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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Mary Azarian

By Adrienne Rivera. Feb 2, 2023. 10:07 AM.

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Children's Books

Each year the Caldecott Medal is awarded to a children's book illustrator whose work exemplifies the best in art being produced in the business. 1999's winner, Mary Azarian, is known for her colorful woodcut illustrations and makes her living as a local artisan in her Vermont community in addition to the over fifty books she has illustrated throughout her career. Let's take a closer look at the work of Mary Azarian in this edition of our Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series:

     
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Top Books by State: Wisconsin

By Adrienne Rivera. Jan 31, 2023. 10:07 AM.

Topics: American Literature

Today we continue our top books by state series by looking at two excellent books set in Wisconsin. This midwestern state is known for its beautiful landscape which includes forests, dunes, and access to Lake Superior. The state is also known for its dairy and beer production. The books featured today both take place in rural areas. While one of the novels features Wisconsin in a more idyllic light, the other uses the state as the setting for a series of horrific family tragedies. However, both the classic children’s book and the grim Shakespeare retelling offer beautiful descriptions of the state of Wisconsin.

     
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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Eric Rohmann

By Adrienne Rivera. Jan 26, 2023. 10:07 AM.

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Children's Books

 Today's Caldecott winning author has the unique distinction of being given the Caldecott medal and a Caldecott Honor for two books with vastly different styles. The Caldecott medal is given annually to children's book artists who represent some of the best art being created for children that year. Books with a wide variety of styles created in a wide variety of mediums have been honored throughout the years, but to find this dichotomy existing within the body of work of one illustrator is particularly exciting. Join us today as we take a closer look at 2003 Caldecott winner Eric Rohmann, master of both highly detailed, realistic oil painting, and silly cartoon-style prints:

     
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Top Books by State: Virginia

By Adrienne Rivera. Jan 24, 2023. 10:07 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Awarded Books, Newbery Award

Virginia is one of the oldest states in America, rich with history. This beautiful state features forests, mountains, beaches, national parks, islands, wild horses, lakes, and a surprisingly large quantity of presidential homes. Today we feature two vastly different books, one classic which celebrates the history and landscape of Virginia and another that sets the chilling subject of it’s tale there. Join us today as we continue our Top Books by State series by taking a closer look at books set Virginia:

     
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Buying Rare Ephemera: Some Reference Terms

By Audrey Golden. Jan 19, 2023. 10:07 AM.

Topics: Rare Books, Book Collecting

Are you thinking about expanding your collection of rare books to include promotional objects connected to a book’s release, advertisements, textiles, photographs, and other objects? What you might be thinking about doing is expanding your collection to include ephemera. Many rare book collectors and sellers focus on ephemera, and the term can have a variety of meanings. For some people, the term ephemera is defined narrowly referring to print materials that were not designed to last, such as postcards or newspaper advertisements. For other people, the term can be applied much more broadly to include many different objects, which may or may not be paper-based, that speak to the notion of ephemerality in one way or another. If you’re considering a shift toward ephemera in your collection, you’ll need to acquaint yourself with some terminology that can help you to shape your collection and to understand the condition of objects that you might be thinking about purchasing.

     
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A New Year and a New You in Fiction

By Audrey Golden. Jan 17, 2023. 10:07 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Literature

Are you thinking about making a life change in 2022? Whether you’re planning to change jobs or careers, or you’re simply considering that makeover you’ve been putting off for years or decades, now is the time to find yourself anew. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that life is short, and everyone’s time is limited. So why not make the best of it by being the version of yourself you’ve always been seeking? Let’s get the New Year started the right way, literature-wise, with some of the best works of fiction about making a life change. We want to be clear: these aren’t a list of self-help books, or a list of how-to books designed to help you choose a career. Rather, they’re works of literary fiction in which one or more of the characters takes the possibilities of a new year and a new start to heart, for better or for worse.

     
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The Best of Elie Wiesel

By Adrienne Rivera. Jan 13, 2023. 7:45 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Nobel Prize Winners

Throughout his career, Nobel laureate, professor, and activist Elie Wiesel published an astonishing fifty-seven books, including his best known work, Night, a memoir of his experiences as a Holocaust survivor. Through his teaching and activism, he was instrumental in the creation of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC. He taught at numerous distinguished universities throughout his career as a professor, including at Boston University where The Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies was established in his honor. Wiesel dedicated his life to speaking out against the suppression of minorities, speaking out against such injustices as apartheid in South Africa, the Armenian genocide and its subsequent suppression, Bosnian genocide in the former country of Yugoslavia, the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, and the persecution of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka. He famously said in his Nobel Prize Acceptance speech that “Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant.” The following passages from some of his most powerful works represent his lifelong dedication to Jewish people and all of humanity:

     
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Top Books by State: West Virginia

By Adrienne Rivera. Jan 12, 2023. 7:45 AM.

Topics: Horror, American Literature

Today we continue our literary road trip across America by taking a look at two great books set in the state of West Virginia. Known for its history, forests, rivers, valleys, Cumberland Plateau, and Appalachian Mountains, West Virginia is one of the most beautiful states in the nation. The authors featured in today’s article use that beauty not just as part of the description of the setting, but as a direct contrast to the issues addressed in the plot. Join us as we take a look at two excellent books in our Top Books By State Series: West Virginia:

     
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Newbery Winning Authors Series: Hendrik Willem Van Loon

By Adrienne Rivera. Jan 7, 2023. 10:07 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, American Literature, Newbery Award

The John Newbery Medal was first established in 1921 by the Association for Library Services for Children. Often shortened to the Newbery Medal, it was created in order to honor books that serve as a distinguished contribution to American literature for children. Along with the Caldecott Medal, it is considered the highest honor for children’s books in the United States. The qualifications for this medal are such that any children’s book (picture book through young adult) published by an American citizen during a respective year is eligible. Each year a committee of fifteen (though historically the winner was chosen by popular vote. The Newbery Medal was the first ever award for children’s literature and continually recognizes the best and most enduring works published each year. Today in our brand new Newbery Medal Winning Authors series, we take a look at the very first winner of this prestigious award: Hendrik Willem van Loon.

 

     
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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Mordecai Gerstein

By Adrienne Rivera. Jan 6, 2023. 12:36 AM.

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Children's Books

The Caldecott Medal is awarded annually to an illustrator whose work on a newly published picture book represents the best of children’s book illustration currently produced. Today we feature 2004’s winning illustrator who worked not to create illustrations for children not just through picture books, but through an additional aspect of his professional life where he worked as an esteemed animator creating quality cartoons for children. Mordecai Gerstein took inspiration from real events, mythology, family history, and religion, creating books that celebrate the joyfulness of life while not shying away from the sadness that also is a part of living. Let’s take a closer look at his career and the book that embodied his philosophy in todays edition of our Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series:

     
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