Thursday, 22 March, 2018


Newbery Monday!@Your Library

Tracy Kampa, Children’s Library


I woke crazy early, just in case I had the time zone wrong. 8:30 Denver time should be 9:30 our time, but what if I’m wrong? So I was up by 6:30, monitoring the live feed, because maybe I had forgotten how to use a clock.


9:30 rolls around and I’m nearly in full-blown panic mode…the feed is down!! No sound, no picture, no Newbery Monday! Why? How can this be? Oh wait…there’s a flicker, and at 35 seconds after 9:30, a podium appears. My heartbeat drops from “certain cardiac arrest” to a mere “just watched Alfred Hitchcock while I was alone in a haunted house.”


Technology being what it is, I could wander about the house, gathering people in my web as I  listened to the first few awards.  What, Dad? You don’t want to lean over my shoulder to watch this? Here, I can pull it up for you on your Kindle. What? You’re okay just listening? Are you sure? Well, okay… Mom on one side of me, daughter on the other, we were ready.


The Alex book awards are announced, as well as the Schneider Family Awards, the Odyssey Awards, and a host of others. Oh! It’s time for the Coretta Scott King awards! These awards honor African American authors and illustrators. Among the winners are  “Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets” by Alexander, “Before She Was Harriet” by Ransome, and “The Hate U Give” by Thomas. (I consider this a must-read for any adult living in our complex society. It is outstanding. This title also won a Michael Printz Honor award for excellence in literature for young adults.) Yay! We have all of those already!


The Pura Belpre award winners (honoring Latino authors and illustrators) include “La Princesa and the Pea”, by Elya , “The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora” by Cartaya, and “The First Rule of Punk” by Perez. (Hey! We just got that one! And we already have the others.) One title needs to go in my shopping cart: “Lucky Broken Girl” by Behar.


Finally, finally, it’s time for the Caldecott Awards! Given to the illustrator of the most distinguished picture book for children,  the honor awards go to: “Big Cat, Little Cat” by Cooper, “A Different Pond” by Phi Illustrated by Thi Bui, and “Grand Canyon” an amazing non-fiction book by Chin.  The Caldecott medal goes to “Wolf in the Snow”, a nearly wordless picture book by Cordell. What an awesome choice!


The drums in my head accompany the Hitchcock-inspired  heart rate as the room quiets to hear the Newbery announcement. (After each of award announcements, there is a lot of hooting and hollering, and a few whistles. Librarians are crazy like that.) The honor awards go to: “Piecing Me Together” by Watson (What? I’ve never even HEARD of that one!) and “Long Way Down” by Reynolds. The Newbery award goes to “Hello, Universe” by Erin Entrada Kelly. Yay! Super choice, but it takes me by surprise.  Then, it was over, and the screen went black.


The biggest surprise of the morning, however, surrounded a book about a trip to the barbershop.  “Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut” written by Derrick Barnes and illustrated by Gordon C. James, swept the awards. It received a King Honor award, a King Illustrator award, a Caldecott Honor award, and a Newbery Honor award.  Four major awards for one book! Of course, it is about much, much more than a haircut. It explores identity, pride, and tradition.  (Check it out!)


While I regroup and try to drag myself out of the inevitable post-Newbery Monday funk, I encourage you to come in and check out these titles.  And don’t despair; Newbery Monday 2019 is only 11 months away!


This Week at Your Library

Monday March 5: 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.

Tuesday, March 6: At 6:00, please join Shakun Maheshwari for Rangoli Sand Art! Learn about Indian culture, history and celebrations though art. Explore Rangoli, art made from chalk, sand or rice flour. These temporary designs are floor art created and re-created daily in India to bring good luck and happiness. Participants will create stylized Rangoli designs which can be displayed temporarily or transferred to paper. Age 10 to adult.  Class size is limited. Pre-register by calling 326-7640, or at the library Reference Desk.

Saturday, March 10: 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.