135 posts categorized "Awards" Feed

Announcing the Hallmark Great Stories Award for #PictureBooks

GREAT-STORIES_Seal_FINAL3I received an email today about a new award for picture books from Hallmark, complete with a cash prize for the author and illustrator of the winning book. From the email:

"For the inaugural year, judges include Betsy Bird, Alfredo Lujan, Alan Bailey and Cheri Sterman. Eligible books include those published by publishers in the United States between January 1 and December 31, 2016 and must be entered into the competition by the publisher. The inaugural winner will be announced in March 2017."

From the award website:

"Throughout its history, Hallmark has worked to enhance relationships and enrich lives in everything it does. Because stories are fundamental to how people connect with and understand each other, Hallmark has created the annual Hallmark Great Stories Award.

The award recognizes excellence in writing and illustration in new children’s picture books that celebrate family, friendship and community.

Picture books published in the United States in 2016 will be considered for the inaugural year of the award. The inaugural winner will be announced in March 2017.

Picture books are nominated by publishers and the winner is selected by an esteemed panel of judges including experts in the fields of children’s storytelling, literacy, child development and library science. Each year a senior Hallmark artist and writer also are chosen to participate on the selection committee.

The award includes a Hallmark Great Stories Award medal and a cash prize of $10,000 to be shared by the book’s author(s) and illustrator(s), or granted entirely to the sole creator if it is written and illustrated by the same person."

© 2016 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook

Literacy Milestone: Being Aware of Book Awards

LiteracyMilestoneAAs my daughter and I have read picture books over the years, I've started each read by telling her the author and title of each book. Sometimes I'll add something about the publisher, where the book came from, or whether I've met the author. Occasionally, I'll point out the Caldecott medal or honor sticker on a book, but I've never made too much of this. [Must get some Cybils stickers to add to my Cybils-winning books.]

You can imagine my surprise when we started reading Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type the other morning. My daughter pointed to the Caldecott Honor sticker on the cover and said: "This means that this book is really famous." We then got into a discussion about the silver stickers vs. the gold ones. It went over her had when I said that The Adventures of Beekle has a gold sticker, but that our copy doesn't have the sticker. She did, however, recall the sticker on the cover of Officer Buckle and Gloria, which we had read just a few days before. 

I thought it was interesting that she understood that the award-winning books were famous, without necessarily having an idea of whether they would be good or not. If she can grasp that a particular book might be award-winning, but still not necessarily her personal cup of tea, then I think we'll be in good shape. 

© 2015 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook.  

For Bloggers: Why You Should Consider Judging #Cybils + Attending #KidLitCon

If you are a person who blogs about children's and/or young adult books, whether fiction or nonfiction, poetry, graphic novels, or even book-related apps, here are two great opportunities for you to get more involved in the larger community. 

The Cybils Awards

Cybils-Logo-2015-Round-LgApplications are now open for Cybils judges. The Cybils Awards, now in their 10th year, highlight children's and young adult books that are both well-written and kid-friendly. Anyone can nominate titles published in the past year in each of 10 categories. Following the nomination period, two rounds of judging are conducted by bloggers. The Round 1 judges winnow the (sometimes large) nomination lists down to a shortlist of 5-7 titles in each category (some with sub-categories by age). The Round 2 judges then take over, and select a winner in each category. The result is a set of blogger-approved titles, by category, that are of high quality, and that we believe will appeal to kids. You can view past shortlists and winners on the Cybils website (see the right-hand sidebar).

The Cybils-selected titles are a tremendous resource for parents, teachers, and librarians, or anyone who connects kids with books. The process couldn't be conducted, however, without extensive participation by the community of children's and young adult book bloggers. If you are someone who reviews children's or young adult books, or book-related apps, on a blog, you can apply to be a Cybils judge. A number of people have already shared their reasons why being a Cybils judge is worth doing (links here). Here are my top three reasons:

  1. You can get to know other people with like interests. Each Cybils panel consists of a small team of five to seven people who are passionate about their particular category. You'll have email (and sometimes Google Hangout of the like) interactions with your fellow category members. You'll debate and discuss books, and you'll likely start reading each other's blogs, and generally forming personal connections. Blogging can be an isolated pastime (particularly as commenting has declined over the years). But it doesn't have to be isolating, and participating in the Cybils can help.
  2. You can become well-versed in the titled published in your category over the past year, particularly if you are a Round 1 judge. I've judged in Round 1 for Fiction Picture Books twice, and I find myself with a broad knowledge of the books that were published in each of those years. I have a more varied appreciation for authors and illustrators than I did previously, particularly those who work with smaller, more diverse publishers. 
  3. You get to know that you have made a real contribution in helping kids to grow up loving books. Many kids need to find the right book - the book that will hook them on reading. There are plenty of parents, teachers, and librarians working to help them find said right book. But with so many titles published each year, it can be difficult for caregivers to find the books with the highest kid appeal. This is where the Cybils awardees, particularly the shortlists in each category, come in. Know a seven-year-old new reader who wants funny chapter books? Want to make sure that the ones he reads are well-written? Check out the Cybils shortlists for Early Chapter Books. You, as a blogging reviewer of books can help to construct these lists. 

Being a Cybils judge can be time-consuming (particularly for Round 1, particularly for the Fiction categories). But it's also highly rewarding. Apply here

The Kidlitosphere Conference

2015-KidLitConLogoSquareAnother opportunity to participate in the children's and young adult book blogging community is also available this fall. You can attend the Kidlitosphere Conference, an annual gathering of bloggers and authors and other interested parties. This year's KidLitCon will be held in Baltimore on October 9th and 10th. Program Chair Charlotte Taylor has assembled a fabulous collection of panels on topics ranging from Exploring STEM to working with teams to how graphic novels work. This year, KidLitCon will be celebrating the 10th birthday of the Cybils, with a special emphasis on awards, and celebrating young people's literature in general. This year's keynote speakers are Meet keynote speakers Tracey Baptiste (The Jumbies) and Carrie Mesrobian (Cuts Both Ways). 

Attending KidLitCon is an amazing experience. It's a relatively small conference (usually 50-100 people), which means that you can easily meet people. Many of the attendees are introverts (as book bloggers tend to be), and you'll find that just about everyone would rather have some brief but substantive conversation about literature than make conventional small talk. In short, if you are a person who loved children's and young adult books, and cares about connecting kids with said books, attending KidLitCon will feel like going home. I can't recommend it highly enough. 

I live in California, and dislike traveling. Most days, I don't even want to leave my house. And yet, I've attended all of the KidLitCons except one, and I am planning to be there in Baltimore. Here are three reasons for you to consider attending:

  1. You can meet people face-to-face with whom you've been interacting via your blog and social media accounts for years. You can turn virtual friends into real ones, which is a tremendously validating experience. 
  2. You can recharge your interest in blogging, both through ideas from the formal sessions and through casual conversations with other bloggers. Conquering blog burnout has been a regular topic over the years. 
  3. You can learn about new areas of blogging and/or young people's literature, from diverse books to visual storytelling.

Registration for KidLitCon is now open. This two-day conference is quite reasonably priced at $125, if you register by September 20th (and still only $150 after that). This includes two days of panels and presentations, Friday lunch, Friday dinner and bowling(!), Saturday lunch discounts. Single day options are also available, as is an optional Sunday guided tour of Baltimore. 

Sign up now for KidLitCon and/or Cybils judging. You won't regret it!

© 2015 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook

The 2014 Cybils Winners Are Here!

Cybils-Logo-2014-Web-Lg-300x193 (1)The winners of the 2014 Cybils Awards were announced today. There are 12 fabulous books and one book app, spanning the gamut of children's and young adult literature, from fiction picture books to young adult graphic novels.

The Cybils Awards represent the culmination of many hours of work by more than 100 bloggers. First the Round 1 panelists read and read and read, going through more than 1300 eligible nominated titles to create shortlists of 5 to 7 titles in each category. Next, the Round 2 panelists read and analyze and discuss each shortlist title, to come up with the winners. The results offer well-written, kid-friendly, blogger-approved titles for readers with all sorts of interests. 

I am especially excited about two of the winning titles this year. I was a Round 1 panelist in Fiction Picture Books, and am thrilled with the winner, Chris Haughton's Shh! We Have a Plan. Here's what the Round 2 panel said about this title (official blurb from the Cybils blog):

"Four friends creep across the title page of Shh! We Have a Plan and readers have no choice but to turn the page. Where are they going and what is the plan? Chris Haughton has set the stage for this visually humorous story of friends in search of prey. An homage to Tomi Ungerer’s Three Robbers, Shh! We Have a Plan gives readers the foil they want in a fourth robber who is more interested in making friends than capturing them. With repeated verse and anticipated outcomes, this story will have young readers chiming in on the refrain and laughing at the outcome. In a spare 103 words, this tale is told mainly through the images, which enhance the humor with their bold and vibrant colors and graphic style. Haughton’s use of a limited palate for the setting and characters leaves room for the arrival of multi-colored birds. Shh! We Have a Plan is sure to be a read-aloud staple."

And here's a snippet from my own review, published in October:

"Shh! We Have A Plan, with its muted colors and mostly whispered text, would make a wonderful bedtime book, though there is some risk of a late-evening attack of the giggles. There's a subtle message for readers about reaching out with kindness instead of stealth, but the three bigger guys never do learn this lesson (to continued giggles). Though perhaps a bit simple for first and second graders, Shh! We Have A Plan is perfect for the preschool and K set. Highly recommended!"

I'm also thrilled to report that a book that I nominated was the winner in Young Adult Speculative Fiction: The Living by Matt de la Pena. Here's the (brilliant) official blurb:

 "As Valkyries choose heroes in battle so, too, do the Cybils Round Two battle teams judge the fate of young adult speculative fiction. Brought together by our love of all things literary, the Round Two judges of the Cybils YA Speculative Fiction team strapped on our armor and gorged on seven books in as many weeks. The task was not easy; as Round One judges had offered up seven glorious examples of some of the best Speculative Fiction in the Young Adult genre. The titles offered for judging were: Salvage, by Alexandra Duncan; While We Run, by Karen Healey; Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future, by A.S. King;Death Sworn, by Leah Cypess; The Living, by Matt De La Peña and Noggin, by John Corey Whaley. Our heroes and heroines were rich and poor, devious and innocent; assassins, space ship pilots, terminally ill patients, wealthy soldiers, and teens with extraordinary mental abilities. Who would persevere?

Would we rally against the patriarchal society of Salvage or swear our allegiance, as faithful assasins, to the Master as inDeath Sworn? Could the mantra of Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future, “free yourself, have the courage,” save Tegan and Abdi as they ran? Could cryogenics really be the future of politics and medicine? Do we love more fiercely with our Noggins or our hearts? Do The Living provide a link to survival forged by friendship, loyalty, and diversity?

While we all loved Glory O’Brien as a batty visionary whose version of tomorrow made her drink deep of life and make bold choices today, more of us felt that with the novel’s fragmented plot it would not have as strong appeal for readers across the board. Noggin‘s beleaguered, beheaded teen touched our hearts — but though its realistic voice made it a firm favorite, the romantic subplot overshadowed our real interest: disembodied heads. As we rallied around our Brunhilde, a lively plot, vivid, pragmatic voice, and an action-packed and horribly realistic plot proved Matt De La Peña’s The Living to be victorious.

The battle was not easy and our fallen soldiers, the books that did not finish, are heroes in their own right. They are strong, good, and interesting reads, and we urge you all to pick them up. But in the end, we dismount and bow to the winner, The Living, by Matt de la Peña, for bringing us both a spine-tinglingly suspenseful story, as well as an important exploration of class, loyalty, technology, love, and diversity; something for everyone.

We, your Cybils judges, now return to our former lives, our conscription complete, our valor shared."

And here's a snippet from my own review, published in January of last year:

"The Living by Matt De La Peña has it all. It's a high stakes survival drama, with a mysterious conspiracy, containing the seeds of a possible apocalypse. There are also teen interactions that include racial and socioeconomic conflicts. I read The Living in less than a day, simply unable to stop, regardless of what was going on around me. And as soon as I closed the book I said to my husband "You have GOT to read this" (something I reserve for only a select few titles each year)."

So, if you are looking for a great picture book, or a "can't put it down" novel, these are my current top two recommendations. Check out the full list of Cybils winners for titles in other categories

Happy Valentine's Day! Happy International Book Giving Day! Happy Cybils Day! Wishing you love and books all around. 

© 2015 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook. This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through affiliate links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).

Cybils Links Shared during the Past Week

Cybils-Logo-2014-Round-SmThere has been plenty of buzz around the Kidlitosphere since the Cybils shortlists were announced last week. Here are the links that I've shared on Twitter (and, in many case, the Cybils Facebook page).

On the Cybils Blog:

On the #Cybils blog: 2014 Finalists: Links to posts about "The Ones that Got Away" http://ow.ly/GQebt #kidlit #yalit

On the #Cybils blog: The 2014 Finalists: What’s Being Said http://ow.ly/GPeuw @Book_Nut #kidlit

On the @Cybils blog: 2014 #Cybils Finalists: By The Numbers. Only 1 book out of 1333 that was not read at all! http://ow.ly/GIEGT

Today's Featured #Cybils Review: Early Chapter Book Finalist The Chicken Squad by Doreen Cronin + Kevin Cornell http://ow.ly/GXPcT

Announcements and Observations:

2014 #Cybils Award Finalists Announced reports Dodie Ownes @sljournal http://ow.ly/GXVYz #kidlit #yalit

Poetry Friday: #CYBILS #Poetry Finalists Announced, the scoop from @JoneMac53 http://ow.ly/GIFyn

Round 1 #poetry panelist @KellyFineman also shares the #CYBILS poetry finalists http://ow.ly/GIFKR #kidlit

#Cybils Awards 2014 Finalists in MG and YA Speculative Fiction, shared by @SheilaRuth http://ow.ly/GPc9r

Middle Grade Speculative Fiction: What’s In, What’s Out, observations from Round 1 #Cybils panelist @semicolonblog http://ow.ly/GQ9F0

Semicolon Speculative Fiction Awards 2014 from Round 1 panelist @semicolonblog http://ow.ly/GIFmL #kidlit

The Ones that Got Away:

Stacked: #Cybils Wrap-Up: Stats and the Ones That Got Away from Round 1 #YALit Spec Fiction panelist @kimberlymarief http://ow.ly/GTbbv

Don't overlook these books that didn't quite make the #Cybils YA Speculative Fiction shortlist, says @SheilaRuth http://ow.ly/GQ9m4

Sad that "we could only have seven books on our #Cybils shortlist", @charlotteslib shares some other #kidlit SF faves http://ow.ly/GIFU7

Some titles that didn't make the #Cybils #YALit speculative fiction shortlist that panelist @ixtumea also loved http://ow.ly/GIDOc

#Cybils Shortlists + The Ones That Got Away, from Round 1 #kidlit Speculative Fiction panelist @brandymuses http://ow.ly/GIEYd

Many thanks to everyone who has posted about and been excited about this year's Cybils shortlists. Our blog editor, Melissa Fox from Book Nut, will continue to feature review of Cybils titles on the blog in the coming weeks. The winners in each category will be announced on Valentine's Day! Stay tuned!

© 2015 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook.

KidLitCon and Cybils Update: Last Call to Nominate for 2014

Cybils-Logo-2014-NominatedTomorrow, October 15th, is the last day for the general public to nominate titles for consideration for this year's Cybils awards. Starting Thursday, we will be accepting nominations from publishers and authors through October 25th. Today at the Cybils site, Blog Editor Melissa Fox shared links to quite a few posts in which people have compiled lists of titles that have not yet been nominated. If you haven't nominated (or haven't nominated in all of the categories that you are interested in), these lists are a great source of ideas. 

The general goal of all Cybils nominations should be to recognize titles (published in English in the past year) that are well-written and kid-friendly. The Round 1 Cybils panelists are already hard at work gathering and reading the nominated titles. So far (with thanks to Sheila Ruth for designing our lovely database), there have been 786 eligible books nominated, 60% of which have been read by at least one panelist. Much more reading will be taking place over the next couple of months.

Personally, as a Round 1 judge in Fiction Picture Books, I've read 32 of 111 eligible titles. The hard part is not reading 111 picture books, of course, but getting hold of them from various library systems (which we try to do as much as possible, rather than imposing upon publishers). 

KidlitCon2014_cubeIn other news, the 8th Annual Kidlitosphere Conference (aka KidLitCon) was a resounding success. Here is a slightly modified version of what I shared at the Kidlitosphere Central site:

KidLitCon was 50+ people talking in Sacramento over two days about children’s and young adult literature and blogging, and how to increase diversity in both. There was a tremendous energy in the room(s) at all times. It was exhilarating and exhausting. Keynote speaker Mitali Perkins was fabulous, as was Skype guest speaker Shannon Hale, and the many brave presenterslisted here. 

Below, you can see a photo of the KidLitCon organizing committee. Lots of other pictures are available by following links further below. 

KidLitCon: Brought to you by:
l-r: Maureen Kearney, seated. Standing, Tanita Davis, me (Jen Robinson), Charlotte Taylor, Melissa Fox, Reshama Deshmukh, and Sarah Stevenson. (Image credit to Tanita’s husband, David.)

Here are links to some roundups and followup posts from presenters (in Twitter format, because they were first shared there):

#KidLitCon, 2014: A Retrospective, Part I, from Tanita Davis, w/ great photos + insights http://ow.ly/CL1kS 

Thoughts on #KidLitCon 2014 from @aquafortis | Small World, #Diverse Voices http://ow.ly/CHC6d 

A Checklist to “See” Race/Culture in Kid/YA Books by @MitaliPerkins our keynote speaker at #KidLitConhttp://ow.ly/CHtNb 

Happy times at #Kidlitcon from @charlotteslib like @haleshannon Skyping from her rocking chair + calling@Book_Nut http://ow.ly/CHf69 

i am #kidlitcon | finding more people to play!!!, conference wrapup by @MayaGonzalezArt w/ cute child photoshttp://ow.ly/CHeDt 

A bit late to post, but this was a mid-con Update from @MsYingling attending her first #KidLitConhttp://ow.ly/CHulg 

#kidlitcon wrapup + PDF handout for reading + blogging diversely from presenter @shgmclicious http://ow.ly/CHdMn 

Ten takeaways from #Kidlitcon 2014 from Leila @bkshelvesofdoom http://ow.ly/CHd7K 

#KidLitCon wrapup and thoughts on #diversity from @CrazyQuilts http://ow.ly/CL8cc 

Thoughts on #kidlitcon and on not being “too nice” in the call for #WedNeedDiverseBooks from @ZettaElliotthttp://ow.ly/CL9Od 

Very interesting thoughts from Tanita Davis on the #KidlitCon, 2014: NOTEPAD FORUM and following #diverse bloggers http://ow.ly/CP5mj 

#KidlitCon in Photos, 10 pictures shared by @Book_Nut http://ow.ly/CPbFz 

With special thanks to Leila from Bookshelves of Doom for collecting many of these links. 

For more tidbits from the conference, do check out the #KidLitCon hashtag, where a number of folks were live-Tweeting during both days. 

And, in other important KidLitCon news, KidLitCon 2015 will be held in Baltimore, with thanks to Sheila Ruth andPaula W. More details to come! We will continue to share information at Kidlitosphere Central, as well as on the KidLitCon Twitter and Facebook accounts. Stay tuned…

Many, many thanks to everyone who participated in KidLitCon 2014. 

And now, get out and nominate books for the Cybils awards!


Cybils and KidLitCon Updates

It's time once again for an update on what's going with the 2014 Cybils Awards and the 8th Annual KidLitCon


The Cybils organizers are all in place. You can see links to their profiles below. You can follow the Cybils organizers on Twitter via this handy list

The application period to be a judge for the 2014 Cybils Awards has closed. The panelist announcements will be coming soon, after a slight delay due to circumstances beyond our control. If you applied to be a Cybils judge and are waiting to here, please be patient. We'll share the panels just as soon as we possibly can. 

Nominations will still be opening on October 1st. It is definitely not too early to start thinking about what you feel are the most well-written, kid-friendly titles in each of the various categories. To see lists of finalists from previous years, visit the Cybils website, and follow the links in the upper right-hand sidebar. 

Here are our recent Twitter links: 

Meet the #Cybils Organizers: Stephanie Charlefour @scharle4 | Young Adult #Nonfiction | http://ow.ly/Bm3XN 

Meet the #Cybils Organizers: Jackie Parker @interactiver | Young Adult Fiction | #yalit http://ow.ly/BlRFD 

Meet the #Cybils Organizers: Karen Yingling @MsYingling | Middle Grade Fiction | http://ow.ly/BlRwU  #kidlit

Meet the #Cybils Organizers: Liz Jones @LizJonesBooks | Graphics http://ow.ly/Bg4qY  #kidlit

Meet the #Cybils Organizers: Pam Coughlan @MotherReader | Fiction Picture Books http://ow.ly/Bg4kz  #kidlit

Meet the #Cybils Organizers: Charlotte Taylor @charlotteslib | Elementary + Middle Grade Speculative Fiction http://ow.ly/Bg4g0  #kidlit

Meet the #Cybils Organizers: Jennifer Wharton, Elementary/Middle Grade #Nonfiction http://ow.ly/Bg46e  #kidlit

Meet the #Cybils Organizers Katie Fitzgerald @mrskatiefitz | Easy Readers/Beginning Chapter books http://ow.ly/Bg411  #kidlit

Meet the #Cybils Organizers: Cathy Potter @cppotter | Chairing Book Apps http://ow.ly/Bg3Rp  #BookApps


The Kidlitosphere Conference starts four weeks from today (October 10-11 in Sacramento, CA). Have you registered? You can find a partial list of registered KidLitCon attendees on the Kidlitosphere blog, and you can also follow the KidLitCon14 Twitter list. The KidLitCon Program has been updated slightly, and is looking great. 

Here are a couple of KidLitCon-related tweets from the past week: 

Do you guys realize that #KidLitCon14 is one month from today? Get those registrations in soon! http://ow.ly/BmlO1  #kidlit #diversity

The Official @SCBWI Blog: #KidLitCon 2014 Focuses On #Diversity, writes @leewind http://ow.ly/BfZGR 

And that's the scoop. I hope to see you at KidLitCon, and I hope that you'll considering nominating books for the Cybils. Not one but two chances to participate in the larger children's book blogging community! Have a great weekend, everyone!


KidLitCon and Cybils: Two Chances to Participate in the Larger Community

Hey there, Kidlitosphere fans. There is news to share this week about the 2014 Cybils Awards and KidLitCon. Here is the scoop:


  • The new Cybils website is now live. The new site was designed by Sheila Ruth, Sarah Stevenson, and Anne Levy (with a tiny bit of input from me). I think that it's beautiful. It's also quite user-friendly, with a pop-up for viewing finalists by category, and a responsive design that re-sizes automatically depending on your browser size (especially helpful on mobile). 
  • New Cybils logos are also available, as you can see to the right. You can find logos in different sizes and formats on the Cybils website. Bloggers involved with the Cybils are encouraged to display the Cybils logo on your sites. The Cybils logo was designed by Sarah Stevenson.
  • Updated Cybils bling is now available in the Cybils Cafe Press store. I have already ordered my 2014 Cybils coffee mug. 
  • MOST IMPORTANT: The call for judges for the 2014 Cybils is now live. If you blog about children’s and/or young adult books, either on your own or as part of a group blog, you are eligible to apply to be a Cybils judge. Judges are needed for Round 1 (sifting through perhaps hundreds of nominated titles to produce a shortlist of 5-7 well-written, kid-friendly titles) and for Round 2 (selecting a winner from the shortlist), in 11 categories (some with sub-categories), ranging from Book Apps to Poetry to Young Adult Fiction.You can apply now through September 5th. My application is in already.


  • The program for this year's KidLitCon was just posted, with thanks to Program Chair Charlotte Taylor. There are sessions on diversity, of course, including what promises to be a fabulous keynote by Mitali Perkins. But not to worry. KidLitCon remains true to our roots, with sessions on blogging in general, and an exciting author meet and greet event (more details to come). 
  • There is now a Twitter list of registered KidLitCon attendees (those who have given permission to be listed, and are on Twitter). A blog-linked list of attendees will be posted on our website later this week. The deadline for registration is September 17th, so if you have not yet registered, please do! The room block at the KidLitCon hotel is also filling up fast. See the registration form for details. 

If you blog about children's and/or young adult books, the Cybils Awards and KidLitCon both offer a marvelous opportunity to reach out from the comfort of your own blog and participate in the larger community. Being a Cybils judge is a way to expose yourself to great books within a sub-category of children's and YA literature, and to work with a team of other bloggers who also love that category (aka kindred spirits). Attending KidLitCon is a way to meet long-time blogging friends in person, and make new one. You can also renew your commitment to your blog, and to sharing your passion for children's literature with others.

Have I convinced you? Then apply now to be a Cybils judge. Register now for KidLitCon 2014. Opportunity awaits!

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook.

The Cybils Are Nigh!

Cybils-Logo-2014-Round-SmI'm happy to report that the 2014 Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards (the Cybils Awards) are kicking off soon. As noted on the Cybils blog last week:

"Exciting things are happening in the Cybils world, and we're gearing up for our 2014 season! The call for judges opens August 18, so if you're interested in judging this year, please be sure to check back and apply between August 18 and September 5. We also have a shiny new website coming soon!

Nominations will be open from October 1-15, as usual, so start making your lists!"

The new website is gorgeous! We can't wait to share it with you. This year I will once again be acting as Literacy Evangelist for the Cybils. I'm also acting as Social Media Guru, which means that I'll be spreading the Cybils word on Twitter and Facebook. Our new website features a rotating quotes widget, so if you have any pithy words on why the Cybils Awards are the best thing since, well, the book, please do share them (here or on our Facebook or Twitter pages). 

We have several new members of the Cybils organizational team this year (with thanks and regrets to those who opted to step down), and will be introducing them on the new website soon. Stay tuned... 

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook

News Release: 2014 Carle Honors Honorees from the Eric Carle Museum

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art Announces 2014 Carle Honors Honorees

Ninth annual awards celebrate the creative vision and long-term dedication of leaders in the world of picture books

Amherst, MA (May 7, 2014) - The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is pleased to announce the 2014 Carle Honors honorees to be awarded at Guastavino’s in New York City on Thursday, September 18, 2014. The ninth annual gala and fundraiser will fête the talented people who have played an instrumental role in making children’s books a vibrant and influential art and literary form in America. This year, the Carle Honors will award the following: 

Artist: Jerry Pinkney

Celebrated illustrator of over 100 children’s books and winner of numerous awards, including the 2010 Caldecott Medal for The Lion and the Mouse.

Angel: Reach Out and Read represented by Brian Gallagher and Dr. Perri Klass

Tireless promoters of early literacy and school readiness, as exemplified through the Reach Out and Read program established in thousands of pediatric exam rooms nationwide.

Mentor: Henrietta Smith

Influential children’s librarian, scholar, and author; leading advocate for quality and diversity in children’s literature.

Bridge: Françoise Mouly

Publisher and editorial director for TOON Books, high-quality comics for young children; art editor of The New Yorker.

The Carle Honors celebrates individuals and organizations who bring creative vision and long-term dedication to children’s books and the many ways they open children’s minds to art and literacy. The awards are selected each year by a committee chaired by children’s literature historian and critic Leonard S. Marcus, who was central to the founding of the Honors. The committee recognizes four distinct awards: Artist, for lifelong innovation in the field; Angel, whose generous financial support is crucial to making illustrated children’s book art exhibitions, education programs, and related projects a reality; Mentor, editors, designers, and educators who champion the art form; and Bridge, individuals who have found inspired ways to bring the art of the picture book to larger audiences through work in other fields.

The Carle Honors is a critical fundraiser for The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, helping to support the Museum’s in its mission to inspire a love of art and reading through picture books. The annual event also includes a silent auction featuring artwork from top illustrators, including Eric Carle.  For ticket and sponsorship information, please contact Rebecca Miller Goggins, Director of Development at 413-658-1118 or rebeccag@carlemuseum.org.

About The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art:

The mission for The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, a non-profit organization in Amherst, MA, is to inspire a love of art and reading. The only full-scale museum of its kind in the United States, The Carle collects, preserves, presents, and celebrates picture books and picture book illustrations from around the world. In addition to underscoring the cultural, historical, and artistic significance of picture books and their art form, The Carle offers educational programs that provide a foundation for arts integration and literacy.

See more details at the Museum’s website at www.carlemuseum.org.

Happy New Year! The 2013 Cybils Finalists Are Here

Cybils2013SmallAs I promised yesterday, the 2013 Cybils shortlists have been announced, and they are fabulous. Cybils Editor-in-Chief Anne Levy says: 

"Happy Cybils New Year! Really, when all the confetti is swept up, the champagne bottles put in recycling, and your hangover nursed back to a semblance of sobriety, what else is there? Us, that's what!

We're back again with another list of books that kept our panelists riveted through the holiday season. We sifted through more than 1,300 books and apps this year. Phew! We have this down to a science by now, but even so, there have been a few changes." (Click through for more detail about the changes, and trends we've observed in this year's crop of finalists)

Some highlights for me: 

The Fiction Picture Books list includes 3 of my favorites: Mr. Tiger Goes Wild, Open this Little Book, and Sophie's Squash (links go to my reviews). Kinda glad I'm not on the Round 2 panel that has to select between those and several other well-regarded titles. But one day, I would like to be a Round 1 judge again in this category. So many wonderful books.

Penny and Her Marble on the Easy Readers shortlist (how have I not reviewed this one?). With, of course, an Elephant & Piggie title, and several others that I look forward to checking out with my daughter. I see this category becoming increasingly important for reading suggestions for my household in the next couple of years, along with the Early Chapter Books category. 

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library and The 14 Fibs of Gregory K on the Middle Grade Fiction shortlist. I'm extra-happy for Gregory K author Greg Pincus, who is a real-world friend. 

The Young Adult Speculative Fiction list is chock full of books that I've been wanting to read, and one that I did read and enjoy: Dark Triumph from the His Fair Assassin series. 

But really, all of the lists are amazing. Need recommendations for nonfiction? YA graphic novels? Poetry? Book apps? The Cybils organization has your back. But don't take my word for it. Click through and see. You won't be disappointed. Happy New Year and Happy Cybils Day! 

© 2013 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook. This site is an Amazon affiliate. 

The Cybils Shortlists Are Nigh!

Cybils2013SmallTonight at midnight (Arizona time), the Cybils shortlists will be announced in all 11 categories (plus some sub-categories). Stay tuned at Cybils.com for the finalists. 

I truly believe that the Cybils shortlists are one of the finest resources that the Kidlitosphere has to offer. They are the result of > 50 round 1 bloggers (teachers, librarians, parents, authors, and more), who have read their way through more than 1300 nominated titles across the various categories. These tireless readers have winnowed each category down to a list of five to seven titles that believe are the most kid-friendly and well-written of the bunch. 

The Cybils shortlists are available by age range and genre (poetry, graphic novels, non-fiction, fiction, speculative fiction, book apps). Each list offers a wonderful starting place for anyone who is looking for great new books for a particular child. You can browse past shortlist by going to Cybils.com and following the links in the upper right-hand corner. For this year's lists, as I said, stay tuned. They are coming in just a few short hours. And they are fabulous! 

© 2013 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook