I walk into the children’s library and am overwhelmed. Thousands of picture books! Beautiful books, scary books, interesting books, funny books, sad books, informative books, sleepy-time books, holiday books, adventurous books…
All of them are good books, so how do I choose the best books for my children and grandchildren?
- Thumb through the stacks until a cover catches my eye
- Search for particular authors or illustrators
- Ask a librarian
- Search the catalogue for certain topics
OR, look for award-winners.
Do you think about those awards when you are crafting a picture book? Or, do you dream that someday a book you wrote will garner an award of some kind?
READING ROCKETS is a great place on the Internet to get a glimpse of the many awards granted to American children’s books including picture books. At the top of the list are The Newberry Medal, The Caldecott Medal, the Coretta Scott King Awards and The Pura Belpré Award. READING ROCKETS is a trove of information about the best in contemporary children’s literature.
You’ll find more detailed information about the American awards for children’s literature at the American Library Association. This is on HUGE website with layer after layer of websites within the website. Some of those are for children’s books.
The Association for Library Services to Children is one of those websites within the website.
I don’t subscribe to everything the ALA (and its sub-organizations) does or represents. And I don’t always agree with their choices for awards. But I respect them. You’ll find mountains of useful information at their websites about children’s literature in American culture.
The next time you have a few extra hours to spend pay them a visit.
Next Friday please drop in for ANOTHER impressive list of picture books.
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