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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Gail E. Haley

By Adrienne Rivera. Jan 14, 2021. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Children's Books, Awarded Books

Since it was first established in 1938, the Caldecott Medal has been awarded annually to one book out of a carefully curated selection. The Caldecott-winning illustrators and the illustrations they so lovingly craft are representative of the best and most innovative works produced for children's books that year. 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, today we look closer at Gail E. Haley, who both wrote and illustrated 1971's medal winner, A Story A Story.

     
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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Blair Lent

By Adrienne Rivera. Jan 7, 2021. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Children's Books

Established in 1938 by the American Library Association, the Cadecott Medal is given annually to “the most distinguished American picture book for children,” a book that represents the best and most innovative work in the field. Looking through the list of winners throughout the years reveals classic after classic, books that are still in circulation in libraries or sold in bookstores today. In 1973, this honor was given to Blair Lent for his illustrations in The Funny Little Woman by Arlene Mosel. Join as as we take a closer look at his career as part of our Caldecott Winning Illustrators series:

     
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The Best YA Books by BIPOC Authors

By Adrienne Rivera. Dec 31, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Awarded Books, Movie Tie-Ins

Today more than ever, it is important to shine light on some of the amazing works of fiction being published by BIPOC writers. The world of young adult literature has in recent years become increasingly dedicated to publishing Own Voices novels, or books in which the main character shares experiences, race, and culture with the writer, offering marginalized groups to tell their own stories from their own perspectives. Join us as we explore some amazing young adult novels by Black writers. These books will fit perfectly on the shelves of teens who deserve to see themselves reflected back on the pages of the books they read and also for anyone who recognizes the importance of reading diversely and outside of their own frame of reference.

     
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Top Books by State: Minnesota

By Adrienne Rivera. Dec 16, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Awarded Books

Minnesota is one of the northernmost states that make up the American Midwest. Known for its cold winters, beautiful landscapes, industry, and art scene, Minnesota is is the setting for a variety of novels. Today we take a closer look at two very different novels set in two very different literary versions of Minnesota. While both feature children as the primary protagonist, one features Minnesota in the late 1800's, depicting a life made both beautiful and difficult by nature. Set nearly one hundred years later, the second novel depicts a town torn apart my tragedy, lies and violence. We continue our Top Books by State series by looking at On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder and Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger, two vastly different books that portray very different versions of the Minnesota:

     
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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: William Steig

Each year, the Caldecott Medal is awarded to the best example of children's book illustration. Today, we take a look at 1970's winner, William Steig, who not only had a massively successful career later in life as a children's book writer, but also was wildly successful in his first career as a cartoonist. Keep reading as we continue our Caldecott Winning Illustrators series with Willaim Steig:

     
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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Uri Shulevitz

By Adrienne Rivera. Oct 22, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Children's Books, Awarded Books

Each year, thousands of children's books are published in America to the delight of parents and children alike. While many of those books are wonderful, an ALA committee comes together each year to honor the best illustrated books of the year. The most innovative books are nominated for the Caldecott Medal. In 1969, The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship, illustrated by Uri Shulevitz was awarded the Caldecott Medal. Join us as we continue our Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series by examining Shulevitz' long and honored career:

     
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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Ed Emberley

By Adrienne Rivera. Oct 8, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Caldecott Medal, Children's Books

The Caldecott Medal is awarded every year to a book whose illustrations represent the highest quality in the field. 1968's winner has dedicated his life not only to producing beautiful illustrations for children's books, but also to creating books that teach children how to create their own art. His dedication to art has inspired countless children, including his own, both of whom have followed his and his author wife's path to become illustrators and writers themselves. Join us as we continue our Caldecott Medal Winning Illustrators series by taking a look at the long career of the 1968 winner, Ed Emberley.

     
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John Newbery: The Father of Children's Literature

By Adrienne Rivera. Sep 29, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Book History, Newbery Award

John Newbery was born in 1713 in Berkshire, England. The son of a farmer, he saw to his own education and through his efforts became apprenticed to a printer when he was sixteen years old. Eventually, the business was sold and Newbery's continued efforts with the new owner, William Carnahan, resulted in him being left the business along with Carnahan's brother when he passed away. Now in charge of the press, Newbery saw a place in the market and used his literary and sales sense to create a not only a new genre of literature but cause it to thrive. His efforts throughout his career to create and publish books for children are why John Newbery is considered to be the father of children's literature and why one of the most prestigious awards for books written for children, The Newbery Medal, was named in his honor.

     
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An Eoin Colfer Primer

By Shelley Kelber. Sep 17, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Movie Tie-Ins

Eoin Colfer writes fantasy adventure books intended for kids in grades 5-9. His books appeal to a much broader audience, but that is the target group. Colfer grew up in Wexford, on the Southeast coast of Ireland with four brothers. His father was an artist, elementary school teacher, and historian. His mother was a drama teacher and stage writer. He was encouraged to appreciate the arts and writing and began writing in elementary school by composing Viking stories based on the history he was being taught. His first work was a class play called Norse Gods. He got a university degree from Dublin University and returned to Wexford to teach primary school. He and his wife spent 1992 to 1996 working in Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, and Italy. He started publishing books in the late 1990s and after Artemis Fowl appeared in 2001, he quit teaching and has been writing full time ever since.

     
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Top Books by State: Kansas

By Adrienne Rivera. Sep 10, 2020. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Movie Tie-Ins

The next stop on our literary journey throughout America in our Top Books by State series is Kansas. This Midwestern state is primarily known for its location in the heart of the Great Plains. While Kansas is one of the country's largest producer of wheat, corn, soybeans, and sorghum, it's not just farmland. The state is home to several metropolitan centers namely Wichita and Kansas City. Today, Kansas is mostly associated with farmland, but at the time of it's entry into the union, the decision of whether or not to be a free or a slave-holding state led to great turmoil, the result of which was the nickname “Bleeding Kansas.” However, Kansas ultimately sided politically with the northern part of the United States, leading to its official state nickname of “The Free State.” Join us as we take a look at two of the best books set in (or mostly in) Kansas:

     
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