As of December 1st, I have read 216 of the 265 eligible titles nominated for the 2011 Cybils Award in Fiction Picture Books (where I am a Round 1 panelist). The others have been requested from publishers, as they are not available from either of my library systems, and I do hope to be able to get my hands on most of them before the end of the month. Many thanks to the publishers who have already sent review copies of scarce titles.
I must say that I have been VERY impressed by how many of the nominated titles are available from the Santa Clara City Library. Many of the books were not available from the San Jose system at all (alas, budget cuts). Not only did Santa Clara have them available, they generally had them all in one room at the Central Park Library, making obtaining the books relatively easy (apart from the shoulder pain stemming from picking up dozens of books at once ;-)). In the interest of full disclosure, I'm on the board of the Santa Clara City Library Foundation and Friends. But I would be impressed with the library's selection of recent picture books in any case.
Click here to see the full list of nominated books, including links to reviews by Round 1 panelists. Cybils database guru Sheila Ruth will be updating the review links periodically over time, and I'll link to the list again towards the end of the Cybils season.
I've discovered lots of wonderful picture books so far this Cybils season, and expect to find at least a few more gems before the end of the month. I've been spreading out my reviews, and I currently have about 30 stored up for future publication. So, stay tuned, and you'll hear about some of the individual books over the coming weeks and months. And, of course, the Cybils shortlists in all categories will be announced on January 1st.