Tag Archives: awards

Remembering Vera B. Williams

I only just found out that the author and illustrator of one of my favorite books ever, A Chair for My Mother, passed away in October.

chair for mm

Reading some obituaries for Vera B. Williams, I found out that the story is based in part on something that happened in her own family.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiGsPfsyZPKAhUIej4KHb12CJYQFggdMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.publishersweekly.com%2Fpw%2Fby-topic%2Fchildrens%2Fchildrens-authors%2Farticle%2F68426-obituary-vera-b-williams.html&usg=AFQjCNE19YyJhTV5pMO2TpWw9aDVt-arLg

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiGsPfsyZPKAhUIej4KHb12CJYQFgglMAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.latimes.com%2Flocal%2Fobituaries%2Fla-me-vera-williams-20151024-story.html&usg=AFQjCNFd2rdMcbZHymZ49oHvIRm7rkUfsA

A Chair for My Mother came out in the early eighties, when I was a preschooler.  I think part of what made a big impression on me was the bright, colorful illustrations (I remember my mother pointing out the Caldecott Honor medal on the cover and telling me that meant it had won an award for especially beautiful pictures).

I remember the idea of a house fire made a big impression on me.  When I was explaining where my imaginary friend had come from, I told my parents he was at our house because there had been a fire at his house.

I was excited when I found out there was a second story about Rosa, Something Special for Me.  I didn’t find out about many of her other books until I became a librarian, but I enjoyed the episode of Reading Rainbow that featured Three Days on a River in a Red Canoe.

more more
“More More More” Said the Baby is a favorite that I learned about as an adult.  We own it in both English and Spanish.  It’s a picture book that shows three babies being cuddly with their grown-ups.  This title also won a Caldecott honor.

a and e
Amber Was Brave, Essie Was Smart is a book that has received lots of praise as a sensitive depiction of children coping with having a parent in jail.   This, too, appears to have been based on the author’s own experiences.

scooter
Scooter takes us out of the picture book section and into the chapter books, where a girl is making friends in a new neighborhood.  Each chapter features an acrostic poem and memorable characters.

These are just a couple of examples of Vera B. Williams’ work.  I encourage you to check them out!

 

Zora Neale Hurston at 125

January 7 marked 125 years since author and folklorist Zora Neale Hurston was born.  You can sample her work, read about her life, and even find her in works of fiction:

Roy
Roy Makes a Car by Mary E. Lyons; based on a story collected by Zora Neale Hurston, illustrated by Terry Widener
Roy Tyle, the best mechanic in the state of Florida, can clean spark plugs by just looking at them, and he takes a two-dollar bet that he can make an accident-proof car.

skull
The Skull Talks Back  collected by Zora Neale Hurston; adapted by Joyce Carol Thomas; illustrated by Leonard Jenkins
A collection of six scary stories for middle grade readers

3witches
The Three Witches collected by Zora Neale Hurston; adapted by Joyce Carol Thomas; illustrated by Faith Ringgold.
Three hungry witches set out to eat two orphaned children while their grandmother is away at the market.

zora
Zora!  The Life of Zora Neale Hurston by Judith Bloom Fradin and Dennis Brindell Fradin
Read the story of the author’s life, including her childhood, her role in the Harlem Renaissance, photographs, and excerpts from her letters.

songharlem
A Song for Harlem by Patricia C. McKissack
In the summer of 1928, Lilly Belle Turner of Smyrna, Tennessee, participates in a young author’s writing program, taught by Zora Neale Hurston and hosted by A’Lelia Walker in her Harlem teahouse at the height of the Harlem Renaissance.  Part of the historical fiction series Scraps of Time

Zora and Me
Zora and Me by Victoria Bond and T.R. Simon
A fictionalized account of Zora Neale Hurston’s childhood with her best friend Carrie, in Eatonville, Florida, as they learn about life, death, and the differences between truth, lies, and pretending.  Winner of the 2011 John Steptoe New Talent (Author) Award

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Monarch Read-In Monday

Monarch Award logo

Monday, January 18
1:30 PM to 4:30 PM

Get comfy on our bean bags and hear some or ALL of the Monarch 2016 nominees. For children in grades K-3, this would be a great opportunity to bring your reading logs from our Monarch Reading Club!

All ages can join us in the Storytime Room.  Preschoolers must be accompanied by an adult. Drop in.

Monarch Reading Club

Monarch Award logo

Pick up a reading log at the Monarch Award display in the Secret Garden and check out some of the books. Read or listen to all 20 nominees and earn a free paperback book. Read or listen to at least 5 and vote for your favorite. If your school is voting for the Monarch Award, you can still participate in the club to pick the library winner.

Kids in kindergarten through third grade can participate in the club and join us for these special events:

  • Monarch Read-In: Monday, January 18, 1:30-4:30 p.m.
    Drop in to hear some or all of the nominees.
  • Voting: February 1- February 15
    Cast your ballot at the Children’s Services Desk.
    Register for the pizza party.
  • Monarch Award Pizza Party: Friday, February 26, 2:00-3:00 p.m. Those who voted may register for the party.
    Be there when we reveal the library winner!

Which do you like best?

http://nyti.ms/1OZHqDv

A panel of judges recently named a list of the best illustrated children’s books of 2015.  Here are a few of them that are currently available at the Fountaindale Public Library, with our thoughts:

A fine dessert : four centuries, four families, one delicious treat
A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious Treat by Emily Jenkins & Sophie Blackall
“Sometimes teachers ask us for a title that illustrates the concepts continuity and change.  This book is a great example.  In each of the four centuries, a child is helping a parent make the dessert blackberry fool (made with fruit and whipped cream).  While those elements stay the same, the technology and the ways people interact relate to each other change a great deal.”  -Ms. Sarah
This title is also available to download as an ebook.

Leo: A Ghost Story
Leo: A Ghost Story by Mac Barnett
“I read Leo: A Ghost Story by Mac Barnett.  It was funny, sad, and happy all in one book.  Poor little Leo lived all alone and got excited when a family moved into his home.  The family was not accepting of his presence and he left his home knowing he was unwanted.  While wondering the streets of a busy city, everything turned around when he met his new best friend.  In the end, Leo becomes a hero and he find his place in his new home.  ‘Most people cannot see ghosts. Can you?’ Great story!”  -Ms. Ashley

Sidewalk Flowers
Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson, illustrated by Sydney Smith
“This picture book is told only in pictures, no words. Mostly all the pictures are black and white with just some color pictures throughout the book. The young girl with her red hoodie is picking up flowers along the sidewalk and then giving them to various recipients along the way. I love the idea of this book about how important the little things in life are.”  -Ms. Nancy
This title is also available to download as an ebook.

Tricky Vic: the impossibly true story of the man who sold the Eiffel Tower
Tricky Vic: The Impossibly True Story of the Man who Sold the Eiffel Tower by Greg Pizzoli
“You can’t blame the author for wanting to tell this true story: a con man, Al Capone, a prison escape, the Eiffel Tower, Alcatraz… all great story elements.  The illustrations are intriguing, too.  The author/illustrator of Number One Sam and The Watermelon Seed uses an old-fashioned style with a few unique touches.  Most of the characters in the story have cartoon faces, but the criminal main character has a mysterious fingerprint for a head.  One of the marks, surnamed Poisson, has a fish head.  There are a few collage elements (in the notes at the end, Greg Pizzoli mentions using photographs and rubber stamps).  You’re not exactly sorry to see Victor Lustig caught and punished at the end, but the character is a con man and he does make you want to like him.” -Ms. Sarah

Best New Comics: Eisner Award Winners and Nominees

Best Limited Series
Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland
Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland by Eric Shanower & Gabriel Rodriguez
“An all-new, all-ages series full of magic and whimsy from award-winning creators Eric Shanower (Adventures in Oz) and Gabriel Rodriguez (Locke & Key)! Spinning out of Winsor McKay’s brilliant early 20th Century strip, Return to Slumberland sees King Morpheus’ daughter, in the Royal Palace of Slumberland, selecting her next-playmate – Nemo! Only Nemo has no interest in being anyone’s playmate, dream or no dream!” (Diamond Comics Distributors)

Best New Series
Lumberjanes
Lumberjanes by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson, & Brooke A. Allen (BOOM! Box)
Five friends attend a summer camp that just happens to be the home of yetis, talking statues, and other supernatural monsters. This title also won Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17), for which it shared a nomination with The Dumbest Idea Ever, by Jimmy Gownley (author of Amelia Rules!).

Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 7)

Winner:
The Zoo Box
The Zoo Box, by Ariel Cohn & Aron Nels Steinke

Left home alone for the evening, Erika and Patrick discover a mysterious box in the attic, and when they take a peek inside the box, animals begin to pour out, turning their world upside down. – (Baker & Taylor)

Other nominees in this category:

BirdCatDog
BirdCatDog, by Lee Nordling & Meritxell Bosch

“Tells the story of a bird, a cat, and a dog through wordless comics. Everyone is a hero in his own story and every story is connected”– – (Baker & Taylor)

A Cat Named Tim and Other Stories
A Cat Named Tim And Other Stories by John Martz
In Tim’s world, a cat can paint on the ceiling and a happy pig couple can wait months for the bus. A duck and a mouse love to go flying, in a plane, of course. Every page is an adventure and each character is colorful in this collection of comics.

Hello Kitty Hello 40
Hello Kitty, Hello 40: A Celebration in 40 Stories edited by Traci N. Todd & Elizabeth Kawasaki

Featuring contributions by the creators of Babymouse, a 40th anniversary tribute collects stories and artwork by a range of comics artists, muralists and toy creators. – (Baker & Taylor)

“No one knows much about Mer, the underwater kingdom where Mermin the Merman was born, but due to a rising conflict with the people of Atlantis, Mermin is needed back home immediately. Which means that his human friends get to accompany him and see all the aquatic wonders of Mer. But once again, Mermin is tight-lipped about his past – even when it’s swimming right in front of him. And there are enemies lurking in the seedier depths of Mer who’ve got their sights set not only on Mermin, but on Pete and his friends!” –Amazon.com

Best Publication for Kids (ages 8-12)

Winner:

El Deafo
El Deafo, by Cece Bell
Based on Cece Bell’s own story, El Deafo tells the story of a rabbit girl making friends at school while dealing with the pros and cons of a large, awkward hearing aid. This title was also nominated for Best Reality-Based Work, along with Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: Treaties, Trenches, Mud, and Blood, by Nathan Hale.

Other nominees in this category:

Batman Li'l Gotham
Batman Li’l Gotham, vol. 2 by Derek Fridolfs & Dustin Nguyen
Tales of adventure through the holidays featuring favorite Gotham City characters. – (Baker & Taylor)

(You can find more of the series here, here, here, and here.)

I Was the Cat by Paul Tobin & Benjamin Dewey

Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland by Eric Shanower & Gabriel Rodriguez (shown above)

Tiny Titans Return to the Treehouse
Tiny Titans: Return to the Treehouse by Art Baltazar & Franco
“Superboy and Supergirl return to the treehouse to discover…IT’S MISSING! Or is it just…really small? Who could have done such a thing?! Find out as all your favorite Tiny Titans search for answers!” –Random House

Best Writer: Gene Luen Yang for Avatar: The Last Airbender

Avatar the Last Airbender: The Rift as well as The Shadow Hero, which was also nominated for Best Publication for Teens.

Best Writer/Artist: Raina Telgemeier for Sisters

Sisters
Three weeks. Two sisters. One car. A true story.

Americans (and others) with disabilities

July 26 marks the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  The legislation went into effect two years later, and required that public facilities be made accessible to people with disabilities.

Americans with Disabilities Act
Americans with Disabilities Act by Susan Dudley Gold
Describes the history of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, including how people with disabilities and their supporters fought over the decades to win civil rights and how the piece of legislation became a law. – (Baker & Taylor)

A good resource for finding books that feature characters with disabilities is the page for the Schneider Family Book Award.  The website lists the winners of the awards, which “honor an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.”  There is also a link to a list of more recommended books.