Sunday, July 1, 2012

Newbery Caldecott Award Banquet

Jamie, Ari, and I were lucky enough to go to the Caldecott and Newbery Banquet that's hosted by the Association of Library Services for Children, Jamie and I went for the banquet (where we met some lovely librarians) and Arianna joined us later for the actual speeches. Sidenote: did you know that the books that are nominated for the Caldecott and Newbery are first selected by the publishers? Also that the fifteen ladies and gentlemen on the committees must keep all discussion absolutely secret? Fascinating.

In case you didn't know the Caldecott Honors went to Blackout by John Rocco, Grandpa Green by Lane Smith, and Me... Jane by Patrick McDonnell. They had a little introduction and went up for their pictures, I was quite excited to see Patrick McDonnell and Lane Smith.

Chris Raschka was the winner for this year, and spoke for about twenty minutes. He had some rather delightful anecdotes about drawing and what it takes to be an artist. His speech was quite inspiring for artists and children with the dream of becoming artists. There were some funny bits, especially when he described feeding goldfish to his pet turtle, and some charming bits, like having a sit down meal with his good friends, and overall it went rather well. I will say this though, I think there's a rather clear delineation of why artists draw/paint/create and writers write, and this was made quite clear to me as Chris Raschka spoke.

The Newbery Honors went to Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai and Breaking Stalin's Nose by Eugene Yelchin. This was interesting because I hadn't heard of either of these books, but they both sound quite intriguing which I don't always think when hearing about the Newbery books.

Of course Jack Gantos was the winner of the Newbery, and I would just like to point out that he has a very distinctive voice. I'm pretty sure that you would never guess that Jack Gantos's voice was anything but his own. Anyway, needless to say he was hilarious and riveting. I eventually had to stop taking notes because I just wanted to soak up what he was saying. He is a brilliant and accomplished speaker, and it was an absolute pleasure to hear him speak. Bonus, did you know that Daniel Radcliffe bought the rights to Jack Gantos's memoir?

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