Thursday, January 05, 2012

A Parade of Picture Books

One of the most enjoyable parts of a librarian's job is selecting new books to add to the collection. While the task of reading reviews in professional journals is time-consuming and final choices can be hard to make, the excitement of opening up boxes of fresh new books is fabulous -- and sharing the newcomers with teachers, students and families is a delight. Ah -- a perfect book about shapes for kindergarten. Hooray -- a new gingerbread-themed story for first grade! Terrific -- Grace Lin's new chapter book about Pacy, continuing the story so many 3rd graders know. Finally -- the new book about inventions for 6th grade. And of course, the new Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Brian Selznick's monumental addition to his unique comic-and-text novels: Wonderstruck.

This month the Lawrence School library will welcome families in Grades K-3 for a Parade of Picture Books. Already, 60 new picture books published in 2011 are circulating to teachers to share with their classrooms. On the 19th of January from 5 - 6:30 pm, families are invited to enjoy reading and listening to these great new books -- and they are invited to vote on their favorite book! Our event is "in the style of" the Caldecott Awards, presented annually by the Association of Library Service to Children to the artist of the most distinguished picture book published the previous year. This year the "real" Caldecott will be given on January 23rd. To learn more about the Caldecott Award, visit the Caldecott Medal Home Page . The official criteria for the award are many. For our purposes, they can be summarized by asking this question about a book: Do the words and pictures work so well together bringing the story alive for us that we can call it a truly excellent (distinguished) picture book? Most simply, is this picture book captivating to read and look at?