Tuesday, 16 January, 2018


The Caldecotts @ Your Library

Tracy Kampa, Children’s Library


As I wrote my last column, my thoughts were accompanied by winds screaming around the corners of the building, a high-pitched whistle adding to the cacophony produced by the heat register. (And you thought a library was quiet?) This morning it is well below zero, and the steam rising from the river reminds me of the beauty and treachery of winter. My next column? Due the last week of January, I can only hope for a lovely January thaw, when the sun will be shining and the solar heat will encourage drips from the icicles. It’s a small late December dream, but it’s keeping me going.


How’s the reading coming? Several of you came in and picked up a book from the collection on the desk, I hope you’re enjoying them! It’s not too late to start a potential award winner; the Newbery award will not be announced until February 12  this year, and it is always more fun to hear the winners if you’ve read a title or two. Check out my last column for suggestions (you can find it archived on the Library’s website,) or just stop in and ask for some possible winners, we can hook you up.


Along with the Newbery Medal, there are a plethora of other awards announced on Newbery Monday. Many people are familiar with the Caldecott Medal, presented to the “most distinguished American picture book for children.” Note, though, that the award is not given to the author of the book, but rather the illustrator. There are several wonderful choices for the Caldecott this year, and I’d encourage you to check out and enjoy as many of these as you can before the big day. (Most of our copies of these books are currently checked out, so please put a hold on them from the library’s website. Or come on in and we can help you do that!)


Topping my list of potential Caldecott winners is “After the Fall” by Dan Santat.  How does Humpty get back up on the wall again? Once you’ve fallen, can you ever fly? Another favorite of mine this year is “A Perfect Day” by Lane Smith. Is a perfect day “perfect” for everybody? Perhaps a perfect day for Bear is not a perfect day for Squirrel or Cat. The amazing Kevin Henkes adds another leaf to his literary tree this year with “Egg.” The premise is simple: we are waiting for an egg to hatch. The ending, however, is a delightful surprise. And like many good books, we really want to know what happens after the story ends!


The award for the book that makes my heart go pitter-patter goes to “Big Cat, Little Cat” by Elisha Cooper. There was a cat living a solitary, although leisurely, life…until little cat came along.  The pictures beautifully portray a life well lived. “All the Way to Havana” by Margarita Engle, pictures by Mike Curato, tells the story of a family’s road trip to Havana, Cuba, to celebrate a birthday.  The rich, saturated pictures introduce us to a culture about which few of us have much knowledge. The family car is an important player in this story! Ed Young, a prolific illustrator of over 90 books, has a stunning book out this year. Written by Barbara DaCosta, “Mighty Moby” is a tale meant to delight. I was hesitant about this book, because I find Mr. Young’s books to be dark, both literally and figuratively. Yes, it is a retelling of Moby Dick, but about halfway through I grinned with delight and recognition. And, in the words of Forrest Gump, that’s all I’m going to say about that. Do yourself a favor and check it out.


So there you have it, a half a dozen pretty awesome picture books. Enjoy them with your kids, or pretend that you’re checking them out for your kids and enjoy them in the privacy of your secret reading hideout. Wherever you end up: Happy Reading!




This Week at Your Library:


Monday, January 8: At 9:30 and 10:30 it’s Book Time! Join ECFE teachers in the Story Circle for books, songs, finger plays, flannel board stories, and all other sorts of fun! Then move to the Community Room for a snack, a craft, and a time to play and visit.


Monday, January 8: At 3:30 join us for Artastic! Are you a kid who likes to create? Join us for our monthly art program, Artastic! Open to everyone, sign up at the Children’s Desk. (218) 327-8823


Saturday, January 13: At 10:15 and 11:15 it’s time for Saturday Story Time! Join ECFE teachers in the Story Circle for books and songs, then move to the Community Room for a snack, a craft, and a time to play and visit. Families may earn one Baby Steps coupon for attending this Story Time.