And the winner is...?
Posted February 27, 2012
Every year the prestigious Caldecott and Newbery Medals in children’s literature are announced in January, in an atmosphere of suspense and excitement. No one outside of the committees knows which books are under consideration, but there is plenty of discussion in the juvenile literary world as to who might win.
Leveraging this excitement, ACS Librarian Shannan Williams decided that the award-winning ACS library would initiate its own mock Caldecott and Newbery Medal event. Students nominated books and followed criteria, which mirrored the Caldecott and Newbery committees.
The ACS rules for nominees were simple:
• the book had to be published in 2011,
• the author/illustrator needed to live, primarily, in the United States.
In order for a student to nominate a title, Ms. Williams required that he or she be able to make a case for why this book stood out above all other 2011 releases.
By the time the week of decision rolled around, the ACS library hosted a table showcasing the students’ nominated books, as well as a voting booth that allowed kids privacy to make their choices on the big day.
“As I counted their ballots, one book consistently received more votes than all the others,” explained Ms. Williams, “It was clear that the students loved this book and I felt that their choice should be recognized.”
Students commented on this book’s simple and readable text, sweet stories and humorous pictures.
The winner? "Fairly Fairy Tales" by Esmé Raji Codell and illustrated by Elisa Chavarri. The book was nominated by Sasha Mok, a third grader in Mrs. Tomkins’ class.
A special "ACS Book of the Year" bookplate in the library’s edition of the book will acknowledge Sasha’s role in choosing the winner. ACS students will also be writing to the author to let her know that the kids at Almaden Country School love her book!
Caught up the spirit of awards season, ACS students watched the webcast of the Caldecott/Newbery Medal ceremonies with rapt attention.
“Their anticipation and reactions as the winners were announced were memorable,” said Ms. Williams with a smile. “Of course they were equally excited to learn the results of our own selections. The Book of the Year is a tradition we’ll continue next year, as we anticipate the annual awards in the world of children’s literature.”