ALA Annual 2016

Geisel, Batchelder, Sibert and Carnegie Awards at #alaac16.

I am so glad I got up early this morning to go to the ALSC 2016 Awards Presentation. Presided over by the ever-exuberant president of ALSC, Andrew Medlar, the awards were a true celebration.

The Robert F. Sibert Informational Award was first on the agenda, and the authors & illustrators for the four honor books accepted their awards for:

  • Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans, written and illustrated by Don Brown
  • The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club by Phillip Hoose
  • Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March, written by Lynda Blackmon Lowery, as told to Elspeth Leacock and Susan Buckley, and illustrated by PJ Loughran
  • Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement, written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Ekua Holmes

Next, Duncan Tonatiuh accepted his Sibert Medal for Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras. His acceptance speech was particularly poignant and will cause me to re-read his book in a new way.

The Carnegie Award Medal for Excellence in Children’s Video was next. Mo Willems and Paul R. Gagne accepted the Medal for That Is Not a Good Idea! One sentence in particular will stick with me from Mo Willems’ acceptance speech: ” … this award legitimizes short animation as a form that can – and I think should – work in schools, especially for reluctant readers.  If we can get a kid who has no desire to read laughing at a cartoon in the middle of the day and then show that the source material is, in fact, a book, we may just be leading someone down the path to become a devoted reader.

Three titles were selected as Batchelder Honor Books:

  • Adam & Thomas, written by Aharon Appelfeld, illustrated by Philippe Dumas, and translated from Hebrew by Jeffrey M. Green
  • Grandma Lives in a Perfume Village, written by Fang Suzhen, illustrated by Sonja Danowski, and translated from Chinese by Huang Xiumin
  • Written and Drawn by Henrietta, written, illustrated, and translated from Spanish by Liniers

The Mildred L. Batchelder Award itself was bestowed on The Wonderful Fluffy Little Squishy, written and illustrated by Beatrice Alemagna and translated from French by Claudia Zoe Bedrick . Bedrick’s acceptance speech touched on the difficulty of  translating, and how, when translating picture books, “the pictures themselves guide the search for language as much as anything else.”

The morning’s award presentation ended with the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award presentations. First three Honor Books were named and awards were presented to:

  • A Pig, A Fox, and a Box, written and illustrated by Jonathan Fenske
  • Waiting, written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes
  • Supertruck , written and illustrated by Stephen Savage

And then author David A. Adler and illustrator Sam Ricks accepted the Geisel Award for Don’t Throw It To Mo! Adler shared that this story was somewhat autobiographical, while Ricks told childhood memories of admiring different authors and illustrators and now realizing that what he “wanted all along was to tell a story. To share the power of make believe with other people.”

It was a grand morning!  I am so glad I set my alarm — and only hit snooze twice –and took the opportunity to attend this Award Ceremony. It was wonderful!


Update: Check out the acceptance speeches for the Batchelder, Belpre, Caldecott, Carnegie, Geisel, Newbery, Sibert, and Wilder awards here.

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