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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Virginia Lee Burton

By Abigail Bekx. Sep 13, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Illustrators, Caldecott Medal, Awarded Books

Children’s books are loved by people of all ages, not just kids. Some of the most loved books in this genre are from author Virginia Lee Burton. Her seven books all have whimsical drawings and an appeal that even modern children are drawn to, despite being written over 50 years ago. Burton’s talent was recognized in 1942 when she was awarded the Caldecott Medal for her fourth book, The Little House. Since then, Burton’s work has enthralled and inspired generations of children, adults, and collectors.

     
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Seven Books We All Read in School

It's the day after Labor Day, and that means for many, it's time to go back to school. Books and school go hand-in-hand. Whether they were on summer reading lists, sprinkled throughout the general curriculum, or assigned for a book report, the following books represent some of the most common novels we all read in school. Check out some of these classic novels and relive your school days.

     
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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Robert McCloskey

Winning the Caldecott Medal is one of the highest honors an illustrator can receive. Winning the Caldecott Medal numerous times is a feat only a few can boast. Robert McCloskey is one of only a handful of artists who were awarded the Caldecott Medal on two different occasions (the others who have won twice are Barbara Cooney, Nonny Hogrogian, Leo and Diane Dillon, Chris Van Allsburg, and Chris Raschka, and only Marcia Brown and David Wiesner have won the award three times). In fact, he was the first ever two-time winner. So who is Robert McCloskey? What made him such an enduring figure in the world of children’s literature?

     
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Book Spotlight: The Girl Who Drank the Moon

The Newbery Award-winning novel The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill was published in 2016 by Algonquin Young Readers. This middle grade novel appeals to both young and old readers with it's important message and compelling fairy tale feel. The Girl Who Drank the Moon is a magical story that's perfect for lovers of magic, fairy tales, and for Newbery collectors. What is it about this book that captures the imagination and has lead to it's massive success and popularity?

     
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Maya Angelou’s Books for Children

By Audrey Golden. Aug 2, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Children's Books, Awarded Books

Many readers know Maya Angelou’s work and recognize her literary contributions, as well as her significant work as a professor, filmmaker, historian, and civil rights activist. She wrote seven autobiographies in her lifetime, acted in numerous films and prominent works of television, and was honored with many prestigious awards. But did you know that she also wrote children’s books? We love the idea of an author’s work—one of the most prominent writers of the twentieth century, perhaps—being accessible to children through a combination of image and text. We want to tell you about a couple of Maya Angelou’s books for children, which are enjoyable reads for kids and adults alike. Don't miss them if you're building a Maya Angelou collection!

     
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McSweeney's Publishing Company: Notable Titles

By Brian Hoey. Jul 16, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Awarded Books, American Literature, First Editions

The brainchild of acclaimed author and philanthropist Dave Eggers, McSweeney’s has been publishing vibrant, frequently off-kilter writing in various forms for more than 20 years. While for many the name McSweeney’s primarily conjures up images of McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, (i.e. the good people who brought us “It’s Decorative Gourd Season, Motherf*ckers”), the publisher also puts out a quarterly literary magazine as well as standalone books. Though these various concerns may seem disparate, there is certainly a unity to the various Eggers-run projects, and readers can expect anything with the McSweeney’s stamp to showcase an often wry (though sometimes quite serious), literary sense of adventure.

     
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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Robert Lawson

For the past eighty-one years, the Caldecott Medal has been awarded annually to one book out of a carefully curated selection. The Caldecott-winning illustrators and the images they so lovingly craft are representative of the best and most innovative aspects of the genre. These books are desirable for both parents and collectors alike, but also serve as a benchmark of quality, pushing the industry forward to greater heights each year. Continuing our Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series, we take a closer look at one of these amazing illustrators: Robert Lawson, who won the medal in 1941 for his book They Were Strong and Good.

     
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Five Books for Children on Memorial Day

While decorating the graves of the deceased is a common and ancient custom, the American practice of decorating the graves of fallen soldiers dates back to the end of the Civil War. The first recorded instance took place in Virginia in 1861. Women in Savannah, Georgia did the same the following year, decorating the graves of Confederate soldiers, and in 1863, a commemoration was held in Gettysburg. Honoring soldiers lost in battle became even more common after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. While the practice, originally referred to as Decoration Day, became very common in the south, it did not start taking hold in the north until 1868. It soon spread to a national day, celebrated each year on May 30 and always honored by an address at Gettysburg. The shift toward the Memorial Day name did not come about until after World War II and was made official in 1967.

The following year, the date was officially moved to the third Monday in May to create a three day weekend in spite of protests from the VFW and others arguing that the change trivialized the holiday. And indeed, Memorial Day is often celebrated with cook outs, camping trips, swimming, boating, and massive sales at car dealerships and furniture stores; unfortunately, the core meaning of the holiday falls to the wayside for many people. Here are five books you can read with your children this Memorial Day to keep patriotism as your focus. Some will even help teach them the real meaning behind the holiday—honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

     
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Book Spotlight: The Last Stop on Market Street

The Last Stop on Market Street, published in 2015 by Penguin, was written by Matt de la Peña and illustrated by Christian Robinson. The book tells the story of CJ who is taking a bus ride with his grandmother after church, as they do every Sunday. While riding the bus, CJ glimpses one of his friends riding in a car with his family and asks why their family doesn't have a car, thus beginning a series of questions CJ asks his grandma based on the things and people he observes on their ride. Why do we love this book so much? Why should you add it to your collection? Read on.

     
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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Dorothy P. Lathrop

The Caldecott Medal has been awarded since 1937 to an “artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.” Naturally, the Caldecott Award is supremely important for everyone involved in the book making and book buying and selling processes: from illustrators and publishers to fans and book collectors. Today, we begin our Caldecott Winning Illustrators series. We’d like to examine these award-winning artists more closely. Who are they? What is their artistic style? What other works are they famous for? What about them and their work is helpful for collectors to know? We begin with the inaugural Caldecott Award-winning illustrator: Dorothy P. Lathrop.

     
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