Author Archive for Casey Maynard



ICPL’s 2019 Mock Youth Media Award Winners

by Casey Maynard on January 25th, 2019

I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to read all about the Mock Awards cycle at ICPL, and everyone who cast a vote in this year’s Mock Youth Media Awards! Please be sure to check back here on Monday January, 28th as we will be announcing the ALA’s actual winners. You can also check out the live webcast .

Without further ado, the winners of ICPL’s 2019 Mock Youth Media Awards are…

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Stop That Yawn!

by Casey Maynard on January 18th, 2019

Stop That Yawn! The last of ICPL’s 2019 Mock Caldecott titles is “Stop that Yawn”, written by Caron Levis and illustrated by LeUyen Pham. From the outset of this title it is clear that this is not your ordinary, quiet bedtime tale.

Gabby Wild’s story starts on the endsheets with her leaning out a window crashing cymbals into a dark and sleepy urban night. Gabby begs Granny to take her “somewhere a-wake” so they head to Never Sleeping City in a plane made out of Gabby’s bed. Once there, Gabby and Granny set out to stay up all night, but even these best laid plans go awry when Granny lets out a large “YAWN” which sets off a chain reaction through the city. From here we move through panel after panel of Gabby and Granny trying to contain the yawn as it spreads through the city, causing its residents to fall asleep.

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Imagine!

by Casey Maynard on January 11th, 2019

ImagineThis week we are taking a look at Raúl Colón’s wordless title, ‘Imagine’. Following a young boy as he travels to and through the Museum of Modern Art, ‘Imagine’ is a visual fantasy tour of New York and of individual creativity.

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Dreamers

by Casey Maynard on January 4th, 2019

DreamersThis week’s mock Caldecott title is Yuyi Morales’s “Dreamers”. Part memoir, part ode to reading, books, and libraries–I’ve been casually referring to this one with other staff as ‘medal bait’ with good reason. In telling us her own immigration story, Morales reveals the power that stories, libraries as institutions, and librarians as people have to impact our communities and the world in meaningful ways. And she does so resplendently.

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The Stuff of Stars

by Casey Maynard on December 28th, 2018

The Stuff of Stars This week’s Mock Caldecott title is “The Stuff of Stars” written by Marion Dane Bauer and illustrated by Caldecott Honor winner and Coretta Scott King Award recipient, Ekua Holmes. In short, this is a book about the birth of the universe, told through verse and hand-marbled paper collages. The simplicity of the text paired with the elegant humility of the marbled collages transform this from a scientific story about the birth of our universe into a timely story about that which intrinsically links humanity.

It opens “in the dark, / in the deep, deep dark” before time and space and follows “a speck [,]/ invisible as thought, weighty as God” through the big bang, the births and deaths of countless stars, the subsequent creation of planets and the evolution of life on Earth. All the while, the free verse conveys information about evolution in a concise, digestible format and Holmes’s illustrations soar. Read the rest of this entry »

A Big Mooncake for Little Star

by Casey Maynard on December 21st, 2018

A Big Mooncake for Little Star This week’s Mock Caldecott title is Grace Lin’s, “A Big Mooncake for Little Star” . Grace Lin is a well known author and activist in the kidlit world.  She runs a site and podcast called Kidlit Women  in which she interviews prominent creators, editors and researchers about gender issues in kidlit. Most of her work revolves around Asian-American culture and it is clear through her interviews and Tedx Talk that creation, for her, has been a process of reclamation of her own heritage.

Little Star diverges from her previous endeavors artistically, and in doing so offers up a different piece of Lin’s heritage that she is reclaiming. This time, however, it’s not just for herself, but also for her own Little Star to whom she dedicates the book.

 

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Heartbeat

by Casey Maynard on December 14th, 2018

Heartbeat This week’s Mock Caldecott selection is Evan Turk’s “Heartbeat ” . In this lovely tribute to the majesty of whales, we follow an orphaned whale calf through nearly two hundred years of human development. From whale oil candles and machine gun oil to the first images of Earth from space and sound clips on the Voyager, it is no secret that these creatures have had a vast impact on our shared history.

 

 

 

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Ocean Meets Sky

by Casey Maynard on December 7th, 2018

Ocean Meets Sky  This week for ICPL’s Mock Caldecott, I’m taking a look at the Fan Brothers’ Ocean Meets Sky. This sibling duo has been featured in ICPL’s Mock Caldecott every year that we’ve had one, starting with their debut picture book, The Night Gardener. There’s a reason for this. Consistently, these brothers are producing picture books with whimsical, fantastic, and emotive narratives that also pack an illustrative punch.

There is a prolific children’s book creator who you will see referenced throughout the rest of our Mock Caldecott–Maurice Sendak. Arguably one of the best known children’s book creators of all time, multiple authors and illustrators have paid him tribute this year. His work, his studio space, and even a nib pen he used to own, will all come into play throughout the rest of our Mock Caldecott. This is not something the actual committee can discuss, but since we’re not the committee, let’s have some fun! Read the rest of this entry »

Julián is a Mermaid

by Casey Maynard on November 30th, 2018

Image result for julian is a mermaidThe next title up for review in ICPL’s 2019 Mock Caldecott is Jessica Love’s debut picture book, “Julián is a Mermaid”. Utilizing very sparse text, Love relies heavily on her lustrous illustrations for her narrative. In fact, there are only 92 words in this 32 page picture book and the story can be inferred without the text at all. From endsheet to endsheet, even including the back flap, there is not a single iota of space that has not seen narrative use for Julián’s story.

Overall, this is a journey, both real and figurative, about unconditional love and acceptance, both of ourselves and others. Abuela shows Julián that she will not only care for him, but will help him find his way no matter where it leads him.  Read the rest of this entry »

Hello Lighthouse

by Casey Maynard on November 23rd, 2018

Hello Lighthouse

The next book up for your consideration in our mock Caldecott series is Sophie Blackall’s “Hello Lighthouse”.  Following a lighthouse and its keeper through their final years together, this story is quietly introspective, bittersweet and informative.

What sets this book apart is its incredible design and Blackall’s attention to details. The moment I picked it up earlier this year I was immediately struck by the shape and feel of the book and how it mimics the tall narrow lighthouse. Yet, inside, Blackall uses circular patterns to illuminate the circular nature of the structure, the cycles of life and the passing of time. Read the rest of this entry »