It seemed like everyone in the world was waiting for Sunday night’s Oscar ceremony.  Unfortunately, what I didn’t see this season was the same type of anticipation for the “Oscars” of children’s literature.  As a children’s librarian by profession, I just can’t understand why so few people are chatting around the water cooler about their next big children’s read.  So, on the chance that this wonderful event has passed you, by let me shed some light on the subject.
First Newbery Award Winner, 1922
Every year the American Library Association gets a big group of librarians together and tries to make them agree on what books are the best children’s books published that year.  If you think that people get hepped-up about movies, just try talking about what’s good for children. I’m sure that at sometime since 1922 (note this date is FIVE YEARS EARLIER than the first Oscar) when The Story of Mankind by Hendrik Willem van Loon was awarded the very first Newbery award, someone must have written a murder mystery about this process.  From what I’ve heard, it would not be an exaggeration to say there have been many thoughts of murder made during these awards discussions.  I will even go so far as to say that the butler probably did do it, since, of course, librarians are always innocent.
Caldecott Award Winner, 2011
Anyway, the choices this year are truly amazing.  Last fall, I even held one of the books in my hands and thought “Gosh, I hope this wins.”  For once the planets aligned in my favor and awarded Chris Raschka a Caldecott award for A ball for Daisy!  For those who like short books this does the trick.  In fact, for those who hate to read, it does one even better since it’s a wordless book.  It’s the fascinating and hilarious story of Daisy and her ball told through the fingers of an artist who is definitely going somewhere.  All I can say is that Chris Raschka definitely knows dogs.