking about the results of all three elections – the Newbery, the Caldecott and the Presidential – but I will only share my hopes for the book awards. After reading many beautiful and wonderful and memorable books this year, these are the two that, in my opinion, should receive gold (or silver) medals.

The Newbery Award: The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

I can’t think about this book in public because – truly – if I do, I will start to cry. Just writing about it makes me kind of “feel it” in the pit of my stomach. A bittersweet story of Ivan, a gorilla who lives at the Big Top Mall, and his friendship with Ruby, a baby elephant, is one of those books that reminds you of the power of kindness. An extraordinary book about friendship and courage and art and animals.

The Caldecott Award: Baby Bear Sees Blue by Ashley Wolff

I saw this book in a store before ordering a copy for Inly’s Library. I had already read reviews and planned to purchase it, but then I saw it in a display and knew right away that Wolff’s book was one of the special ones. A cozy concept book that introduces young children to colors. Yes, that’s been done before, but not like this. It’s the bear. He’s not just cute – but mesmerizing. Wolff uses both block prints and watercolors and every page is suitable for framing.

We’ll see what happens in January. And in the case of the Presidential election – we’ll know next week!

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